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Post Pickleball Cookout at Nahola

Posted on June 8, 2020 by under Events, Hobbies.    

Since Nahola has reopened, we’ve resumed our Friday night play. Here are some pictures of the Friday night crew in action.

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It was Greta’s first night rejoining our group so we had a cookout in her honor. Also, Robert who has been filling in became a permanent part of the Friday night crew so this was the first night that we were full string with no subs.

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Brian joined us that night and was our grillmaster.

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People didn’t get the memo about just bringing their own meat and brought meat for everyone to share. We had way too much food.

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Here are some pictures of our group, hanging out on the patio, enjoying our food, wonderful company, and the cool night air.

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This group is so fun. I’m so glad that I’m part of it.

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The funny thing is, I almost wasn’t part of it because, when Debbie started the group late last year and asked me to be part of it, I could not commit because I had just begged David New to open up Friday nights at FLC to lower levels. Originally he had it for 4.0+ and then, after several others including myself convinced him that 3.5 players needed a place to play on Friday night, he opened it up. I wanted to make sure that the attendance was up so I told Debbie I couldn’t join them at Nahola as I would be playing at FLC instead.

Besides contributing to the attendance, FLC had other advantages too. For one, it was cheaper ($3 vs. $10). It was also only a couple of minutes from my office and closer to the house. It was the perfect place for me to play, at the time. Anyway, Debbie kept me on her sub list and would contact me in case a spot was open.

I stayed pretty committed to FLC in the beginning but as the attendance got stronger I felt that my absence wouldn’t be felt so one momentous Friday I finally agreed to fill in at Nahola on Friday night. It was one of those weird nights. I lost every single game I played but I had the most fun ever. I remember calling Brian on the way home and telling him how amazing it was and I hope to get invited again because it was so much fun. I didn’t win a single game but the challenge was stimulating and I enjoyed every minute of it. I asked Debbie to please let me know any time there was a vacancy because I couldn’t wait to play with them again.

I think I didn’t play at FLC again after that because it seemed like someone else was always missing. Then when some people fell out of the group for one reason or another, I ended up becoming permanent.

It cost more to play with the group (we each pay $10 for the court reservation) but the court surface is better — real outdoor court surface vs. wood gym floors at FLC. Also, there’s less waiting in between games. We always have ten people on the roster. Between the two courts, you don’t really have to wait very long for the next game. And, winners always stay so if you’re winning, you rarely have to wait. Winners stay and split is my favorite format. And, Debbie runs a really tight ship. She has a very specific sub list (everyone on her sub list is really good — I was amazed I made the cut) and ensures there’s five women and five men each week.

I’ve actually said to the group many times, “You guys must really like me because you let me play with you even though I suck.” I’ve won some games since that first night but in the beginning I lost more times than I won. It didn’t bother me though because I felt myself growing and getting better each week. This group was actually part of the reason I decided to start lessons. Most people aren’t like me — I can have fun even when I’m losing. For most, they don’t have a good time unless they’re winning so I didn’t want to be that person that nobody wants to play with because you always end up losing when you get paired up with them (because they just suck so bad). I wanted to get better so I would be more fun to play with.

I always joke that I make up for my lack of pickleball skill with cute outfits but cute outfits can only get you so far. If you really suck, no one will want to play with you. So at the beginning of the year, I focused on improving and started weekly lessons with Chris Heck. It’s actually making a difference. I can tell people enjoy playing with me because I am getting invited to play with people I normally wouldn’t play with and, when I ask people to play, they actually consider it instead of laughing me off. Also, I noticed that I can get some shots past the guys sometimes and that feels really good when it happens. And also, I noticed that I can actually keep up with the players who used to have to “baby sit” me when I first started playing.

Anyway, the lessons are paying off. I still need to work on a lot of things and build confidence but I am so much more comfortable now than I was last fall. And, my third-shot drops have gotten better. Everyone I play with on Friday nights is so good, it’s really helped me out a lot. My favorite day of the week will change from time to time (there was a time I absolutely loved Sundays because of all the calories I would burn between teaching multiple workout classes and playing tons of pickleball) but, I have to say, right now, Fridays are the best.

I specially like it now that we are hanging out after playing. The previous weekend, my friend Steve got to fill in because Kimberly and Eric were in Kansas City for the weekend and Brian brought pizza and wings from Ziggy’s for us to enjoy after we finished playing. The weather was perfect that night too.

Friday night pickleball is definitely something I look forward to each week. I guess that’s all I’ve got time to share for now because it’s bed time. Until next time. GNG.

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  • Another Great Pickleball Weekend on July 20, 2020

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