Oh man, Arnie! That's really something! I remember playing pickleball in my PE class in highschool and it was always one of my favorite units. You're right that it was always more intense than I thought it would be. Props to you for being adventurous and trying something new, and to your wife for really getting into the spirit! (Even if it was a little tooooo far, haha)
This past weekend I also did a little adventuring - not with something 100% new to me, but sorta. While my partner and I both like to ride bikes, she much more prefers dirt and gravel, while I like clear and smooth road rides. On Sunday, we did a ride called Pastry-Bike-Pastry. You guessed it: we rode some miles, stopped for a donut, rode some more miles, stopped for a donut, then rode back to the start. I wasn't exactly set up for success (the wind was horrible, it was cold, and by the end, it was a little rainy), but I had a bit of an epiphany while I was riding:
I've been thinking about gravel riding like eating brocoli: if I try it enough, I will eventually like it. I just have to get used to it.
But really, riding gravel is like eating beets: It doesn't matter how many times I try them, I DO NOT like beets.
Now, this doesn't mean I don't eat beets ever. If I'm at someone's house and they serve a dish with beets, I'll have some because I don't want to be rude. Similarly, I pushed through that ride because I knew my partner was having a great time. But from now on, I'll say "no, thank you" if I have a choice ahead of time.
I find myself pulling lessons like this from a lot of strange places, and get myself through things that frustrate me by thinking about them in a different light.
Anyone else have a brain that works similarly? I'm super interested to hear your stories!
Sent: 05-03-2022 12:19
From: Arnie Grahl
Subject: Who knew pickleball could be so dangerous?
I've been hearing about pickleball for some time now. I have a brother-in-law who plays and the topic has come up here and there. Last summer, my wife and I even decided to drive around and check out some of the courts that have cropped up in our area. Surprisingly, or maybe not so given that it's not all that new a trend, there were a fair number. They come in a couple varieties mostly -- tape placed over a normal tennis court to delineate the smaller parameters of the pickleball court or a bonified set aside court with its own net and "kitchen" area.
For Christmas, I decided to buy the family a pickleball set. But the Chicago area is no place to play pickleball (at least outdoors) from about January through April, when it sort of, kind of, starts to get warm again.
So this past Friday afternoon, my wife and I decided to head out on an adventure and take a stab at this new sport, after having versed ourselves on the how to mechanics via several YouTube videos.
We both have previously played tennis. But it's been awhile. And pickleball only sort of plays like tennis.
The ball bounces differently. It was a very windy day. And neither of us were super quick to pick up the coordination of whiffle ball object meets paddle.
On one particular volley, the last for reasons that will soon become obvious, my wife overextended, proceeded to do an almost cartoon-looking tumble (at least when viewed in the slow motion speed my brain was observing it in) and landed in the chain link fence surrounding the court. She now has a nice bruise on her arm and a sore shoulder that will take time to heal.
I can't say for sure that this will be our only and last endeavor into pickleball.
But I do have a new appreciation for potential dangers of the sport.