He may be stuck in isolation, but Jason Belmonte is back in town.
The five-time Professional Bowlers Association Player of the year and greatest tenpin bowler of all time returned from the US last week and is undergoing the mandatory 14-day self isolation period.
However, Belmonte's not alone in isolation, alongside his wife Kimberly and kids Aria, Hugo and Sylvie who were able to watch him bowl professionally for the first time a few weeks ago.
But Belmonte hasn't taken a break from touring, instead morphing into a new teacher for the three kids, who are being put through their paces by a stringent homeschooling schedule.
While it's nice to be back, the champion bowler would have loved to stay on tour and capitalise his stunning form - Belmonte was having another cracking season, which saw the 36-year-old capture PBA titles number 23 and 24 in February and March.
"As it stands right now, my season's been fantastic," Belmonte said.
"We still had quite a few events left to go. I was scheduled to come back on April 8 and would stayed over there longer if the events went well."
2020 marks two decades on the tour for Belmonte as he typically spends half the calendar year travelling and the other half at Orange training and spending time with his family.
While he used to get excited about visiting certain cities and parts of the world in his 20s, it's all business for Belmo nowadays and the feeling of being a tourist has worn off.
"To be honest I don't really want to travel anywhere," he said.
"I enjoy what I do for a living, I love competing but the travel is a long way from Australia and with three kids and a wife, it takes a toll on you. I just want to hit the lanes and win tournaments.
"I've been to nearly 50 countries multiple times each year and when you're younger and going to a new city it's exciting but the excitement doesn't exist for me anymore now."
With his tour cut short and plenty of free time on the horizon, you'd think Belmo would be straight back to his parent's Orange Tenpin Bowl centre but he doesn't see a benefit in constantly training and thinks if you do too much of one thing it can have a negative impact.
"I'm a firm believer in burning yourself out," he said.
"If you do anything every single day, all the time, it can hinder your internal drive.
"You need to find that spark and that passion and I never want it to be something that I don't want to do. I always want to be excited about training.
"I've bowled 314 games so far this year so coming back from overseas, I'm going to make sure I don't touch a bowling ball for quite some time. It's been a hectic schedule."
As for now, the focus is on homeschooling the kids throughout the isolation period and Jason and Kimberly seem to have their roles down pat.
"I'm the PE teacher and I do a little bit of maths as well. My wife organises a lot of the modules from online so we're teaching them the right stuff," he said.
"The kids are pretty busy... we've got a proper schedule lined out."
Usually kids take after their parents and even though his two girls haven't warmed to tenpin bowling like their father has, Hugo's competitive side has blossomed and Belmo thinks he's the most likely to follow in his footsteps.
"He loves getting strikes," he said.
"If the girls leave the lanes coming last they don't mind but if Hugo comes last the look on his face is like someone's kicked his dog.
"He bowls two-handed... I didn't tell him to do that but he just decided to bowl like dad."
The Belmo brand keeps Jason busy when the kids are at school or he's not training and he's branched out from selling caps and shirts.
"I've got a video game, bowling balls that I've collaborated and the idea is to move it onto sneakers and also some documentary type content," he said.
"There's lots going on in the background and I'm trying to expand my mind into more and more items."
For now, Belmonte's back at Orange and won't be competing in any events until the COVID-19 wave slows down but when the PBA tour kicks off again, you can be sure to see Belmo hitting strikes left, right and centre.
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