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League Recap

Posted on November 6, 2019 by under Hobbies.    

I normally would have pickleball league tonight but the season is, unfortunately, over. I am so sad. It went by so quickly. Anyway, I had such a great time playing with my partner Renee (pictured below) in my first league experience ever that we decided to play together again next season.

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I wasn’t too sure about being in the Intermediate level at first but it was the one that Renee had signed up for already and I was simply joining to be her partner. I thought, even though I’d never been in a pickleball league before, I can pretty much hold my own with my pickleball friends who have been playing longer than me and I wanted to be challenged so I didn’t really mind being in Intermediate. This season proved to me that I’m in the correct level of competition.

Renee and I actually had a pretty good track record going into the tournament on the final night of our league. Our team, Heavy Dinkers, played against 12 different teams and only had 3 losses. Two of those losses were when I had a sub fill in for Renee so in all actuality we really only had 1 loss while playing together.

I felt really good about our chances until she told me that she had to be out of town for work during the week of our tournament night. You can’t get a sub who is better than your partner and we’d been playing really well together so I was super bummed. However, I did find someone to fill in who I felt complemented my style and would have a good chance with. We were all set for Wednesday when a work emergency cut Renee’s trip short. She would be back in time for the tournament after all. I felt bad about canceling on my sub but I was happy to have Renee back. I really wanted to see how well we could do together.

So, what happened last week? Well, we didn’t win it but I was happy with the way we played over all. We won our first match but were in the same pool as my friends Becci and Bev (BeBe Picklers) who are both very good. I think we had a good chance against them but we made some mistakes and ended up getting eliminated from the main bracket early. We didn’t do too bad in the consolation bracket. We won our first few matches and were steadily clawing our way back up until we ran into team Haylo. Both players were leaps and bounds more competitive than the rest of the field and Renee and I struggled to get it together. We lost that match and that was the end of our tournament journey.

I think Haylo ended up winning the tournament so I don’t feel too shabby about being eliminated by them. I feel like we had a really strong team and lost to the only two teams better than us (by my extremely biased calculation, anyway).

I improve each time I play so I’m really looking forward to this next season coming up. Now that we’ve had some games together, I think my partnership with Renee is only going to get stronger. They better be ready for us next season because we will be in it to win it! Until then, GNG.

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Oh, Happy Day

Posted on November 5, 2019 by under Zumba.    

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A friend of mine took a bunch of photos of me while teaching my Monday night Zumba class at VASA Fitness a few weeks ago. I thought my faces were funny so I made a collage out of the pics. LOL.

Anyway, VASA opened a second location in Wichita last week. The new location is at 21st and Woodlawn where the Extreme Racing go kart place (and Hobby Lobby before that) used to be. I picked up a few classes which start this week.

My new VASA (Woodlawn) classes are as follows:

  • Zumba on Tuesdays at 6:00 PM
  • Aqua Zumba on Thursdays at 6:00 PM
  • Aqua Zumba on Saturdays at 9:00 AM

This is on top of my existing classes:

  • Zumba on Mondays at 6:30 PM at VASA (Georgetown)
  • Zumba on Saturdays at 10:30 AM at Andover YMCA
  • Aqua Zumba on Sundays at 10:30 AM at South YMCA
  • Aqua Zumba on Sundays at 12:00 PM at North YMCA
  • Zumba on Sundays at 2:00 PM at Andover YMCA

Notice anything missing? Yup. I had to get rid of my classes at Genesis Health Clubs to make room. I cannot be more thrilled though, because now I’ll get to stay pretty much on the same side of town. I will miss my awesome mermaids at Genesis West Central for sure but this new schedule works so much better for me. It will work even better in December when Brynden takes over the 10:30 AM Sunday Aqua Zumba class at South YMCA.

I’m not expecting a big crowd tonight for the Tuesday night Zumba class because it’s a brand new facility and people may not know about it yet but, if you want to join the fun, you can get a free trial pass here: https://vasafitness.com/trial. And, of course, existing VASA members are always welcome. See you tonight!

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The Gatsby Gala

Posted on November 4, 2019 by under Events.    

Here are some pictures from the Gatsby Gala last month, a United Way of the Plains Young Leaders Association event.

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I became part of the group when I started donating $1000 to the United Way in my 30s. I’m actually too old for the group now but I’m not turning down a fun party invitation. I probably won’t be going to any more of the Young Leaders’ events in the future though, because Brian and I were literally the oldest people there. LOL.

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Here are some pics from the event.

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Our friend Joe (Carrabba’s Italian Grill) catered the event.

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He is the best! He hooked us up with tickets to the American Cancer Society’s Cattle Baron’s ball again this year.

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Despite feeling out of place for being old, Brian and I had a great time. My mantra has always been, “Never miss a party if you can help it.” However, this may be one to miss going forward. Just cause I’m not “young” anymore. After all, I did celebrate my second 21st birthday this week.

