Tickle Me Pickle

Pickle Ball Courts
at New Town St. Charles

Dan and I have been assimilated. This week we attended a beginner’s clinic for pickleball. The clinic was held where we live – in New Town St. Charles.

We have been here for ten years, and all this time New Town has had tennis courts. To use the tennis courts, an additional fee was required. While we didn’t go by the courts frequently, when we did, we rarely saw anyone playing tennis. Maybe one time.

Somehow those courts, just this year, have been converted to pickleball courts. And 12 additional courts will be added to the existing three. To my understanding, the tennis courts are history, and pickleball is the deal of the day. I am so happy and glad someone made this happen.

The first ten week league session just ended. We didn’t sign up for that session as we were gone too much. The second ten week session will start soon. That’s why the beginner’s clinic was offered again. More than thirty people attended the beginner’s clinic.

Previous to the clinic, we had purchased pickleball paddles and balls from Costco. We chose the “Selkirk Latitude Pickleball Bundle” which included two paddles, three balls and a backpack. The paddles were described as having extra long handles. With Dan being 6’8″, he doesn’t need dinky handles. The cost was $99. When I checked the Costco website, the product was no longer available. I guess we got lucky.

The clinic lasted an hour and a half. We stayed a bit longer to play another seven point game. It was a beautiful evening all the way around. Neal, who ran the clinic, explained everything really well. Now, if I can just remember to enact it all when we play.

We did sign up for the next ten week session. It cost $50 per person. We will have to miss some of the games; however, we should be able to find subs easily. We want to play even though we travel often. Hopefully, we can make it work – at least some of the time.

Three bikes along a fence with a view of the courts in the background.
Site of 12 future Pickleball Courts

An app called “GroupMe” has been set up. This app can be used to contact others for open play or to make arrangements for subs. We’ve been grouped and plan to use this app for both objectives. Open play is free. Anyone can sub – even if you are not in the current league. A court can be reserved for a fee.

How did we like it? I loved it. Put it right up there with our travel trailer and our e-bikes. I have always liked racket sports, playing tennis when I was younger and also ping pong through the years. However, I can’t really run much now. So, please don’t chase me – unless I am on my e-bike.

To be blunt, at my age, things hurt. Every day. I do what I can to stay as healthy as I can. But when I was on the court, hitting those balls and concentrating on when to “go to the kitchen”, nothing hurt. I got exercise, without me even knowing it. And it wasn’t like I was sore the next day. Now, we did not play the entire hour and a half. Much of it was standing there listening to instruction.

Have you ever played a sport where it didn’t feel like exercise? You just liked it so much and had fun? Have you ever played pickleball?

The Selkirk Latitude Pickleball Bundle from Costco - backpack, two paddles and two balls
All Set

I take it all as a good sign. I’m really hoping for a good future with pickleball – one with lots of fun and exercise. Everything has been arranged. The courts. The league. The app. The open play. The subs. The equipment. It’s all right here, right in our neighborhood, just a 1.4 mile e-bike ride away.

The ball’s in my court now, wouldn’t you say?

35 comments

  1. To be honest until just now, I never even heard of “pickleball”. I do love tennis, played squash in my youth, tried badminton, and did a bit of ping pong. These days I prefer everything that’s free or cheap and doesn’t have a schedule. Like riding a bike on the free road, hiking, walking, running, doing yoga, and Thai Chi in the park. Zumba online.
    I am glad you had fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! I enjoy free or cheap, too. And I don’t like to be “over-scheduled” either! You don’t have to be in a league to play. And there are courts in many places where you can play for free. There were courts right near us on our last camping trip at Gulf State Park. There are courts where we can play for free when we head to Michigan next month. We played yesterday using the app to meet up with others to play; it didn’t cost anything. I’m not trying to convince you, just explaining more. Pickleball is said to be a combination of tennis, ping pong and badminton. We also take walks daily and ride our bikes several times a week. The main thing is to stay active – with whatever activity you like! Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! Yes, our travel schedule is a bit of a challenge if we want to be in a league. I know we won’t sign up for the next session because we will be gone too much. However, once we learn we can use the app to meet up with others when we can. We played yesterday for an hour and a half; I really enjoyed it. Enjoy your day today!

