For those of you who follow my Facebook page, you know by now that I, and a few of my Pickleball friends, attended Pickleball Camp, in New Durham, New Hampshire. The five hour drive, sleeping in a kids’, low frills, one room cabin, and the very idea of unfettered “bugs” did not deter us. In actuality, we never really gave it a thought and that was our first mistake.
We packed, compared notes, bought heavy duty, extra efficient bug spray, packed plenty of snacks……because after all we mustn’t ever go hungry, and in anticipation of cold mountain nights, we brought flannel sheets, socks, and warm pajamas.
The camp was just as one would imagine a kid’s camp to be. I was immediately transported back to the camp of my youth, and like I’ve done so many times in my past, began to serenade my friends, much to their chagrin, with my Camp Moodna songs. My own children suffered through my many reiterations of the Camp Moodna parody reminiscent of the popular 1963 hit “Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh” by Allan Sherman. They used to laugh and laugh at the silly lyrics, which if I’m being honest, still make me smile some 5 decades later.
We endured that first night, turning a blind’s eye to the door less bathroom, curtained water closet aka toilet area, centipede accompanied shower stall and wasps duking it out overhead. The cool mountain air did not materialize so half of our car ladened accoutrements could have been left at home. Who knew?
As the evening wore on, and sleep was a long ago memory, individually and collectively we began to mull over a very novel idea. “Why are we suffering?, How old are we?” We couldn’t get our cell phones out fast enough as we frantically googled the nearest hotels. We hit pay dirt.
Pickleball Camp was phenomenal. As we are relatively new to Pickleball, we were paired with other teams matching our skill level. There were 12 Pickleball courts and 3 practice courts. One thing I’ve learned about Pickleballers; they are serious and passionate about the sport and as a result they were able to immediately transform 3 outdoor basketball courts into Pickleball courts by bringing their own nets to camp.
The constant throughout Friday, Saturday, and Sunday was the asynchronous sounds of Pickleballs cascading off racquets playing to their own unique rhythms. True music to a Pickelballer’s ears. The teams were driven, passionate, and goal oriented. Partners side eyed partners when an easy shot was missed and high fived that unbelievable “get”. Watching the matches was almost as exciting as playing. The talent was amazing. The sheer athleticism of men and women, many in the Baby Boomer stage of life was unbelievable. I was in awe.
The true unearthed gem of Pickleball is the social network it fosters. Whether you’re married, single, divorced, gay, lesbian, young, old….. all are welcomed, included and supported and it extends beyond the Pickleball courts.
Never in my wildest imagination would I have ever envisioned, driving 5 plus hours, in a car packed to the hilt with “stuff” and four friends in order to spend the weekend hitting a ball with a racquet. Never! But here I was, and so grateful for the experience.
Life has a sense of humor and you never know where and when it will lead you. Be open to the universe, new ideas and opportunities, and if possible, as Nike says “JUST DO IT!” The outcome may pleasantly surprise you.