A Nearly Perfect Reminder
Time is a bitch…
Blink your eyes a few times and you go from kid learning to spell your name to graduating from college. A few more blinks, a few more years go by.
Einstein said it best:
"When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity."
It’s crazy to think how little time we actually have on this planet and how much time we waste doing shit that isn’t important. Sometime during college, I came up with a list of 100 things I want to do during my time on this planet. I know that I haven’t accomplished many of them.
That is simultaneously incredibly frustrating and quite alright. Frustrating because I’ve got a lot of living to do, but quite alright because I’ve done a lot of living since college. I’ve accomplished some pretty awesome stuff and yet I haven’t really accomplished anything.
It took a completely random series of events to put this all into perspective. Several weeks ago, I attended the CTO bowling night hosted by Flatiron School. It was a fun event, but it brought back a strong itch to bowl again. If you believe in the theory that you need 10,000 hours to become an expert at something, then you could certainly make the statement that I am an expert bowler (not nearly as exciting as being an expert international super agent, but hey, we got to play the cards we are dealt).
My grandfather owned a bowling alley, so I practically lived in one growing up. I got really good toward the end of my college years and bowled in a bunch of tournaments all across the country (paid for by the school of course — gotta thank Stevens for that one). I actually thought about making a run at pro bowling, except there’s no money in it and most of the guys have day jobs just to pay the bills.
Anyways, one of the items on my 100 things I want to accomplish: bowl a 300 game. My grandfather did it. My uncle did it a quite a few times. I want to do it as well. A perfect game. 12 strikes in a row. That would be sweet. But, after college, I stopped bowling. I’d say in the last 7 years, I probably bowled a total of 10 games. That 300 game was looking incredibly unlikely.
Then, continuing on with the random events, I asked by father to come bowling with me this past weekend — I had the itch. I lost my two best bowling balls and my shoes, so I had to use an old ball and a fashionable pair rental shoes. Whatever, it was just for fun anyways.
Apparently, there’s something to this 10,000 hours thing. My first game was a 223. My second game was a 203. Very solid, but then my 3rd game happened…
I bowled a 279!!
Pure insanity. I threw 11 of 12 strikes. And the one damn pin I missed the entire game was probably one of the best balls I threw all night. One pin away from a perfect 300.
I found a terrible question on Quora with some amazing answers. The question is “What do people in Silicon Alley plan to do once they hit 35 and are officially over the hill?”
Here are some of the answers:
"I turned 35 the year I founded Wikipedia…" » Jimmy Wales
"Well, I started craigslist when I was 42…" » Craig Newmark
"I started TechCrunch when I was 35" » Michael Arrington
"Well, started Netflix DVD rental when I was 37… and first streaming when I was 47…" » Reed Hastings
You could also add to the list: Mark Pincus starting Zynga at 41, Reid Hoffman founding LInkedIn at 36, and Marc Benioff starting Salesforce at 35.
Having just had my 31st birthday, I am fully inspired and know that I am just getting starting.
This game was my nearly perfect reminder. Impossible is nothing. Time to start bowling again and chase down that 300 game. Most importantly, time to dust off that list and get busy living.