Today I said a final goodbye to a man who has made such a positive impact on my life. Paul Pullman taught me so many things over the years, and was a bit like a grandfather to me. I hadn’t seen him in a while before he passed away, but I will miss him greatly.
The first time I met Paul was at the new Karen Pullman’s Pro Shop and Bowling Center that had opened up fairly close to my house. My dad and I just decided to go bowling just for something to do. There were only a few people in the center, and Paul came up to me and asked, “Are you having fun?” I replied that I was. Little did I know that a short while later I would be bowling at the center nearly every Saturday morning in the Saturday Juniors league a short time later, with my first team name being Paul’s Angels.
I spent 8 years on Juniors leagues where Paul was one of the coaches, starting at Karen Pullman’s and moving over to All Star Lanes when the Center was closed and the league moved to join All Star. The team name Paul’s Angels would come up a few more times during the years, and during those years, the number of times that Paul asked me if I was having fun is uncountable.
Fairly early on I realized that If I didn’t enjoy something, it wasn’t worth doing, and that if you’re not enjoying yourself then you’re missing the point. This is just one of the many valuable lessons that I learned from Paul. He focused primarily on the fun of bowling with me. Yes, he coached me and helped me to become a better bowler, but it was in reminding me to have fun where he helped me most. There were many times when I became frustrated with myself, and with bowling in general. Then Paul would come up and remind me to have fun, and although sometimes it always help my mood, it put things in perspective.
This lesson that I learned from Paul has extended far beyond the bowling lanes and has followed me now into my college experience, especially when trying to figure out what I want to do in my career. I want to make sure that I find something that I enjoy doing and that I can excel at, just like bowling.
Paul had an amazing life. He was involved in so many organizations and touched the lives of so many people. He was always a joy to be around, and I wish that I had more time with him. He really meant a lot to me, especially at the time he came into my life. I just hope I can be half as wonderful and touch as many people as he did.
For more about Paul Pullman and his life, you can read his obituary here.