Bowling through straws

2 years 3 months 4 weeks ago Sunday, March 18 2018 Mar 18, 2018 Sunday, March 18, 2018 2:28:00 PM CDT March 18, 2018 in Sports
By: Kevin Levine, KOMU 8 Sports

JEFFERSON CITY - Nina Theroff walked onto Lincoln University's campus for the first time last fall, eager at the adventure that awaited her. More brash than shy, she wasn't about to let anyone or thing stop her latest enterprise.

It was a few weeks into her Freshman semester that she overheard a fellow student mention a bowling team. She stopped and turned in an instant and inquired

"Bowling?" with a sly smile. She had been a veracious bowler for years, and now had the opportunity to compete collegiately.

That same night she emailed Shawn Flanary, coach of the Lincoln women's bowling team, and asked for a tryout.

"I was so nervous about joining the team I forgot to tell him I was blind,' Theroff said.

Theroff was born with Retinitis Pigmentosa, or RP, which often causes tunnel vision. RP is a genetic condition that was passed down from her father to Theroff, and all of her siblings.

"I can't see anything to the side, it's like looking through straws," Theroff said.

Theroff was diagnosed with the condition when she gave birth to her daughter, but was told her condition wouldn't advance to complete blindness until she was in her 60's. But that changed five years ago when Theroff had an accident.

"I decided to get a pedicure from a lawnmower and I ripped off some toes," Theroff said. "It shattered my ankle and severed the nerves through my foot. The nerve medication attacked my eyesight and within 29 days I was legally blind."

Theroff's vision is highly volatile, and can come and go without any explanation.

"I can sneeze and lose my vision for 15 seconds or five days," Theroff said.

But Theroff, armed with her guide-dog and sidekick Tetra, are always ready for another adventure. And her coach is always trying to help prepare her for different situations on the lane.

"There definitely is a challenge to teaching someone who is visually impaired how to bowl," Flanary said. "So we use the limited vision she has to line up her feet and the rest of it has to come through feel."

Theroff is grateful Flanary has adjusted so easily. Some coaches would have issues trying to teach a blind bowler, but she says Flanary has rolled with the punches as well or better than she could have asked for.

"He was like 'Alright, this will be a new challenge' and I was like 'You have no idea.'"

Often times, people have difficulty believing Theroff is blind because of her ability in the alley. She often hears others commenting that she doesn't look like a blind person should, but Theroff just shrugs off the beliefs of others.

"Nobody can tell me what I blind person should look like, and I understand the steroetypes and whatnot. They'll say 'Well you're not blind,'" Theroff said. "Well then let me drive your car. Nobody is yet to let me drive their car, it's very disappointing." 

She may not be able to drive, but people are slowly coming around to the idea that a blind bowler can still find the right lane. 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA – MU is hosting a virtual panel on Thursday to discuss the university’s work in inclusivity. The goal... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 9:57:00 PM CDT July 15, 2020 in Continuous News
JEFFERSON CITY —Two employees from the Missouri House of Representatives have tested positive for COVID-19, according to reporting from KSDK... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 6:18:20 PM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Missouri, state and local officials confirm new case counts daily. ... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 4:30:00 PM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Mike Parson called for a special session focusing on violent crime in Missouri in a press... More >>
15 hours ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 3:42:00 PM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Mayor Brian Treece said the mask ordinance that went into effect last Friday has been an overall success.... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 2:15:00 PM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS— Roger Goldman, a St. Louis University law professor and attorney, has spent 40 years of his career becoming... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 12:53:00 PM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — About 600 customers are without power after a power outage Wednesday, according to a tweet from the Boone... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 12:49:10 PM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — The Sterling Price marker on Moreau Drive in Jefferson City has been in place for more than... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 12:39:00 PM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
Mizzou head football coach Eli Drinkwitz sported his Mizzou gear while talking to the media about recent recruits, wearing a... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 11:55:00 AM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA —MU's head football coach Eli Drinkwitz isn't one to hold back words. During Wednesday's media availability, Drinkwitz spoke... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 11:48:00 AM CDT July 15, 2020 in Continuous News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 11:11:00 AM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A U.S. judge has halted the execution of a federal death row inmate whose lawyers... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 11:02:26 AM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A man died from multiple gunshot wounds early Wednesday morning in Jeff City. The Jefferson City... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 11:00:00 AM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
NEW YORK (AP) — Walmart has become the latest major retailer to require customers to wear face coverings at all... More >>
20 hours ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 10:49:00 AM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
(Missourian) - Schnucks plans to build a grocery store including a CVS pharmacy at the southwest corner of Clark... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, July 15 2020 Jul 15, 2020 Wednesday, July 15, 2020 9:14:30 AM CDT July 15, 2020 in News
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (AP) — A Kansas man who raped and killed a 16-year-old girl and fatally beat an 80-year-old... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 11:00:04 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Schools announced the re-entry plan for the school year on its website Wednesday morning. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 10:42:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Governor Parson signed House Bill 1330 which granted the Heartland Port Authority 116 acres of state owned land.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, July 14 2020 Jul 14, 2020 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 10:00:00 PM CDT July 14, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 69°
8am 70°
9am 74°
10am 77°
11am 80°