Nearly two years ago, I submitted a post introducing you to my new passion, pickleball. Since that time, I must confess it has morphed very quickly into an addiction. There are seven recreation centers located in Virginia Beach. Between them all, pickleball courts are available every day of the week. With very few exceptions, I am an attendee at every session. All things in my life that require calendar scheduling now revolve around the pickleball times. Doctor appointments, volunteer commitments, getting together with friends, housework and yard work ( especially housework and yard work) and meals are all subjugated by the previously latent, but now aroused pickler in me.
I am not alone in this addiction. I can pretty much count everyone that I play with as a fellow addict. For that reason we have founded a support group to help each other with this addiction. I thought you might like to pry open the door and listen to what one of our typical meetings sounds like…..
Host: “Welcome to our meeting of Picklers Anonymous. Before we begin, let’s read together our 12-step program:”
1. We admit we are powerless over pickleball, but that’s OK.
2. We have come to believe that a power serve greater than our opponent will win the match.
3. We have made a decision to turn our lives over to the God of Pickleball, and acknowledge that he/she alone can hit a drop shot off a fast, low serve.
4. Made a searching and fearless inventory of our shot repertoire and found it wanting.
5. We admit to ourselves, the God of Pickleball and another human being that we have occasionally called an opponent’s shot out when it actually was in.
6. We freely admit we are not quite yet ready to have the God of Pickleball remove all these defects of character.
7. We are ready to ask him/her to remove our shortcomings, especially that spin shot that we can’t seem to get over the net.
8. We will make a list of all persons that we have beaten and rubbed their noses in it, and avoid them as long as possible.
9. We will be willing to make insincere apologies to those people when they finally do catch up with us.
10. We will continue to take personal inventory and in every instance where we cheated, make every effort to conceal that fact.
11. Through prayer and meditation, we will seek to improve our conscious contact with the God of Pickleball and by sucking up to him/her, hope to be rewarded with an indefensible overhead smash shot.
12. Having had a type of ethereal awakening as regards our abilities due to these steps, we vow to not carry this message to other picklers as “leveling the playing field” is not in our best interests.
Host: “OK, who would like to speak? Al?”
Me: “Hi, I’m Al and I’m a pickleholic.”
Others: “So, what’s the problem?”
Me: “Nothing really. I just wondered if anyone here could help me with my lob shot. It seems to be going long lately.”
Others: “Forget it. Only wimps hit a lob shot anyway.”
Me: “OK. But I’m not getting as many of my serves in lately, either.”
Others: “And we should care because?”
Host: “Is there anything else you’d like to get out of this meeting, Al?”
Me: “Yes., I’d like to get out by 4:00 o’clock, Bow Creek recreation center has a court open at 4:15.”
Host: “Alright, let’s close the meeting by reciting the picklers’ serenity prayer:”
Group: “God of Pickleball, grant me the serenity to accept that my partner missed an incredibly easy dink shot, the courage to stand at the net and return a 100 mph smash shot, and the wisdom to call “ball interference” when my opponent hits a winner.
DISCLAIMER: I would like to say that this particular post is in no way intended to make light of AA. I admire and respect those who might be attending AA as a way to get their lives back on track. It is a profoundly effective and altruistic organization. I doubt I could ever muster the will power that so many show on a daily basis.