Nearly two years ago, I submitted a post introducing you to my new passion, pickleball. Since that time, I must confess it has morphed very quickly into an addiction. There are seven recreation centers located in Virginia Beach. Between them all, pickleball courts are available every day of the week. With very few exceptions, I am an attendee at every session. All things in my life that require calendar scheduling now revolve around the pickleball times. Doctor appointments, volunteer commitments, getting together with friends, housework and yard work ( especially housework and yard work) and meals are all subjugated by the previously latent, but now aroused pickler in me.
I am not alone in this addiction. I can pretty much count everyone that I play with as a fellow addict. For that reason we have founded a support group to help each other with this addiction. I thought you might like to pry open the door and listen to what one of our typical meetings sounds like…..
Host: “Welcome to our meeting of Picklers Anonymous. Before we begin, let’s read together our 12-step program:”
1. We admit we are powerless over pickleball, but that’s OK.
2. We have come to believe that a power serve greater than our opponent will win the match.
3. We have made a decision to turn our lives over to the God of Pickleball, and acknowledge that he/she alone can hit a drop shot off a fast, low serve.
4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of our shot repertoire and found it wanting.
5. We admit to ourselves, the God of Pickleball and another human being that we have occasionally called an opponent’s shot out when it actually was in.
6. We freely admit we are not quite yet ready to have the God of Pickleball remove all these defects of character.
7. We are ready to ask him/her to remove our shortcomings, especially that spin shot that we can’t seem to get over the net.
8. We will make a list of all persons that we have beaten and rubbed their noses in it, and avoid them as long as possible.
9. We will be willing to make insincere apologies to those people when they finally do catch up with us.
10. We will continue to take personal inventory and in every instance where we cheated, make every effort to conceal that fact.
11. Through prayer and meditation, we will seek to improve our conscious contact with the God of Pickleball and by sucking up to him/her, hope to be rewarded with an indefensible overhead smash shot.
12. Having had a type of ethereal awakening as regards our abilities due to these steps, we vow to not carry this message to other picklers as “leveling the playing field” is not in our best interests.
Host: “OK, who would like to speak? Al?”
Me: “Hi, I’m Al and I’m a pickleholic.”
Others: “So, what’s the problem?”
Me: “Nothing really. I just wondered if anyone here could help me with my lob shot. It seems to be going long lately.”
Others: “Forget it. Only wimps hit a lob shot anyway.”
Me: “OK. But I’m not getting as many of my serves in lately, either.”
Others: “And we should care because?”
Host: “Is there anything else you’d like to get out of this meeting, Al?”
Me: “Yes., I’d like to get out by 4:00 o’clock, Bow Creek recreation center has a court open at 4:15.”
Host: “Alright, let’s close the meeting by reciting the picklers’ serenity prayer:”
Group: “God of Pickleball, grant me the serenity to accept that my partner missed an incredibly easy dink shot, the courage to stand at the net and return a 100 mph smash shot, and the wisdom to call ball interference when my opponent hits a winner.”
DISCLAIMER: I would like to say that this particular post is in no way intended to make light of AA. I admire and respect those who might be attending AA as a way to get their lives back on track. It is a profoundly effective and altruistic organization. I doubt I could ever muster the will power that so many show on a daily basis.
Dear Mr Pickleballer,
Why pickle? Why pickleball? Why? WHY?
I tried Pickle Ball once – played against the grand children. They decided the skills I once had in badminton – when I was much younger – were not transferable to pickle ball.
We accept ex-badminton players at all our meetings….as long as you bring the donuts.
I loved the article, Al. I’m so glad Leslie passed the link on to the group. I can’t wait to get through rehab (PT, not AA) and get back on the court!
Have missed you too, Lenore. It will be nice to see you back on the court (and at meetings, of course).
You do have a talent for poking fun at a perfectly normal and upstanding sport…all in all Al I thoroughly enjoyed it. Stand up comedy next?
You see my standup comedy routine every time I play pickleball.
Lol! Well, we all have our addictions now don’t we? At least yours involves good exercise. It looks like ping pong played out on a big court. Is that accurate? Bet it’s fun!
Pretty close, Tricia. Many people say it’s like a cross between ping pong and tennis. Thanks for commenting!
Forgive me, Al. Anything with the word “pickle” in it is asking for a chuckle (I bet that’s one of your fancy co-the-court moves)! “Hey, nice chuckle on the ball, Al!”
I’m happy you’ve found something that delights you and during which you can legitimately wear your short-shorts while brandishing about a paddle. As for your addiction, I’d say the meetings are only encouraging you. Maybe you need some slogans. They always seems to help, if only to fancify your bumper (car, not, well, you know). Let’s see: Let go, and let fly? There but for the grace of the ace serve, go I. Work the paddle. Maybe you could have tee-shirt made… 😉
Usually the chuckle comes from the other players when I completely whiff on a shot. I’d send you a picture of me in my short shorts, but WordPress has a strict policy on porn.
I’ll dare to dream if you dare to get censored! 😉
AA, NA, Al-Anon, Overeater’s Anon….why not pickleball?
Yes, and we actually get chips for missing meetings.
Potato or pickle?
LOL. You’ve been following my blog too long, Dianne!
Hilarious! Is Patty now a pickeball widow?
Hey Cindy Lou! You won’t believe it, but I’ve gotten her started at playing. She’s enjoying it.
Mixed doubles! Great fun. Mine! Yours!
Right, just to put things in perspective I wasn’t sure if you had actually made this game up so I had to google it first to make so it wasn’t another of your crazy inventions. Now I’m reduced to apologising for not taking it seriously, and wondering if there is a chance that this clearly taxing sport might appear at the next Olympics.
I expect it will be someday, Peter. Unfortunately, I’ll still be at home conducting meetings.
My mother always warned me to stay far away from an aroused pickler – I’m a good girl.
Seriously, though – good for you!
OK, but just remember, you might be missing a pickle ball.
Well it works when you work it! Pickle On Dude!
Workin it, babe. Really workin it!
Wow, y’all are a competitive bunch! I’ll pray for deliverance.
Thanks, but don’t pray too hard, OK?
I’m an enabler.