Friday, November 30, 2018 (Court Day #229)
The tennis elbow arm band I had ordered arrived yesterday, so I had it for use today. The rain stopped but the courts were still wet, so an email was sent out delaying play until 10 a.m. I opted to go a bit early and by the time I arrived at Brommer Park at 9:45, five of the courts already had games going.
Chuck, Dave DiBiase, a woman, and Alan Cable on the near court.
Today would be my first day playing with my new Prince Response Pro paddle. We’ll see how it’s goes over time, but so far I don’t notice a huge difference. It seems that it may have less power, but it was an abnormally windy day today, so that changed the dynamic and made it a bit harder to tell. I do like the longer handle, for sure.
I saw that John P. had signed up in red in a box with Stuart and Kevin. I added my name to that box. Even though they were signed up in red, I knew I could easily hold my own with that group. As we walked o the court, I asked John, “Should we split up?” I was a bit surprised, but he replied, “No, this is fine.” “Ok!” So we played as a team against Kevin and Stuart. We lead the most of the game—if not all of it—and won by a decisive margin. 11-5 or something. Woah. Shocking.
Another Blast from the Past
Fun today was seeing Bob Hansen again who was the UCSC tennis coach and I took a tennis P.E. class or two from him about 30 years ago. I said hello and introduced myself again. I told him the last time I did seen him was at Derby Park and my other tennis P.E. coach Phil Kaplan had been there at the same time. Bob pointed out Josh, a tall older man, who Bob said had married Phil’s sister Sue. Small world!
Playing with a Big Boy
Kevin and I played a couple of games against Bryan and Binh. Bryan is a great player. He’s all control and angles. Bryan passes up winning shots just to keep the game going. If he were playing seriously, many points would be over quickly. I noticed at least two. Of my dropshots were too high, but he simply dinked them back over. One moment of glory was me getting into a volley battle with him at the net and winning the point. I’ll take my wee little victory! I made too many mistakes, I learned over into Kevin’s side of the court to poach a volley and my winner was instead hit into the net. That’ll impress Bryan—not! Inconsistency. Still.
Things has gotten quiet and I made my way to the parking lot at 12:15; I had to head to work. When I turned my key in the ignition, the engine turned over, but wouldn’t catch. I tried again, no dice. And again. Drat. Eddie (female) asked if I needed any help, but I told her I’d be ok. I called for roadside assistance. Visor Tom—whose last name I learned today is Brandow—also checked on me. Mark Creed (Maree’s husband) had driven up and was watching the last two games going on. While waiting, I walked up and said hello. I told him about Bryan passing on winners, Mark said, “Bryan likes to play with you, move you around, draw you out of position, and make you look silly.” (Not in a mean way, of course!) When I meantioned my car, Mark offered a jump. 10 minutes later, my car was running.
I drove right to my wife’s and my regular service garage.
My 2004 Volvo getting dropped off for a fix.
When we walked out to my car, the service tech noticed my tournament T-shirt. With a smile, he said, “Pickleball.” I told him I’d been playing nearby at the park. “I haven’t played in many years, but we played it during P.E. in high school.”
The tech called me a Uber and I was on my way home, pickleball gear in tow!
My elbow hurt a couple of times on shots today. I’m not doing slice shots since my brain/body revolt at the thought. I suspect that they know it would hurt. It hurts most when I lock my elbow or straighten my arm then clench my fist.
Overall, ok play today. Not where I want it to be, I made far too many unforced errors. Still, as I’ve been thinking lately, if I were to play a version of myself from a year ago, I’d kick that version’s butt! Gradual but definite improvement.
Number of days on a court: 229
Number of total hours: 626.5
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