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  2. It sounds like you and Dan have found the perfect sport. The only racket sport I ever played was table tennis when I was a young teenager. Later in life, I tried regular tennis and badminton, but my poor hand-eye and body coordination led to disaster. For me, as you know, power walking is my sport of choice. At first it felt like exercise, but now, 3 years plus into it, it’s just a very enjoyable part of my day. There are beautiful pickle ball courts at our winter resort in TX, but again, because of my poor coordination, I’m hesitant to give it a try. I love swimming, so that’s my second sport of choice while we’re in TX. Will try Tai Chi this winter. This was another very enjoyable post, Betty!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am glad you liked the post. I know how you love power walking, and that is a wonderful thing to have such passion. Having something that gives us passion is what matters – whatever that something is! Thanks for your comment, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. We had heard of pickle ball but know nothing about it. If it’s exercise without feeling like exercise, then we’re in! Now we just need to find some equipment (we will try your bundle from Costco), some lessons, and a group to play with. Thank you for sharing your information!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are welcome! I’ll be interested to know how you like it. You can also find a similar bundle on Amazon, but we wanted the paddles with the extra long handles. Even though the sport has been popular for a while, there are lots of beginners our there. Good luck, and I hope you have fun!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad you had a successful venture into this sport! This has been something I’ve wanted to try. At our Phoenix wintering spot they had several Pickleball courts, and we had opportunity to try it, but both of us were having issues with our arms. Next time, maybe! The courts there were always busy. It certainly is currently a popular thing to do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! When we played again on Friday (at the open play), there were lots of people. But everyone was very welcoming and inclusive. Every time a game ended, people rotated in and out. I didn’t have to sit out much, but when I did, I was glad for the short rest. I hope you try it again if you think you might like it!

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  5. Yes pickleball is huge! Good bye tennis courts. Hello pickleball courts. At the 55+ RV where we stay in AZ there is a lot of pickleball happening. We did not want an RV site next to the pickleball courts, or we would be hearing ping ping ping ping all day long. We played once with my sister and brother-in-law. It was fun, but somehow we have not gotten into it big time yet. It is a great way to stay active at our age.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I definitely would not want an RV site next to the pickleball courts! Oh my. Those sites should be offered at a very discounted rate! I’ll have to keep this in mind when booking RV sites. There are not any homes right next to the courts in our neighborhood – at least yet. Anything we can do for exercise is good. Thanks for your comment, and have a great Saturday!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Pickle Ball sounds like fun, Betty! I like to Zumba with my kids at school. You’re moving and dancing but it doesn’t feel like exercise—until you start huffing and puffing. You and Dan certainly know how to enjoy yourselves!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Betty, glad to hear you and Dan have started playing Pickleball. I am totally hooked and have been playing twice a week for awhile. The people I have met are so nice. There is a bit of standing around during “Play In” so why not meet someone new? I have been playing in leagues at Forest Park, for free at Ballwin The Pointe with my Silver Sneakers and I just joined a group who plays at Holloway every day. It is really fun and like you, find it enjoyable exercise. Pickle on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Barb! I was hoping you’d see this. I’m hoping we will play once or twice a week going forward. It helps that it’s right here in New Town. Everyone was very nice and welcoming. Soon we will have 15 courts! We played yesterday for an hour and a half. The Groupme app worked great. We also have that new Pickleball complex coming to St. Charles. I still pick traveling over being in a pickleball league, but I’m hoping we will still be able to play often. Thanks for your comment, and Enjoy your day!

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  8. Hi Betty, Good for you and Dan for trying a new sport. Be careful, though, as I hear that pickleball injuries are common in the 55-plus age group! I think it’s something about not being as flexible as we were when we played tennis or other sports when younger!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I will be careful! We are in the beginner group, so we play others at our skill level. I have been wanting to play for awhile, but it starting in our neighborhood just made it so easy! When I was younger, I played tennis. I can’t run that much anymore! So, this seems like a good fit for us. I hope you have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi Betty, I have been playing for a little over a year. The public park near us has six very active courts. It is an easy sport to drop into and have fun with right away. Just be careful. It is also the source of many trips to the ER for active seniors. Your lessons are cheap at $50 for ten weeks, but if you need a little reinforcement watch one of the many Youtube videos that explain the sport. That’s actually how I learned. Have fun.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I will be careful. We took one beginner’s clinic. The ten weeks are a league. The instructor explained everything really well. But I have to think hard to remember everything while playing. Watching Youtube videos is a good idea to keep everything front of mind. Thanks for your comment, and have a good weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, he is very tall. And he is often asked, “How tall are you? Did you ever play basketball?” He has a good nature and always responds cheerfully, even though this is almost a daily occurrence when we are out. 🙂 Pickleball is said to be a combination of tennis, ping pong and badminton, so if you tend to like those activities, you would likely like pickleball. Enjoy your day!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I understand. I’m 5’11” and was always asked that about basketball. I had zero coordination, so that was not my sport. Ha ha.

        Oooo, I love badminton, tennis, and ping pong. We got a set of pickleball racquets from Santa a couple years ago, but don’t know how to play. Maybe I’ll look into it. Thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll be curious as to how you like it. We have played during the open play – going again this morning. I bet there is a ton of pickleball in your area!

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