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Looking Back at 2021

Posted on January 27, 2022 by under Life.    

A bunch of friends at the PPA Carvana Desert Ridge Open this week which brings back memories of when I was there last year for PPA Foot Solutions Arizona Open, which this year is at the new Bell Bank Park at the Legacy Sports Complex in Mesa, AZ. Anyway, this got me reflecting on 2021 as a whole.

I am a little bit sad that 2021 is basically just a continuation of 2020 and I haven’t traveled out of the country at all since our Mexico trip in late 2019. I went to some tournaments out of state but we really didn’t get to do any international travel. We were going to break the cycle in January this year but the Jamaica trip ended up falling through — because COVID ruins everything.

Despite failed plans, 2021 wasn’t all bad. I finally got participate in some big tournaments, which I had originally planned to do in 2020 but couldn’t because everything was canceled when the pandemic brought the world to a screeching halt.

I also participated in some tournaments closer to home like one in Lenexa and another in Great Bend. I played with my friend Ramon Lozano in both who is the main reason I actually did them. The one in Lenexa is means a lot to me because it was my first 4.0+ tournament and we actually beat some really good teams.

I played in a couple of tournaments in Oklahoma, which I have decided is the state that runs the best tournaments because you get fed lunch and they provide lots of snacks. The first one was called Picklemania (at Lifetime Athletics) and it was non-sanctioned and the second was PC Smash (Gene Click’s tournament) and that one is sanctioned by USA Pickleball so even though it’s not a regional tournament, it’s totally legitimate one.

Speaking of tournaments, I intentionally participated in the ICT Tournaments last year (unlike in 2020 when I ended up playing because one of the guys mixed partners fell through, so I played as a stand in) and got my first ICT medal.

I think my entire year revolved around pickleball, which is not entirely unusual because when I get into something I really go all out — much like I did with Zumba. There was a whole decade of my life that was pretty much dedicated to all things Zumba.

Other pickleball-related things that happened last year include:

Speaking of hanging out with friends, late in 2021 (before Omicron happened), things were almost returning back to normal and I feel like people were starting to feel comfortable gathering again. I actually got to see my Leadership Wichita classmates a few times last year. Tallgrass Film Festival was back and had in person viewings and parties. Zach Hyatt (Brian’s cousin) and Krystle (now also Hyatt) finally had their wedding.

I think with more people getting vaccinated, people started feeling more comfortable and maybe even a little complacent. After my bout with COVID in 2020 (natural immunity) and getting shots 1 and 2, I have to say, I was feeling pretty invincible until some of my friends started getting COVID. Some of them were vaccinated.

By the way, as paranoid as Brian is about getting sick, he was super reluctant to get vaccinated and only got his shots because he wouldn’t be able to leave country. So even though we didn’t get to go to Jamaica this month as planned, at least Brian got vaccinated as a result. I got my booster shot a few weeks ago to protect myself because it seemed like all of my pickleball friends were catching COVID. Brian still hasn’t had his booster and I think he’s still on the fence about it.

So far, we managed to get through 2021 without catching COVID again (that we know of). I think one encounter with COVID is enough for me.

Nothing too exciting happened last year, other than I got to play a lot of pickleball. After ringing in the new year at pickleball tournament in St. Louis this month, I’m not joking when I say I have even more pickleball planned this year.

Stay tuned! GNG.

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