Make no mistake about it.
Theo Sojourn is back.
Sojourn, who became a local celebrity with his unselfish decision to try his hand as a left-handed bowler after a serious injury to his right hand, came up big Monday night.
The Santa Clarita Valley resident blasted a 597 series at Brunswick Matador Bowl in Northridge – his best series since he returned to action as a righty.
Sojourn enjoyed games of 166, 212 and 219 for a 197 average. His third game included a five-bagger (five strikes in a row).
Sojourn entered Monday’s action with a 166 average.
“It was almost a 600 series. Close enough in my book,” said Sojourn, laughing.
To provide context, Sojourn had labored along with a 142 average as a lefty for three months after suffering an April 1 snowboarding accident in which he broke two bones in his right forearm.
His days as a lefty brought Sojourn under the media microscope for his unselfishness to continue bowling with his league teammates with his off hand. The 51-year-old Sojourn started his first week as a lefty in April by averaging a meager 89, but he steadily built up his left-handed average through the weeks.
His upward trajectory carried him to a stunning 240 game – just six weeks after incurring his injury. It was his career best, righty or lefty, eclipsing his right-handed high by two pins. His series was 521 (152-240-129, 173.7 average) and was more than 40 pins above his previous-best average for a series as a left-hander.
Now, Sojourn is back as a righty and his days as a lefty are definitely over.
Just one month ago as Sojourn was working on restoring his right-handed game, he said:
“It feels really, really good to be back right-handed. I’m throwing it in the pocket with much more consistency. I can’t tell you how good that it feels.
“I was proud I didn’t give up [after the injury]. I was happy with myself that I had a good attitude and definitely put my best left foot forward. But I reached my peak [as a lefty] and for me to get any better would have taken a lot more time. It’s like if you can do something and not do it well, if you practice, you’ll hit a peak.
“And to try to get higher [scores] gets a lot harder. You need a lot more time. It’s like a miler who can run 4 minutes and he’s trying to run 3:50. Ten seconds is huge. It was going to take a long time to get better [as a lefty]. After a few weeks left-handed, I said, ‘This sucks cause I peaked.’ ’’
After bowling his 597, Sojourn said, “I’ve been back right-handed for 50 games and I’ve been peaking the last six weeks. My hand feels really good. And my average is picking up for sure.”
Sojourn credited his teammates for their support.
“I’ve got good teammates. I’ve been with then for four seasons. I’ve never bowled with anyone else.”
Sojourn said his goal is to average 200. “If I could do that for an entire season – from start to finish – I’d be stoked. I think I’m another year away.”
Whether Sojourn hits his 200 average next year, or the following year, or the year afterwards, one thing is sure.
He’s on his way.