While Dan Myers could probably teach a seminar on the various aspects of bowling, perhaps the most important life lesson he learned had little to do with the actual sport.
It came during a national tournament many years ago. A recently diagnosed diabetic at the time, Myers, a 2013 inductee into the York-Adams United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame, found out the hard way that a hungry bowler isn't always the best bowler. And the timing couldn't have been any worse.
In the middle of perhaps one of the better bowling performances of his career, Myers felt cold chills and had some shakes. His blood sugar, which is key for a diabetic, had significantly dropped. Not surprisingly so did his bowling scores.
Fortunately for Myers, he survived the episode, but the memory still lingers with him today.
We caught up with Myers for this edition of Sports Q&A.
How did you get started in bowling?
"Some of my friends from high school were bowling and they asked me if I wanted to come along and bowl with them. That was February of 1975. It was a Saturday morning youth league at the Hanover Bowling Centre."
What makes the sport of bowling so ap pealing to you?
"Well, it's always been the competition. You don't have to be an incredible athlete or really intelligent. Anybody can do it. A little bit of coordination is all that it really takes."
What is your fondest memory in your bowl ing career?
"The fondest moment? Well I've only ever shot one 800 (series) and I did that in a Friday night sweeper tournament down in Waynesboro. I won the tournament and shot an 800 and had a 300-game."
Was that recently?
"Oh, no. That was ... oh, God ... I don't even remember the date on that one. It's been years."
Any memories in your bowling career that you wish you could make amends for?
"I don't know how many years ago it was, but a doctor found out that I had diabetes. I was bowling very well in the (national) tournament that year. But then all of a sudden my blood sugar dropped out there. I got chills and started shaking. Then all of a sudden my next two games were like 150 and 130. I just needed to get something to eat, but you can't really do that when you're out there bowling."
So did that provide you with a valuable lesson?
"Yeah. That was probably the one time that I just wished that I had eaten a better breakfast. The guys that I go with don't like to eat breakfast before we bowl in the morning. I mean they just eat something light and that's all we did. Well something quick is what I should say, because all I think we had was donuts and donuts and diabetes don't go well together. So now I make sure I have a better and more nutritious breakfast before I go bowling. Have a good meal before you bowl. They say a hungry bowler is a better bowler, but that's not always the case."
Who do you enjoy bowling with regular ly?
"Now the league folded up, but for years I bowled with my Friday night bowling team, which was Don Smith, Steve Carbaugh, who I bowl with Tuesday nights as well, and Brent Hunter were the main guys on that team. Brent was actually one of the ones that got me started in bowling. We went to school together and he and Mike MacIntyre were the two that actually got me started."
Who has taught you the most about the sport of bowling?
"I'd have to say Mike and Steve Bair when I was growing up. They were like my instructors. Whenever I had a problem I would go to Mike and would say 'can you help me?' And he would usually be able to straighten me out. Also Mike Elicker from our years together at Lincolnway. Then the guys I bowled with, such as Don Smith and Steve Carbaugh and Brent Hunter. They're all great bowlers and they're all in the Hall of Fame for their bowling ability. Whenever they were talking about bowling, I was listening."
What does it take to be a successful bowler?
"I'm going to say some kind of talent would be important, but I'd have to say persistence. To keep working at it. And a mental toughness to not let bad things get you down. So many people, when things get rough, want to give up. And I think those are things that I try to strive for in myself."
What are your future goals in the sport?
"I don't really set any future goals. I just try to keep bowling and bowl at the best level that I can. As you age, and I tell this to my senior citizens all the time, you can't do the same things that you did 20 years ago. So my goals are to be adjust to life and the changes that you go through."
Describe the emo tions you felt when you found out you were going to be inducted into the York-Adams Bowling Hall of Fame?
"I was very happy and excited. Then when I spoke with some of my friends I was actually really surprised. I have several friends who are already in the Hall of Fame and they didn't even make it to the vote. Brent said that he went and bowled in a tournament and forgot it was that day. And I know that Steve didn't make it there either. Whenever you're involved in something you try to leave that date open, but something can come up."
So who called you to let you know you were in?
"Well I was surprised by even who called me -- it was Mike Elicker. Because Mike hadn't been at one of the votes for years, but I know that his son was trying to get in for his ability and so he went there to make sure that he voted for him. So he called me after the elections and told me that I got in."
Do you know how the voting for that works?
"Everyone that is in the Hall of Fame has a vote. And the York-Adams USBC Board of Directors are all eligible to vote. There's a percent you have to get but I don't really know what it is."
And what do you have to do to be eli gible for induction?
"Well, for the men you have to be at least 40 years of age and you have to have bowled in the York-Adams area for at least 20 years. Now as far as me, I was brought in for service to the game. I've been working in the bowling business from pretty much shortly after I started bowling. I got a job as a pin-chaser to pay for my bowling and I've been pretty much in it for my whole adult life. I've been a mechanic, a manager ... I've done most of the jobs. So I was voted in for service to the game and I don't actually know if there's any criteria for that or if it's just 40/20."
Have your bowling peers treated you any differently now that you are a Hall of Famer?
"Not really. But when we're bowling on Tuesday nights and I get 'hung' ... that's when four out of the five guys strike and the one that doesn't strike they say gets 'hung.' One night I got 'hung' and they were like, 'hey, we got the Hall of Famer.' But other than that, not really."
-- Reach Ryan Vander sloot at sports@yorkdis patch.com.