Sunday, April 30, 2017 (Court Day #22)
I got to Derby Park at 9 sharp. It was sunny and in the high 50s, destined to give way to a very warm day. The Nets were mostly up. I warmed up with John P. and found myself in a game a few minutes later when Maree and her husband arrived.
Mark and I moved on and played with Jerry Louis (my partner) and Paule (Mark’s). Paule is a solid player—better than me—though it’s hard to get her to smile. I’d never dream of asking to play with Jerry, so kudos to Mark for making that happen. Playing with Jerry is watching advanced skill. His ball placement is exceptional. I played a second game against him and when he finally made an error (a shot into the net), I told him, “Jerry! You are human! This ball must contain Kryptonite!” He’s really good. I’m looking forward to his class in June. That will be fun and educational.
I played games with and against Bruce. Bruce is a natural athlete. Maybe it’s all the years of playing basketball. Regardless, he’s quick and can rocket the ball. He can also hit it out of bounds on occasion with those! But I f I were picking partners, I’d take Bruce over me. I still make too many errors.
A Game with Tom & Terri
Young Tom L., who I hadn’t seen for a about month, reappeared for the day, though his friend Ileana was nowhere to be seen. Tom and I took on Marie and a very tan tall thin woman named Terri whom I’d never met. Terri said she spends only half the year in Santa Cruz. There were three notable things from that game.
First, Terri is a very respectable player. I’d better than me. (That’s still a common thing.)
Second, I’ve outstripped Tom in terms of abilities. A few weeks into Pickleball, we were similar. In this game, however, t was blatant the difference in skill level. After the game, Tom said, “Wow! You’ve really improved!” I told him, “I’ve been playing a lot. Today was day 21 or 22 on the courts. A week or so ago, I played five times in eight days!” He countered, “I’ve only been able to play once a week.” Unfortunately, he also shared that he’s moving to Fremont and likely won’t be back to play in Santa Cruz. I shook his hand as an acknowledgement.
Third, there was an amusing point. Marie was celebrating a winning passing shot off to my right down the sideline. One small problem. I managed to just get to it and returned it over the net! Shocked, the best she could do was get her paddle on it and return it into the net! Laughing, I chided her, “Don’t count your chickens!”
The session wrapped up just after noon. Stuart was hanging out waiting for Melody to get back so he couldt give her a lesson in singles. The Bay Area Senior Games are next weeeknd. Dave (former neighbor) and John were playing a lot together today in preparation for that event. And an ther first today. I drove away without my GoPro and had to turn back about halfway home. Fortunately, it’s only about a six minute drive to the courts! I think Stuart was amused!
After spending three full hours playing pickleball, I spent the following seven hours building a raised garden bed for my wife. Needless to say, I was beat by the end of the day! Nothing like lifting heavy boards, drilling, screwing, shoveling to wear you down!
The garden box. It’s ok, we didn’t have room for
a pickleball court in our backyard anyway!
Unfortunately, due to work travel and schedule, it’ll be at least until next Sunday before I can play again. I’m toying with bringing my paddle just to bounce a ball on it. Probably not though. Oh, and I’m getting calluses on the inside edge of my right thumb knuckle and the inside edge of my right index finger. Yep. Pickleball paddle!
Oh, and a first today. Or an almost first. I successfully pulled off an “around the post” winner shot! Except, our opponent called her own shot out! (It was very close so I hit it back anyway.) So, it didn’t count. Rats. Next time!
Number of days on a court: 22
Number of total hours: 63.5