BTW, the dress I’m wearing in this photo is from Southern Fried Chics, my new favorite online boutique. I love this dress so much that I got two more exactly like it — just in different colors/prints.

I love the style of this dress because it’s dress but still kind of casual. The cut is super comfortable. Feels like a muumuu (so you don’t have to wear Spanx or suck your gut in all night) while looking sophisticated. It is the perfect party dress so I can eat all I want and just let my hair down. LOL.

The blog is still about a month behind. I will try to get y’all caught up while we are on vacation so we can start with our trip recaps when we come back.

Until next time. GNG.

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Bob Jackson Friendship Tournament

Posted on November 3, 2019 by under Hobbies.    

Bob Jackson passed away in August 2017, long before I discovered pickleball. I kind of wish I would have had an opportunity to meet him. He seemed like an amazing man. I still hear people talk about him today.

Not having met him, all I know is that he loved pickleball. He taught pickleball for the Wichita Parks & Rec department and was a great ambassador for the sport. Those who knew him continue to honor his legacy by hosting an annual Bob Jackson Friendship Tournament. We had the third one this year and I was honored to participate in it for the first time.

I hadn’t been participating in tournaments because I personally didn’t think I was ready. I’m a bit competitive and I wanted to hone my pickleball skills and improve some more before actually playing in one. However, my friend Michael invited me to be his parter for this one which honors a great man and it isn’t sanctioned so it seemed like a good place to start to get my feet wet. (BTW, I’m not counting the pickleball event during the Wichita Corporate Challenge because I was doing that for work and it was just kind of a free for all. You didn’t compete according to your skill level and it was just a fun thing for local corporations to do.)

In the Bob Jackson Friendship Tournament, they had 3.5 and below and 4.0 and above. I’ve considered myself a 3.0 for a long time since I started playing regularly so I didn’t mind Michael signing us up for 3.5 and below. It was actually spot on.

The weather did not cooperate that day. It rained on and off which really threw off the schedule but we got to play some games (some we won, some we lost) and had a lot of fun. And, we honored a great man while raising money for a good cause — lights for the pickleball courts at Edgemoor Park. Oh, and Michael and I looked legit in our team outfits.

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I had recently bought a paddle similar to his so we had matching shirts and paddles! The shirts were Michael’s idea. He got a “Cobra Kai” shirt (it’s the name of the dojo in the Karate Kid movie) from Target a while back and he said they still had some so if I got one then we could wear matching shirts for the tournament. I thought the motto “Strike Hard, Strike Fast, No Mercy” kind of applied to our pickleball strategy and I was just nerdy enough to go along with it. LOL.

I’m not sure how much Michael paid for his shirt but Brian got our shirts for $10 (Brian got one for himself too – he’s like our team manager – LOL). I just looked on the Target website and the shirts are on sale for $8 right now.

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The tournament had a great turnout, despite the weather. This actually isn’t everyone. This is maybe a third (or half at best) of the people who were there. I don’t know that there’s one thing we can attribute to the level of participation for this event. I think part of it is that Bob Jackson is loved and respected by those who knew him and they continue to honor his memory to this day. Part of it is, for those of us who didn’t know him, we just love pickleball so much that we want the sports exponential growth in our area to continue. And, finally, we really want to raise money for lights at the park.

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Here are a few more photos from that day.

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This is my friend Matt. He organized a cookout during the tournament and just helped support the tournament altogether to keep things going.

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I don’t know if I ever told the story of Matt. I met him a couple of years ago through a YMCA staff ping pong tournament. I credit him for my pickleball addiction. When I discovered pickleball last year, I didn’t really know where to play. I didn’t have any friends who played pickleball so I didn’t really know where to begin. He invited me to play pickleball at West YMCA. It’s where I learned the basics of the game and things haven’t been the same ever since. The struggle I had finding places to play and people to play with is actually why we started the pickleball group on Facebook earlier this year (Wichita Pickleball Connection). Selfishly, I wanted an easy way to find people to play with and places to play but the group is actually beneficial to all those new to the sport. Those who want to try the game but don’t have anyone in their friendship circle who plays pickleball can just post on the group and are immediately invited to games. Our pickleball community is amazing!

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BTW, Michael and I weren’t the only ones to sport matching outfits at the tournament. Huyen and Crystal wore matching shirts too.

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As did Bill and Trixie. It’s because great minds think alike!

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Here are a few more pics from the event.

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A couple more matching outfits…

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It was a great day overall and a wonderful first tournament experience. I can’t wait to sign up for the next one!

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Haus of Brews 2019

Posted on October 26, 2019 by under Events.    

Haus of Brews turned out pretty well despite the weather not cooperating. I had several coworkers come out to support the event so that was great. Some friends who I hoped would come didn’t make it this year so that was a bit of a bummer. And, Haus of Brews being on the same weekend as the Franklin Pickleball Masters event made for a really hectic weekend for us. But we managed to get through it and had a great time. Here are some pics.

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