How did I get into this pickle anyway?

Curiosity killed the cat…or in this case, the septuagenarian.

Just a few of months ago, after finishing one of my rip-snorting workouts (OK, maybe more like rip-snoring workouts), I was walking past the gym on my way out. Hearing the unmistakable sound of ball meeting paddle, plus loud exhortations from what must have been participants, I popped my head in to observe the commotion. Little did I know that what I was about to witness would become my next obsession.

PB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PickleBall. Yes, I said PickleBall. Rather than trying to explain the vagaries of this unusually named, but exciting sport, I will leave it to the more knowledgeable among us, at this site http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2KNhIgOkXM.

Anyway, no sooner did I duck my head in the door than a very friendly lady walked over (we’ll call her Chris, mainly because that’s her name), smiled and said, “here’s a paddle, follow me.” Thus began a delightful relationship with some of the nicest (and most competitive) folks I have ever met. I was quickly inserted into a game (feeling much like Daniel in the lion’s den) and from there the deal was sealed. Though I had been out of tennis for years due to bad knees, I thought this would be child’s play in comparison.

I soon found I was in the wrong playpen. After my aging body was quickly reintroduced to what a hard floor and wall feel like, I realized the recipe for success in this sport is large portions of finesse with only a pinch of machismo. Those envisioned moments of Nadal-like crowd-pleasing overhead slams morphed quickly into embarrassing whiffs in front of my new-found companions. While they offered words of encouragement like “good try” or “you’ll get the hang of it”,  I could swear I heard muffled chortling in the background.

And believe me, gender makes no difference in the outcome. There are usually more women than men on any given day and as often as not, women will prevail over men (much like life in general, except, of course, that in real life women always prevail). I suspect they are using sports psychology and imagining the ball is their husband, but that is pure conjecture at this point.

I’m somewhat past the embarrassment stage now and even occasionally look like I know what I’m doing. But the upshot of this is that a dream was answered. I have played almost every ball sport imaginable since my youth, but sadly, as my inexorable march toward decrepitness plays out, I have had to give up nearly all of them. Suddenly, along comes PickleBall to reawaken the sleeping inner child. Only this time, it’s no classrooms and all recess!

PickleBall. Try it. It’s a “dilly.”

Your serve.