Fastest Growing Sport: There was a time, when you spent the whole day outdoors running around the neighborhood, riding bikes and playing some type of sport with your neighborhood friends. Times change.
With age, those activities dwindle with more work and less play. I still get out for the occasional pick-up game with the kids, who are growing older now and don’t have as much time for dear 'old' dad.
For our own health and wellness, us older folks need to find pastimes to do just that - pass the time. It needs to be something other than watching sports on television. I think I might have found it.
Last weekend, I entered a pickleball tournament. The event was put on by the Tallassee Recreation Department on Saturday. As of Saturday, I had never picked up a paddle.
I'd like to tell you that my playing partner Trey Taylor and I won the thing. Not true. We did win a little however and had just enough success to make us want to come back (it's kind of like making one good shot in a round of golf).
And come back we did. On Sunday, we joined a regular-playing group back at the rec center for another round.
It's been said that pickleball is like tennis, ping pong or badminton. I'd say it's mostly like tennis - another game I used to play.
It's a little easier than tennis though. The court is smaller. That's a plus for the older folks. You can cover more ground and have longer rallies with sone of the power shots being taken away with the rules and whiffle ball that is used.
Pickleball is now the fastest growing sport in America. It has owned this distinction for three years running. That's why we're seeing pickleball courts popping up everywhere. Wetumpka just added a tennis/pickleball array with several new courts.
The sport is on TV now too. I watched a marathon of games this weekend.
You can get into the game fairly cheap. Paddles are about $15 a piece (on the low end). The Tallassee Recreation Center has reserved Tuesday and Thursday nights for open play. An annual membership is $25.
Now after a couple of back-to-back days on the floor, I'm in recovery mode. There are some body parts that haven't been utilized in quite some time. Yep, I'm not as young as I used to be. But it's fun trying.