Sunday, May 23, 2021 (Court Day #378)

The sky was overcast at home, but after dropping off my daughter at work and arriving at Brommer Park a few minutes after 9 a.m., it was already sunny.

There were three guys that I didn’t recognize but when I asked if they needed a fourth, they accepted. I ended up playing with a fellow named Jim against Steve and a tall man whom Jim introduced as “Elwood” . . . but then called him “Chuck” . . . but his real name is Craig. Steve’s serve is blatantly illegal. I’ve never seen one so obviously wrong. He serves sidearm with his paddle above his wrist but I didn’t bother to point it out. Jim and I lost, but it had nothing to do with Steve’s serve and more to do with me not being warmed up and Jim (and Steve) usually playing singles and not doubles. (That’s pretty unusual . . . singles pickleball players, especially just rec players, are rare.)

Shawnte H. (left) partnered with Art B. against Craig and Kent (rightmost).

My next game was with Shawnte as my partner. I played reasonably well in that one. We lead most of the game, but Kent and Craig came back to win 13-11. Shawnte has improved a lot over the last couple of years. After we lost one rally, Shawnte said, “Sorry, I didn’t trust your drop.” I told him not to worry, I don’t trust my lefty dropshots much either! That particular one, I’d executed very well.

So, Craig is visiting from Mesa, Arizona. And he said that today was his first time in a year that he was playing here in Santa Cruz. He said his girlfriend has a house in Boulder Creek and she was visiting, so that’s why he was around.

I overheard Shawnte say that Tristan won 3rd in 5.0 singles at a recent tournament. I had no idea that Tristan was playing tournaments. I had no idea that he’s playing in 5.0. I had no idea he was competing in singles. And I had no idea he was medaling. Quite the surprise. I’m shocked that he’s playing in 5.0 singles. I think he’s 17 now, he’s got lots of time to get even better.

Greg and Newbie Doug

Greg, the tall lefty with the long gray ponytail who usually plays at Derby Park, appeared today. I hadn’t seen him in a year. I’d forgotten his name and he’d forgotten mine! We played together and lost 11-3. I made some bad shots. Greg was very rusty. 

Where was a first-timer, Doug. I asked if he wanted to warm up on a vacated and empty court and he agreed. He’ll do really well. He’s coming from other racket sports. After a bit, we played against Greg and Juls and lost 11-8.

Later, I was playing with Greg against Allan K. and Karen. I hit one crosscourt drive over the middle and he exclaimed, “That was a legitimate left-handed shot! I would have never known that you aren’t a lefty!” We won one game and lost two. Fun games, though I didn’t feel like I playing my best.

I left the courts today feeling down. I didn’t feel like I played well at all. But I recognize there will be down days. I’m trying to not dwell on it.

Surgery Update

My right shoulder is getting better. In about a week, it’ll have been 7 months since my rotator cuff surgery. Last week, I reached into the refrigerator and picked up the water pitcher with my right arm without thinking. This is the first time I’ve done that since before my surgery on October 30. My body subconsciously tells me what to do or not do and there was only very mild discomfort picking it up with my right.

Still there are certain things that are very painful. Tucking my shirt into my pants behind my back with my right arm causes significant pain. Reaching far forward or up or sideways or back is painful. But it is getting better.

Friday, May 23, 2021 (No Play)

My copy of Pickelball magazine showed up today. It’s sad. I’ve barely read the last two issues!

A nice intro video on singles by Mark Renneson:

Saturday, May 29, 2021 (No Play)

After several emails prompting me and with the price going up on Monday, I renewed my USAPA membership today at the old price of $20. I guess the USAPA has to raise the annual fee since fewer people are joining the association . . . yeah, right. (Yes, that’s sarcasm.)

I’m starting to think about trying out playing right-handed. Maybe for a gentle game. Not sure yet. Trying an overhead smash would be painful. Ooo, and testing just now, backhands would be painful. Maybe not yet. Or maybe switching to lefty for what would otherwise be backhand shots.

Number of days on a court: 378
Number of total hours: 1,073

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