We’ve played a lot of pickleball and, God willing, we will play more. And we’ve played our share of tournaments and won a few. Fact is, once upon a time we had pretty lofty goals. We were both gonna reach 5.0. We’d be one of the best mixed teams in the 70+ bracket (Man Plans, God Laughs).
But…gotta admit it…things are changing a bit. Tournaments especially don’t seem as fun any more, and the idea of hanging around one all day is less and less attractive. And the quality of play…OMG, we were never the best players on the courts in our best days, and now, with the “kids” (which to us is anyone under 55 and most definitely includes the 20-somethings to the 40-anythings) re-inventing the game every week or so….the quality of play rocks beyond anything we’ll be able to duplicate. So this puts a little more of a reality-check on our competitive goals. As does how much more we hurt after playing a few hours, which friends have said is associated with age, although we of course regularly deny
But when a door closes a bit, another one opens a crack. These days we find that our various inter-community venues at Palm Creek (where we winter) are becoming our favorite competitions. This spells out the beauty of well-organized and evenly-matched competition…the dozens of 4.5/5.0 players locally can all keep up, and it’s a great day for either or more rarely both of us if we win even the majority of the 6 to 8 games we might play, it’s been a mighty fine day, and if we don’t win the majority of our games well, it’s still been a mighty fine day, competing as hard as we can with these people who have now become our friends. .
So the competitive spirit is there but changing. And is that a bad thing, this change? We’re thinking….not so much. But it does make us wonder what the next step on our pickleball journey will be. Apparently all these plans we made will wind up leading us somewhere different, and maybe that’s a good thing.