Imagine being all set for the upcoming professional tour and you get asked to leave the country and you are unable to do your job. That is exactly what happened to England’s Verity Crawley. One minute preparing to compete and the next preparing to fly back to England and into a lockdown and unable to practice. That might get the average person down but not Verity. She got to work on the things she still had control of and a couple of months later she is now back in the USA with visa problems behind her and some catching up to do on the lanes before a return to the PWBA tour. We caught up with Verity as she prepares for the comeback.
It’s been quite a frustrating last few months, great to be with family but yearning to be back doing what you love. In this time you kept busy on social media. How important was it for you to know you had so much support willing you back?
The support I received was really heartwarming, I didn’t expect it at all and was blown away with all of the messages and comments. It truly showed me how special the bowling community is. It made me want to spend more time on social media connecting to those fans and giving back to them.
The life of an athlete can be up and down and learning from experiences is a big key to growth in us as people. What have you learned about yourself in the pandemic and in 2021 so far?
I have learnt to love myself and really come to terms with how important that is.
What is the best piece of advice anyone gave you when all seemed lost and you were locked down in England?
From my good friend and mentor John Janawicz: “When you stretch your arms out, and that represents your life…..This is a pretty small part of your life. How you handle what you’re going through now will have a major impact on how your story will play out moving forward.”
At last an all clear to return to the USA and the race is on now to get match fit for the your “Start” in the 2021 PWBA season. How has training been so far now you are finally back on the lanes?
I’ll be honest it’s been very up and down. I’ve had some really rough practices and some great ones. Same goes with tournaments. All in all, I am back on the lanes so it has been fantastic. I have had such a different mindset, which has really helped me in competition.
How do you build up after so long on the sidelines? What did you begin with?
‘Take it easy Verity’ was my motto that I had to replay over and over again. It is so easy to want to just bowl for hours that first practice back. Drills were key and then really just bowling without too much thinking. The more I started to think physical and play with different ‘tricks’ the worse my practice was.
Considering everything you have gone through and a lack of practice, do you go into this first event hoping to just bowl well or is that inner fire in you wanting to come out swinging and winning?
Of course the competitor in me is there to win. There’s also that doubt in the back of my mind that I’m not ready because I did have nearly three months off. In the end, I am there to give my best and enjoy the moment.
Finally Verity, we all wish you the best of luck in your upcoming events and the remainder of the PWBA season. What piece of advice can you give the bowlers returning to the lanes after lockdowns and downtimes to prevent injury and ease back into bowling?
Thank you. I really do appreciate all of the support I have received. My advice is to realise that it is not going to feel great right away, forget those feelings of ‘perfection’ and just truly love the fact you get to be in a bowling centre again.