Thursday, March 28, 2019 (Court Day #250)
While driving home after work, I was thinking that I was really tired. I was thinking, “Do I really want to go to pickleball?” Of course, once I get there, I always have a good time. I greeted my wife, my son and his friend, quickly changed and drove off at 6:50 p.m.
I was almost to the freeway exit for Scotts Valley when the sky opened up. I remember this happening once before—that time, I took the exit, crossed the overpass, then back onto the onramp headed for home.
This time, as I sat at the traffic light waiting to U-turn back on the freeway for home, I changed my mind. There was blue sky toward the courts. The rain had been heavy but short. I turned left onto an adjoining road, went down a ways to turn around back on the intersection so I could continue to the courts. Then I changed my mind again. It was drizzling just a wee bit. I was considering pulling into the right lane for home, but a couple cars were coming up to fill that lane. Considering I was only about a mile from the courts—about 4-5 stoplights down—I decided to take the chance, hoping that I’d see some dry ground as I got closer. Nope, wet. Closer. Nope, wet. Closer. Nope, wet. The joining side street. Nope, wet. The courts street. Nope, wet. Drat. I saw Janet’s and Bruce’s car. There were pickleball players at the courts still. Maybe they’d be doing dinking games or drills. Something.
The diehard pickleball players out after the brief downpour.
Beth Black and her husband David were dinking with Oleg. “Hey, Andrew! We need a fourth!”
“As long as you don’t mind me playing left-handed!” I went on to explain my battle with tennis elbow, etc.
I dinked back and forth with David who opted to switch to his left hand too. He did quite well. As did I. The net is often my strong suit for playing left-handed. Things got switched up and I did some net/baseline hits with Beth for a few minutes. I’m not nearly as good at that. She gave me some great advice: “Get your right hand back there with the paddle so you can swing your whole body.” I tend to rely on just swinging my arm without using my body for power. “Make sure you are keeping your eye on the ball. It looked like you lifted your head on that last one.” I made an effort to watch the ball into my paddle face. It did help. Thanks, Beth.
We spent about ten minutes wiping off the court with towels. We got into a routine of Oleg and I twisting out the towels as a team and Beth and David dragging towels back and forth over the court. Eventually, we figured it was safe enough to playing a game where we outlawed lobbing. David and I lost. That was even with Beth and Oleg hitting more to David. I did enough damage to our team myself when the ball came to me, I did get in some good shots though. I wasn’t all that horrible. It was 11-7 in the end.
I got in a few games with Stuart, Rochelle, and Lauren—rotating partners. My play is still a mix of completely wild shots with good shots. While my serves weren’t as deep as they should be—some were in deep—I missed only a couple of my serves over the course of the night.
Progress, but a way to go before I can play even at a marginal 3.5 level. I’m playing at a low 3.0 level right now. Frustrating, but that’s the way it goes.
My play wrapped up about 9 p.m. One game was still going, but you need four to play. We only had three, might as well call it a night.
So, how’s the elbow?
If I extend my right arm straight out with my fingers pointed straight out like Superman, my elbow hurts right at the bone. If I leave my arm extended and raise hand with my fingers up like I’m about to push on a wall, then the muscle/ligament/tendon (that extends from the bone up my forearm) hurts as well. Man. It’s crazy. It’s been nearly three months since I’ve played right-handed, and I’m lucky if I’m 1/3 of the way to recovery. It’s still significant pain. That’s with icing a few nights a week and massaging the base of my forearm several times a day.
What’s weird is my upper right arm has been sore for weeks now. But I haven’t been using it. I don’t know if it’s related to my elbow issue or not. One more thing to deal with. Gag.
This was not how I envisioned spending my 250th day on the courts. Dealing with a significant perpetuating elbow injury and playing left-handed.
Number of days on a court: 250
Number of total hours: 687
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