Distance: Just a mile
You probably know the newish racquet sport that is catching on lightening fast all over the U.S. and beyond is pickleball. Places with tennis courts are under pressure to convert full courts into the smaller pickleball court or to let pickleballers tape temporary lines on the courts. At the moment it is a seniors game, appealing because of the smaller court, lighter paddle and slower ball. But, it will surely catch on with all age groups and lose its welcoming innocence .
Ciwt had played a few years ago at her brother's place in Indian Wells, and, when she heard there were courts in Golden Gate Park she went over to check out the local game. And what a crowd! People come, line up and wait for an opportunity to get on the court. The games are short, so you don't have to wait long. It all seems very democratic, great exercise and a lot of fun!
So, what's the catch? Answer: Falls 😟 The one time she played, Ciwt did fall and felt embarrassed thinking that was a rare, klutzy event. But wnen she talked to the the welcoming pickleballers at the park, four out of five of them said "It's great, but you don't want to fall," or "Be sure to get the right shoes; they are important for not falling," etc.
So Ciwt went home and researched pickleball and falls and found that, indeed, they are common and often serious. In terms of vulnerability, Ciwt is thinking pickleball might be in the pick-up basketball (ie, not good) category. Many of her yoga students got to their mats because of basketball injuries, and given the age of the players, cramped court quarters, slipperiness of the hard courts, Ciwt is pretty sure some of the newcomers to yoga might be pickleball injurees.
Why emphasize the negative? Well, when she played in Palm Springs it was before her non-pickleball fall that required knee surgery. Another fall could be catastrophic. Also she gained a Huge appreciation for the limitations the natural aging process (which begins @25) increasingly puts on all of us, including athletes. So, much as she would love to once again be involved in a fun racquet sport, Ciwt is thinking the smart move is to whiff....