What have you been up to as a family lately?
Do you ever find it challenging to come up with activities that entertain and benefit everyone? Things that appeal to different generations while alleviating moans, groans and mucho moola?
I have a suggestion for you: Pickleball!
But [beware], there's a warning:
Pickleball May Cause Dinking Addiction.
(Definition of dink: The dink is a finesse shot, hit with an upward trajectory, that lands just over the net in your opponent's No Volley Zone.)
The thing is, once you down that first dink it can be hard to stop. You’ll want to keep dinking and dinking and dinking. Before you know it you’ll be thinking about who to dink with next.
You’ll find yourself settling for almost anyone who dinks. Complete strangers become acceptable dink partners with zero shame -- especially if you score with them. You’ll want to meet up again and again just for more scoring.
Facetiousness aside, pickleball is far from frivolous. Pickleball is fun, athletic, energizing, competitive and, yes, addicting.
According to The Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA), pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the United States for the second year in a row. Pickleball grew just shy of 40% over the past two years (www.usapickleball.org).
I, Shelley Sweeney, have a dinking problem. Saying no when asked to dink is a work in progress for me.
Pickleball started out as a low-key, fun activity that I picked up at a nearby gym. The ease of camaraderie and social interaction on the court attracted me most. But after discovering pickleball’s unique set of rules and aerobic offering I began taking it more seriously, incorporating it into my exercise routine.
In other words, I became addicted to dinking.
Eventually, I moved from playing indoors to playing [and competing] outdoors at a golf club. Indoor and outdoor pickleball are quite different and though I’d prefer not to be in the sun, outdoor play is more fun (IMHO).
A golf club provides a more competitive environment which means watching what one eats, resting, and adding additional work-outs (pilates, Barre3, hot yoga, walking, whatever you choose) becomes prudent.
Oh, the things pickleball fanatics do to keep a plastic, yellow, wiffle ball inside boundaries (30x60ft.) and just so high in the air to avoid the slam:
Aim and, yes,
Fall to the ground…all in the name of a point
Have you heard of the five Blue Zones? They’re five places in the world where people live the longest and healthiest lives: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and Loma Linda, California.
Five key things that these places attribute their longevity results to are:
If family, social interaction and activity make up a majority of things that lead to a long healthy life, pickleball has you covered. Here’s a great article on the Blue Zones that talks about Blue Zone advantages relating to pickleball.
The fact that there is a sport whereby men and women spanning several generations (say, age 12 - 90) can enjoy together is incredible. And the cost of playing is minimal on public courts and in various gyms.
Yes, it’s relatively easy to learn and compete in pickleball but I will say that rest and diet are imperative to supporting your body should you find yourself in a dinking addiction predicament, like myself.
Live Longer, Live Healthy: Play Pickleball!
Thank you for reading!
Here are fellow family member pickleball blogs: