Perritti DiVirgilio—known to his friends as Perry—is a proud native Philadelphian and father to three adult children. But to really understand him, you need to know one more thing about Perry: he loves to bowl. A lot.
The 14-year veteran of the sport says bowling fills his itch for healthy competition and offers plenty of other benefits, too.
“I’ve met a lot of my friends through bowling. There is no better way to meet people than through bowling parties and leagues. I have made friends from all over the East Coast,” he said. “You have a chance to do something physical and challenging while enjoying yourself.”
Plus, it’s a year-round sport and not very expensive. So, Perry can play as often as he likes, which for him means at least four times a week. “I’m in four leagues, so I bowl Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and sometimes I compete in tournaments on the weekend.”
Perry–who was born in North Philadelphia and now lives in the Northeast–worked construction for 14 years, then became a business agent and director of work standards for the labor union. Perry’s love of hard work—both in and outside the office—and healthy competition go back to his earliest days.
“I was always an athlete. I played a little bit of baseball, football, a lot of ping pong, a lot of basketball. As I got older, I had some injuries. I was basically unable to play basketball anymore. It was hard for me because I still had that strong yearning to compete.”
Then something happened almost by chance. “Somebody invited me to a bowling party and I had a blast. I had a knack for it. Then I got invited to bowl in a league. I just felt in love with it, and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.”
Now, Perry is a part of the Underground Bowling Association where he claims his specialty moves are talking, bragging, and having as much fun as he possibly can.
Bowling turned out to be the perfect fitness fit for Perry’s lifestyle. “I tried to play golf, but it didn’t fit into my schedule. Bowling starts at six. I get off at five, get here by five-thirty, stretch, play and we’re done by 9 or 9:30 p.m. so I can still get a decent night’s sleep.”
It’s safe to say bowling is something he’s passionate about and committed to. So much so, Perry keeps up his competitive edge on his game by complementing his practice with a workout regimen.
“We’re older. These young kids come in and they throw the ball a million miles an hour. If you’re trying to actually compete, you have to be in some kind of decent shape. So I try to go to the gym two or three times a week.”
How does Perry fit in trips to the gym with a full-time job and a full weeknight roster of bowling?
“I go at lunch time when I can. If I can’t go to the gym I get on my bike maybe before work or in the evening when I come home just to do something physical. I focus on cardio and core, which you need to do to be able to throw a ball with any kind of real force.”
Perry knows all about perpetual motion, so he never stays away from the gym for too long.
“When I stop working out. I don’t feel good. My back stiffens up. The more active I am, the better my condition, the better I feel overall. A lot of guys retire and they sit around and their health starts deteriorating. But if you stay active, you live longer, and I don’t plan on going anywhere anytime soon.”