Erin McCarthy Finishes fourth at the PWBA Lincoln Open

Omaha Native, and professional Bowler, Erin McCarthy finished fourth at the PBWA Lincoln Open. BELLA Magazine was able to talk to her about her win, and bowling experience…

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How did you get your start in bowling, and how old were you when you started competing? 

My parents bowled in a fun Saturday night league with their friends when I was around 2 or 3 years old. They would let me bowl after they were finished and I took a liking to the game very early on. I bowled for my high school club team, but it wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I realized I could get a collegiate scholarship for bowling. That’s when I started becoming more serious about the game and striving to become better.

Where is your home center? 

My home center is in Omaha, Nebraska. I typically bowl leagues at Western Bowl and Mockingbird Lanes.

I understand you played NCAA, what was that experience like for you? 

NCAA bowling was a short lived experience to be honest. I bowled for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for my freshman year of college and shortly after decided that particular program wasn’t for me, so I ended up transferring to Midland University for my Junior and Senior year after sitting my second year at UNL. That being said, NCAA athletes are treated incredibly well, from an athletic standpoint as well as academics. I was privileged in the sense I was given a strong foundation to be able to balance  my athletics and classroom work.

What has been your favorite memory from bowling? 

My favorite memory from bowling would definitely be winning my first PWBA title in Louisville, KY in 2018. It’s a moment I will never be able to fully describe nor will I ever forget.

Has there been any tour stop that has stood out to you (good or bad)? 

Aside from the one where I was able to get my first win, I don’t think any of them stand out in comparison to the others. Some of my worst performances tend to stand out most to me, because I often try to learn from my mistakes and figure out where I went wrong.

What was going through your head during the Lincoln Open? 

This year this Lincoln stop was different than in past years. Normally it’s a more special event to me since my friends and family are able to come and watch. However, with Covid protocols, no spectators were allowed in the building.

How has life been balancing nursing and bowling?

Balancing nursing and bowling is basically all I have done since entering the workforce. I don’t have much of a life outside of the hospital and bowling center walls, however I enjoy the fast paced schedule. My typical week during the summer is working 7pm-7am Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, then getting in a plane Thursday, coming home on a Sunday and doing it all over again. I have a family now..a fiancé, 2 step children and 2 it’s definitely different than a few years ago when it was just myself. But, knowing I have the unconditional support of my family makes the non stop on the go schedule much easier to manage.

What motivates you to be a nurse during COVID?

I don’t think I treated being a nurse during covid any differently than normal in terms of motivation. Pre covid I was working on a progressive care floor as well as a medical intensive care unit. When covid happened, both of those floors turned into covid units only. I suppose there was a little anxiety and fear of the unknown at first, but myself as well as everyone working on those units just went with it and adapted accordingly. Our motivation to continue doing what we originally went to school for and originally applied for as a career didn’t change. If anything, we just became more resilient, more knowledgeable, and quite possibly even more empathetic/sympathetic than what we already needed to be for this profession. When patient’s don’t get to have visitors, you are the only line of communication between that patient and their loved ones. Many times these patients were unable to communicate due to the severity of their illness. I didn’t lose or gain motivation due to being a nurse during covid. If anything, I think it just made me realize even more that I know I made the correct choice in terms of my career. And for that, I’m thankful.

Is there anything else we should know about you? 

I appreciate being given the opportunity to tell my story while putting the spotlight on the sport that has helped shaped me into the person I am today.


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