NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. -- A Milwaukee-area man who dreamed of becoming a professional bowler from a young age was able to live out that dream, competing at the Bowlero Elite Series in North Brunswick, New Jersey.
"It's me and the pins...and the lane," said Torry Henderson.
A quick blow into the thumb hole of his bowling ball creating a tighter fit, Henderson's in the zone when he's bowling.
"Everything else, you have to drown out around you," said Henderson. "You have to focus on repetitive shots, and just focus on the task in front of you, and just hope for the best every time you throw a shot."
That technique came from tens of thousands of hours in bowling centers.
"Bowling has been part of my life since I was 4," said Henderson.
Discovering his love for the game so early in life turned out to be life-changing.
"I was in a bowling center sun up, sun down, and I just stayed at it," said Henderson. "So when all my other friends were getting in trouble in the streets, I was actually in a bowling center."
The sport allowed him to dream big.
"I told my mom when I was a kid, 'I'm going to be a pro bowler,'" said Henderson. "She was like, 'I know you love the sport, but are you dedicated to it?' And I was like, 'Mom, I'm going to be a pro bowler.'"
However, life got in the way, putting Henderson's dream on hold. While he works two jobs, he also works on his game as though he's a pro. Meanwhile, he helps children who are like he was when he was little.
"I do give lessons to the children," said Henderson. "I also donate bowling balls, equipment. I would give my shirt off my back to help someone, and help them push further in what they want to do. That's what brings me joy."
That passion revived the dream he once thought was gone, landing him in the Bowlero Elite Series in New Jersey, with a chance to win $100,000.
"It's a series that Bowlero Corp. as a whole came up with to give amateurs a shot to bowl with the pros and bowl against the pros," said Henderson. "To be asked to be able to bowl this tournament and picked, it's an honor and it's a blessing, and I'm taking it in stride."
Understandably, he said there were nerves, but with 14 sanctioned 300 games under his belt, rolling a good game could have changed everything.
"No matter how much stress you have in the world, you can find peace in everything you do, and I find peace when I'm bowling," said Henderson. "To win it would come full circle to what I told my mom, that one day I would be at the top of the mountain in what I wanted to do and try to do, so all your hard work and all the sleepless nights of driving me to tournaments, you never wasted them. They were always there. It just took a little longer for me to get there."
Henderson's dream didn't completely come true, however, he was able to compete -- losing in the first round of the Bowlero Elite Series.