Sunday, December 31, 2023 (Court Day #617)
In the Santa Cruz Sentinel this morning, they had a 4-page section recapping the best photos of 2023. A big surprise, an aerial photo of the recent Newman camp made the list . . . at the top of page 2!
My son Nicholas is in town for New Year’s weekend so he joined me and my friend Todd to watch the Raiders and Colts game. With a loss, the Raiders would be eliminated from the playoffs. The Colts wouldn’t be eliminated either way, just their odds would be over twice as good a win. As it turned out, the Colts won by three points. Todd‘s wife Karen had me some really yummy rocky road which Todd had brought as a dessert. Between chips, sausage slices, pizza, and rocky road, I was far from hungry after the game, which finished up shortly after 1 o’clock.
I sent out a text about 1:15 p.m. asking if anyone wanted to play pickleball this afternoon. Paul Swiencicki and René Baker both responded. Paul said he was heading over to Brommer and René said that she was already there. So that’s where I headed!
I arrived at Bromer at 1:45 p.m. Pretty quickly, I got into some games. I barely had time to hang up my backpack before Hemie called over and asked if I wanted to join their game as a fourth.
The first game was Pauly and me against Hemie and Spencer. It was a good warm-up game. I started out slow but then my game tightened up and Pauly and I went on to win.
I went on to have various games over my three hour stretch, including Paul S. Folks were pretty good about moving off courts when they were done.
Spencer made a comment mid-game about how my serves land and stay very low and that you almost have to dig with your paddle to return them. Nice to hear. Paul complimented me, “That was a nice roll volley.” We were all at the net and I’d dropped the ball—using a roll volley—at Spencer’s left toe.
Played a few games with René and she was very complimentary. I also overheard her telling Spencer he shouldn’t feel bad since I have some of the fastest hands that she’s ever seen.
I got Hemie, Spencer, and René on my slice service returns—rally over! Spencer eventually got them figured out and made a return to win the rally off of my slice. He was proud of himself—as he well should be in making adjustments and learning how to deal with those.
The last two or three games were a battle against either the sun, or shortly after, fading light. I was hitting my drops pretty well until those last few games.
My last game was René and myself against Sean and Spencer. We lost that game 8-11. Sean is very nice backhand crosscourt dinking mechanics. He’s very consistent with that.
People started to clear out and the sun was setting when we wrapped up the last game at 4:45 p.m.
Overall, I felt ok about my play. Not stellar, but not bad. A decent way to end a year.
When I got home, I crawled into the spa that we had installed in our backyard about a year ago and then later iced my right knee. My knee doesn’t feel too bad, and that is very promising.
Number of days on a court: 617
Number of total hours: 2,692
Number of paid coaching hours: 8
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