Monday, October 17, 2011

Missy Named to Top 100 Coaches List

Missy Parkin was named as one of the "100 Top Coaches" in the world by Bowlers Journal International magazine for 2011. This is the third time Missy has been named to the 100 Top Coaches list.

For the full list of coaches, click here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Caribbean Cruise Vacation

Drew and I just celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary, which is crazy to believe! It went by so fast! To help us celebrate, we went on an 8 day/7 night Caribbean Cruise (sans bowling balls) with our two close friends Scott Norton and his fiancé Craig Woodward.

We cruised out of Fort Lauderdale, FL on the Carnival Freedom cruise ship with three ports of call on our itinerary - Cozumel, Mexico; Costa Rica and Panama. The cruise was so relaxing because we didn’t have too many ports, so we were able to actually relax on our days at sea.

In Cozumel, Mexico we took an excursion to the Mayan ruins of Tulum. In order to get there, we took a 45-minute ferry ride and then a little over an hour bus ride. All of the traveling was well worth the wait! The ruins were absolutely breathtaking, as the entire city was well preserved and situated on a hill overlooking the aqua blue coastline. Much of the ruins were intact, with “the castle” sitting atop the hill as the main attraction.

There were also several iguanas everywhere! It was crazy how many of them were all over the ruins. Drew had a close encounter with one rather large and hungry iguana. Drew decided to sit on a rock and get a sandwich out of his backpack and shortly after, a rustle in the bushes sounded and an iguana was less than a foot away from his lunch. I’ve never seen Drew jump up so quickly. See the picture above!

I loved the ruins, but the weather was a little unbearable. The temperature was probably about 90 degrees with 93% humidity and little shade to offer any cooling. I’ve never been so hot in my life! However, a shady, fan-filled taco lunch and air-conditioned bus ride back helped calm the heat a bit.

Our second port was to the beautiful country of Costa Rica. I absolutely loved this country and hope to one day go back there solely for vacation. The lush rainforest and mountain range offer spectacular views, not to mention the gorgeous aqua blue waters.

I was heavily talked into an adventure excursion on this outing, as we went ziplining atop the trees of the Costa Rican rainforest. It was quite an adrenaline rush to say the least! As nervous as I was to zipline, I became even more frightened by the gigantic spiders that popped up all over the rainforest. Check out the photo above!

We went down 12 ziplines in all, with the longest being roughly a ½ mile long. After two or so ziplines, I started enjoying the experience and was a lot less scared. I would definitely try it again. Check out the video!

Our last stop was Panama where we were able to see the magnificent Panama Canal. Our tour actually took us onboard a ferry that went through two of the three main lock systems of the Panama Canal. The journey took 4 hours in total, as our ferryboat was raised, in all, 85 feet above sea level to the Gatun Lake. The entire journey across the Panama Canal (which we didn’t do) usually takes 12 hours to complete.

Knowing that this industrial monster was built back in the early 1900’s is such a feat when you actually experience the lock system. The steel doors of each lock are 7 feet thick. Once the water starts rushing in, rising up each vessel, it takes about 8 minutes to complete the entire water raising process. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that all of us enjoyed tremendously.

During our sea days, besides relaxing and sitting out by the pools, we enjoyed the water slide, as well as the mini golf course, shuffleboard area and late night piano bar that the cruise ship had to offer.

It was definitely a much needed, relaxing vacation with the luxury of not having to travel with bowling balls!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Hawaii Bowling Clinics and HI TV Bowling Tournament

This summer, I had the opportunity to travel to the beautiful Hawaiian island of O’ahu where I conducted two clinics and also provided one-on-one coaching sessions. While there, I also competed in the Hawaii TV Bowling Open Doubles tournament at Hickam AFB.

The tournament was a lot of fun, as I was able to visit with many bowlers that I used to compete with in junior bowling tournaments during the annual summer Hawaiian Brian Billiard’s Aiea Singles Championships. The format for the Open Doubles event was three games of qualifying with both partners’ scores combined. The field was then cut to the top 20 teams for matchplay. Matchplay consisted of random draw for pairings and then a one baker-game single elimination format until 5 teams remained for the top 5 TV Show finals. So pretty grueling, as we didn’t bowl many games, combined with the luck factor of the random draw.

I bowled with Christine Kato, a good friend of mine that I’ve known for many years. She also happened to be 5 months pregnant at the time. We bowled very well in the qualifying portion of the tournament, shooting +66 overall. We competed on the PBA Scorpion pattern, which started off playing really straight and pretty oily. I used my Eagle to start. However, if anyone has ever bowled at Hickam AFB, then they know how quickly the lanes break down. By the second and third games, I was already playing near 4th arrow, hooking the ball, using a polished Bank Roll. We qualified 6th overall. Then in matchplay we ended up losing our 1st match in a close finish 192 to 201. I needed to strike out in the 10th frame to lock out our opponent, but I left a stubborn 10 pin instead. They struck out to beat us.

I did manage to get two days off in the midst of my rather hectic schedule. On my first day off, Drew and I drove to the North Shore side of the island and went into the historic surfing town of Hale'iwa for lunch. We then headed to a tiny beach that is known for sea turtles. There were several sea turtles around on that day and one big sea turtle laying on the sand. Drew and I waded in the waters of this beautiful little beach and were surprised to find several sea turtles curiously coming up to us in the water. Check out the video! After our sea turtle encounter, we hit up the yummy shrimp trucks for a quick bite to eat and then headed to Pali Lookout for the gorgeous views, before heading back to Waikiki for the night. On our second free day, we visited Kualoa Ranch and took the movie tour, discovering where many famous movies and TV shows have been filmed, such as Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates, Pearl Harbor, Wind Talkers, and Lost, to name a few.

I’d like to thank Hickam AFB and Barbers Point Bowling Center for helping me to coordinate everything and for being so hospitable.

If you’d like me to come to your hometown and conduct clinics and one-on-one lessons, please contact me at for details.