Life lesson: 'You can't bowl looking backwards because you can't fix it'

Life lesson: 'You can't bowl looking backwards because you can't fix it'

NORTH BEND, Ore. -- Debbie Cramer is paying it forward.

The North Bend bowler was told as a child her back was too damaged from a car accident to ever bowl again.

After two pros showed her the ropes all over again, she got herself to a point where she could make a difference to others. "I've taught lots of people, and for me, I call it the "Ah-Ha" moment," Debbie said. "It's when you teach and teach and teach, and work and work and work, and then all of a sudden everything comes to life."

More than 75 children are learning to bowl in the after school program at North Bend Lanes.

Cramer, a former bank manager, is passing on the gift of bowling just like it was given to her after a bad car accident years ago. "They never asked me for anything. So for me, that's my passion, to teach people how to bowl. I love to pay that forward because I feel it was given to me as a gift that's taken me a long way."

One of Debbie's students, Michael Villers, was inducted into the South Coast Bowling Hall of Fame, as the youngest person to bowl a perfect game.

He has a lot of respect for his mentor. "She's amazing," he said. "She's been a really big help, and I'm glad to have her as a coach."

Debbie also tops the charts, and was recently named 'Best Bowler in the bay area.'

As for the game, Debbie says it can teach everyone a lesson, not just about throwing a ball down the lane, but about life. "The only thing you can do is go up and throw the next best ball that you can. You can't bowl looking backwards because you can't fix it, you can't change it," she said.

If you would like to learn the secrets of the sport from the best bowler in the bay, Debbie says she's willing to teach anyone who walks through the door.