Sunday, May 1, 2022 (Court Day #490)

I went to put on my court shoes this morning. I’ve been rotating a couple of pairs. The older pair is more comfortable though the permanent insoles were worn through in a couple of places. The newer pair are a bit tight on my big toes so I’ve been breaking them in slowly. I also bought a pair of inexpensive black Fila athletic shoes from Costco recently, but I haven’t tried those yet. (I’m a bit concerned about their lateral support, honestly.) Well, I discovered an issue this morning with the old pair…

Uh, oh. Small wardrobe malfunction.

…and those shoes are toast. The “tight on the toes” pair it would be!

While filling up my water bottle with ice and water, I saw my wife had bought cake mix! Yum. Hmmm. Wait. Nope. Not for me.

A birthday cake planned for the dog.

Out the Door

As I walked out the door this morning at 8:39 a.m., I stopped long enough to inform my wife “it’s going to be a warm one today!“ It was already sunny and warm with barely any clouds in the sky.

When I walked up to the courts to set up, a solitary tall visitor, David, was practicing backhand crosscourt shots by himself. I greeted him and he said he was down visiting from Napa with his girlfriend and he came out to play. He said he’s been playing for about 4 months.

Not long after, another visitor, Astin, visiting from Sacramento, appeared. I introduced him to David and they ended up playing a lot together today . . . starting with Mike K. and a regular whom I forget his name. Mike and his partner lost. Aside from David and Astin being about 30-ish and athletic, both are 6’3”! Long reaches cover a lot of sins!

My Games

My first two games were with Twan and Molly. They said today was their second time out playing, and my first time meeting them. I played them lefty and even then, I had to hold back to keep the points from ending too quickly. But they should get to be solid players with some time. Both are very nice people and can hit the ball reliably. When we were done, Twan said, “Thanks for the lesson!”

Skill Level Time

10 a.m. rolled around, meaning everyone was now signing up by skill level. From the bench inside, Ted and another called over wanting me to sign up in their red box. But by the time I got to the board, Ying was signing up with them, taking the last spot. I don’t consider Ying an advanced player. She has virtually no soft game. (Yet.) When I let out an audible “wha…” as she signed up, she explained, “I need to learn how to play with the big boys.” Ah, well. I could have argued, but I opted to wait while she experimented with playing Derby Park’s advanced. I started a new red box. I’ll admit I was slightly annoyed, but, ya know, Ying is not alone, there are others who sign up in red and I think they should be signing up in intermediate blue.

Playing with the Boys

“I understand you two are good enough to sign up in my box.” I was talking to Astin and David. Someone told me they were strong players. They signed up and Allen—who just arrived—made it four. Astin and David took one side and Allen and I took the other. It was Allen’s first game of the day. I went into this game intent not to lose. I didn’t want the newbies to have that satisfaction, so they got my focused tournament mindset. We won 11-9. It was close, but we did lead the whole game. As we walked off, Allen complimented me, “I don’t think you made any errors.” I countered, “I missed two serves long.” But it’s true, I played a very, very good game.

The next game, a rubber match, with Allen now warmed up, we won 11-5. About the time Allen and I were leading 9-2, David said, ”You guys are giving us a clinic.” I eased up a bit, I was feeling bad for them. They scored a few points. Not wanting to allow a comeback, I refocused and we finished off the game.

Strong vs. Weak

Later, ended up in a game of Charles and me against Ted and Ying. Ted wanted to play with Ying. That’s an Andrew move. Picking the weakest player to be your partner and have the best players to play against you. They scored a couple of points and led the game. I told Charles, “I guess I need to take this game a bit more seriously.” Charles replied, ”Why wouldn’t you take this game seriously?” But the next serve was coming and I never answered. As the game went on, Charles and I started piling on points and won a lopsided game—as I expected. Of the players today, one could easily argue Charles and I were the best ones there. It would have been a big upset had we lost.

As I was walking through after finishing a game and Astin was shifting courts with his group, he said with a smile, “Thanks for being so inviting.” Mission accomplished!

René and I played a game again John and Janet. (While René’s boyfriend Rick was there, he said he slept on his neck weird midweek and wasn’t up to playing—he was there just to hang put and support René.) René and I won, not unexpected.

Later, around 1 p.m., when he was heading out, I asked Astin, ”Will we see you again?”
”Most definitely.”

Still a Crowd?

It’s different these days. It’s getting more and more common to have a bunch of players after 1 p.m. It makes it more awkward for me to take down the club nets, leaving the less than stellar city nets. It’s a good problem to have, I suppose.

Three games going as I left at 1:15 p.m.!

Iced my arm twice. Once about 4pm. and again about 9 pm. It was bothering me more than normal.

Monday, May 2, 2022 (No Play)

I got word today from Macy at Players Pickleball that they’d repaired my paddle edging and since I had mentioned buying one of their new carbon paddles if it were available, she inquired exactly what I wanted for the new paddle. I told her I wanted the black grip (though it’ll get covered with overgrip anyway) and the same shape as my existing paddle. The new paddles are on introductory sale of $129 instead of $149. With my referral codes, the price for the new paddle was well under $100—can’t beat that.

Number of days on a court: 490
Number of total hours: 2,304

To start at the beginning of this blog click on “1st Post” in the menu above.