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"Church" on Sundays

Updated: Mar 12, 2023

Somewhere along the way my husband started calling our Sunday morning ritual of going to open pickleball... CHURCH

Now please don't get all huffy puffy and offended and hear me out. No matter what religion or spiritual beliefs you hold, your place of worship brings you all together and you are unified with those who share your viewpoints and there is a commonality that transcends age, gender, occupation and race. Now I am fully aware that Pickleball is not a religion but what it is - is that magical word, a unifier.

I have said it before and I will say it again, somehow, someway, the answer to world peace is rooted in pickleball. For all of the divisiveness of our own country and many others, you would never know it if you came to open play - and it is not because we are all like-minded people, in fact, It is the exact opposite and I find it fascinating.

We collectively gather on Sunday mornings beginning at 8:30 AM and as we all trickle in, we nod and wave and smile as we rotate courts and reshuffle the deck. We gather with our differing ethnicities, genders, ages, socioeconomic statuses, accents, religious beliefs, and politics because we have our unifier, our beloved pickleball. When I say nothing else matters out there and there is zero bias, I mean it. If we get irritated about anything, it is merely game focused and never due to someone's personal beliefs differing from our own - we leave it at the door, people! We are a melting pot in the truest sense of the words. It feels good to have such a beautiful safe space, (gasp! a buzzword), but my safe space is the opposite of the current usage - I don't need a place to reset myself solo. My safe space is full of every walk of life and it recenters me week after week. There is much to learn from the world around me and my way isn't the only way - there is much perspective to be gained if you just take the time to get to know someone.

If you haven't taken the plunge yet on giving this sport a try, here are a few things to mull over that might help sway your decision. Pickleball has become increasingly popular for several reasons:

  1. Accessibility: Pickleball can be played by people of all ages and skill levels. The court is smaller than a tennis court, and the paddles are lighter than those used in tennis or racquetball, making it easier for beginners to get started.

  2. Social aspects: Pickleball can be played in singles or doubles, making it a great way to meet new people and make friends. It is often played in a casual, social setting, making it a fun activity for all.

  3. Health benefits: Pickleball is a great form of exercise, as it can improve cardiorespiratory fitness, agility, and balance. It also puts less stress on joints compared to other racket sports, making it an excellent choice for people with arthritis or other joint problems.

  4. Competitive nature: Pickleball is a highly competitive sport, with national and international tournaments held each year. The sport is fast-paced and requires quick reflexes, making it exciting for both players and spectators.

  5. Cost-effective: Compared to other racket sports, pickleball is relatively inexpensive. The equipment is affordable, and the court can be set up in a small space, making it accessible to anyone with a flat surface.

Overall, the combination of accessibility, social aspects, health benefits, competitiveness, and affordability have contributed to pickleball's increasing popularity.

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