Monday, January 23, 2017

I thought I wasn't athletic, until I tried Pickleball!

I've been looking for a sport recently, and decided to try badminton, since I like racquet sports (though I never got really into tennis). It turns out there's a badminton center nearby, and they offered drop-in classes, so I took one after the first of the year. It turned out pretty well, I enjoyed it, and the instructor was good.

But over the weekend, a friend of mine had gone to the local community center, where they have drop-in pickleball, and told me I should try that. I went, and people were friendly and welcoming, teaching me the ropes and including me in games right away. I'm fairly coordinated, so I was able to play at a basic level right away. I had a total blast! Now I'm in love with it.

The funny thing is, I've tried pickleball a few times already, but didn't stick with it. I had heard about pickleball years ago, and went to a drop-in pickleball session at the Mercer Island community center. It was fine, but the level of play was fairly high, and people weren't all that welcoming to a new player. Which is fine, they were there to play, and not necessarily teach newbies. I should have persisted, but I didn't. Then a few years ago, a friend of mine who's really into pickleball took me to an outdoor court, showed me the ropes, and we played a bit. And still — I didn't pursue it anymore. There was still the "what next?" question — how to actually play with people (besides my friend, who lives a distance away).

Why is it that this time, I've really gotten into it? A couple reasons, really. One is that once I got up the courage to actually go, the players at the community center drop-in pickleball session were really friendly and made it easy for me to start up. Even though it took some guts to walk up to a bunch of strangers and essentially say, "please teach me pickleball", it was very much rewarded. Also, I've really been longing for a physical activity that involves winning and loosing — it just makes it so much more interesting than activities like swimming.  Also, the community center is really close by, and lots of people go for the drop-in pickleball, so there's plenty of people to play with.


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