As I prepared for this week’s column, I reflected back to some of my better tournaments and league nights.

Of course, my immediate thought was tossing the first 300 game in Albemarle Lanes and my first PBA event, outside Richmond.

The things I remember about the day of the 300 are Wayne Beasley keeping me motivated, Johnny Franklin calling it in to our association secretary, Richard Green, and me, calling my mom. What I remember about the PBA event was the simple excitement of just being there, and bowling with some guy from Toms River, NJ. Oh yea, and the fire alarm going off in the middle of the night at the hotel!

When those few memories come to mind of positive events of the past, why do so many more come to mind of the not so great times?

I vividly remember the time at the National Tournament when the gutter kept swallowing my ball during team event. Same thing during another PBA event in Lynchburg, Va.

I’ll never forget the night I rushed through the door, and delivered my first shot still wearing my sneakers, not pretty! I still remember the time as a junior bowler needing to convert an easy 10-pin on my final ball to record my fourth straight 500 series, only to foul on the conversion and stop at 499.

What makes us remember so little about our good days and so much about our bad ones? It all stems from our brain and how much activity is going on.

We all live busy lives, and the more you have going on, the more you have going through your mind. Kind of like a traffic jam in the noggin.

Using the traffic jam comparison, think of the last time you were stuck in traffic on Ehringhaus Street; no, make that 264 or 95.

You come to a complete stand still, so you start trying to figure out everyone’s personalized plate, or reading billboards, or calculating your savings by changing car insurance companies!

There’s a lot going through that mind of yours.

Now, fast forward to your league night. You leave a stone 10-pin, but your opponent sends a messenger sliding over to trip his 10. You toss a pocket 7-10, but your neighbor misses the head pin, but still strikes! Can your night get worse? Sure it can.

All of these negative thoughts keep piling up on top of each other, and why? Because you let them. As I’ve said before, “Stay in your lane”, tend to the things you can control and your night will miraculously start to turn.

This bit of advice is brought to you by the guy who loves a good train wreck every now and then.

But seriously, I’ve shared with kids numerous times how when I learned to stop kicking ball returns and punching walls, and started blowing off an errant shot and moving on to the next was when I saw my average vault from the 170’s to over 200.

Albemarle Lanes had an abbreviated schedule last week with the All American Ladies and Martin Luther King Leagues taking off to celebrate Thanksgiving with their families.

Monday Night Mixed and Fellowship League, as well as the Saturday youth bowlers were business as usual, however.

When the pins has stopped spinning for the week, Jevon Simpson emerged with the top series of the week, a 236-634 during Fellowship, followed by his teammate, Mark Tarkington, who added a 245-633.

Garry Williams and Stephen Marshall wrapped up the top series list with 217-613 and 235-613 respectively, while Chris Olds’ 242 and Derick Spruill’s 237 were other top games.

Debbie Winslow fired a nice 233-589 to lead the ladies from Fellowship to join Stephanie Winslow’s 201-518 and Kaytee Simpson’s 200-510.

Garry Williams topped all during the Monday Night Mixed, tossing a smooth 233-624. Murdock Spencer’s 204-557 and Korey Gregory’s 218-557, along with John Bradley’s 216 game provided the rest of the high scores for the week’s initial league loop.

Tristin Hadison shot a couple of nice games during the bumper session on Saturday with his 112 and 132.

The youth guys were topped by Jacob Davenport’s 205-557 (698 with handicap) followed by Ben Hawkins’ 200-482, Christopher Vinson’s 171-447, and Bryce Hawkins’ 171 game.

Later that day, Brandon Jackson recorded an impressive postbowl session of 244-575.

On the young ladies’ side, Elizabeth Scaff flirted with her first 200 game, tossing a 189-467, along with Kaylee Winslow’s 146-425, and Lindsay Porter’s 136-381.

Until next week, good luck and good bowling!