Sunday, June 9, 2019 (Court Day #276)

36th day out playing lefty. Tennis elbow.

This was a crazy week. I put in at least 70 hours at work moving the stock from a closed store about an hour away down to our local family business. And a good amount of physical labor was involved as you might imagine. My left wrist was bothering me a bit after the tournament a week ago and I’d aggravated it significantly carrying things—especially when four of us moved a very heavy mounting press. My back hurts and my wrist hurts.

Maybe it’s time to switch back to playing right handed?

I walked out the door at 8:50—late for me—and it was warm. It would be hot today, no question. I arrived at the courts and found a unique and first time experience. There were already two games going on at Derby Park! People wanting to beat the heat came early and were using the city nets. I got about to blowing off the courts and setting up.

As I blew off the courts, it immediately became apparent with the pain in my right forearm that my right arm was not ready to be used to play. Maybe another couple months. I’m getting closer though.

Janet (white) with Eric S. playing against Ted B. and someone.

Binh and I played two games against Kim and Buzz. We lost both, but put up a good battle preventing any blowouts. Binh showed some skills this morning. He’s getting better. Still some rough edges, but improving. I had the sudden thought that he might end up better than me! Time will tell! I was about three inches away from making an ATP left-handed around the right post—it landed just outside the sideline. Kim was visibly delighted at how close I was to pulling that off and gave me a verbal pat on the back, as did Buzz.

Binh and I played two games against Cal and Eric. Eric—the newer Eric, not Eric S. Between the heat and the time of the morning, I was dragging. We were beaten badly and it certainly was not just because I was tired. Our play was outmatched, even if we’d managed our best play, which we hadn’t. We had a rematch and were beaten soundly again. It was frustrating. And Eric has gotten a lot better in the last few months. He was getting balls back over the net that I wasn’t expecting him to get back. That’s good. When I switch back to righty, he’ll be a good sparing partner. The more good players around, the better! Cal isn’t flashy, but he’s consistent and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. He seems to have gotten better since he started showing up at Derby. After the game, Cal said something along the lines of “hopefully, you be able to play right-handed soon”. Cal has never played against me at my best. It’ll be fun when I’m back and we’re both healthy.

“Cal was sure targeting you!” “But that’s good, that gives us an idea of what it’ll be like in a tournament.” I told Binh that in a big tournament, they’d be a solid 3.5 team. “I thought Cal was a 4.0.” I mused for a second. I told Binh that I didn’t think so. (Upon further reflection, maybe if he played in an older age bracket, then yes. 19+, not so sure.)

Eric—the newer Eric, not Eric S.—and I played a last game against Binh and Janet. I gave Eric his first taste of pickleball stacking. Later in the game, I drove two shots in a row right at Janet at the net. When she hit the second, the ball flew high out of bounds. “Those were some powerful drives for your left hand,” Eric observed. I guess that was one good thing on the day.

I checked the time as I left: 12:38 p.m.

Sometimes, you get discouraged and depressed. You think, “why am I doing this?” This was one of those days. Later on, I was a bit dejected. Maybe I’m just tired from the long workweek. Or maybe it was the heat. It was well over 80 degrees and maybe even 90. It affected the turnout, we only had about 26 people show up and a number left well before the official noon end time.


Friday, June 14, 2019 (No Play)

I spent yesterday driving to Los Angeles from Northern California. Since I was following my wife and daughter in our other car, I spent the trip by myself catching up on the Pickleball Kitchen podcast. It’s been months since I’ve listened. As typical, I listened to most of episodes at 1 1/2 speed. In Barrett’s interview with Tyson McGuffin—Tyson is not a slow talker, he got normal playback speed!—there were a few new terms I’ll need to add to my pickleball terminology page. I have to go back and listen again so I can make note of them.

Aside from work being particularly demanding this past week, my body was not too keen to play. It’s subconscious, but the desire to play is absent. Between my back and my left wrist—nope.


Sunday, June 16, 2019 (No Play)

As I type this my daughter is driving as we head back from LA. My son had his second graduation ceremony this morning. Friday night, he was in the 7 p.m. entire class graduation. Today was the math department ceremony where they actually called his name—along with hundreds of other math majors.

Nicholas—sporting Latin honors cords—shaking hands with the chairman of the UCLA Math department during the graduation ceremony.

Yesterday, when making the bed, lifting the mattress with my left hand made me wince from the pain in my left wrist. Not good.

Work will leave little free time for pickleball, between a big ad deadline Monday night and immediately flying off the next morning to Las Vegas for a trade show for three days. I get back too late Thursday night to play in Scotts Valley. Friday morning is the SCPC Summer Event—it’s round robin social play followed by a club potluck. It looks like that’ll be my only play over a nearly two-week stretch leading up to Binh and my second tournament together on Saturday morning.

The question is, with my left wrist hurting, should I switch between left and right arms and maintain two forehands and split the shots between my two injured limbs? It seems I’m falling apart. Walking around UCLA, my right ankle was causing intermittent pain. My right shoulder needs to be checked for a possible torn rotator cuff. On top of lingering tennis elbow. Sheesh.


Sunday, June 23, 2019 (No Play)

Somewhere along the line, I caught a sinus infection that manifested itself the first night of the trade show. It wasn’t horrible, just lingering but rolled into coughing and chest congestion when I got home Thursday night. I didn’t sleep well—and, unfortunately, my wife didn’t either with all my coughing. I ended up dropping out of the club’s Summer Event on Friday morning and—very disappointingly—also Binh and my planned tournament on Saturday morning. Binh was understanding and supportive. I let the TD know the night before the tournament so he could correct his planned brackets with Binh and me out of the mix. Today, I have spent a good amount of time at work tackling the remainder of our monthly newspaper insert. I’m coughing to clear my lungs. Not fun. That and blowing my nose frequently.


Tuesday, June 25, 2019 (No Play)

Sill nursing this cold. Clearing my throat now and then and blowing my nose a dozen or two times a day. I was thinking this morning, I don’t have any drive to play. It’s weird. Usually, I want to get out there. Maybe between my left wrist still being sore and the illness, my body is telling me it’s not time. I was going to play anyway tomorrow morning, but I have a sales rep stopping by. Maybe I’ll sneak out after that. Not sure yet. We’ll see.

I emailed my doctor about a referral for my right ankle and shoulder (possible torn rotator cuff) and he said I should visit him and get evaluated first for insurance purposes. I’ll have to schedule that. I’m so bad about that. Running a family business can be hard. You never know if and when staffing will go off the rails and a doctor’s appointment will suddenly be extremely bad timing. If I didn’t care about quality of our customer service and/or meeting customer due dates life would be much easier!

Number of days on a court: 276
Number of total hours: 761

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