Martial Arts This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   All I wanted to do was bowl a 600 series, and my team,the Pin Strikers, would probably go to the finals in my league. Believe me, thelast thing on my mind was bowling a 300 game.

The other team walked inlike it was their day to rule the world. I hoped I would soon put a stop to that.As I began my first game, I felt strangely calm about beating this team. By theend of that first game, my team edged them out by only 12 pins. C'mon! I thought.Step it up a notch! You can beat them the next two games!

I started offwith a strike. Next frame, the ball went straight into the pocket for anotherstrike. After the third straight strike, I said to myself, Don't get nervous. Youstill have nine frames to go. After the next two strikes, I turned to the otherteam. Their captain looked at me and grinned. We knew a perfect 300 game was onthe horizon.

Sixth frame. The ball went a little more outside than I wouldhave liked, but then it went into the pocket again for anotherstrike.

Seventh frame. A small crowd was starting to form around the lanewhere I was bowling. As I released the ball, it went way right of the usual markI aim for. Great, I thought. There goes the game. At the last second, the ballshot back toward the head pin and went into the pocket. Anotherstrike.

Eighth frame. My hands were starting to shake. No pressure, I kepttelling myself. No pressure. No pressure. The small crowd had grown large. I tookmy stance, started slowly, and then sped up toward the lane. I released the ball;it went directly where I wanted - between the head pin and the two pin. Right inthe pocket. The crowd cheered. Strike eight.

Ninth frame. I could feel theenergy in the air. Everyone in the bowling alley was probably watching. Nopressure. No pressure. I released the ball. It went toward the right, curved backleft, and into the pocket. There was a huge cheer from the crowd. Strikenine.

Tenth frame. Three more strikes. I knew I had already clinched aspot in the finals for my team. The other team didn't look like they cared, allthey were doing was cheering for me! I took my stance. The crowd was silent. Istarted to walk slowly, then sped up and released. The ball was on line towardthe pocket. It curved right into it. The crowd cheered, then went silent. Iturned to find the ten pin, standing alone, rocking back and forth. It was over.My shot at a perfect 300 game was gone.




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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