I write to you all from the west coast of Costa Rica. It’s been an eventful couple of weeks; with the camps in New Jersey, the PPA Atlanta Open, and then a trip down to this remote tropical beach. It’s times like these when I take advantage of the opportunity to stop and smell the roses…or at least the salty air.
This is my first time traveling out of the country since the whole covid debacle…and for a while I wasn’t sure if/when I was coming back. Now that tournaments and events are back up and running, things are beginning to seem almost normal again.
The Professional Pickleball Association Atlanta Georgia Open was a blast to play in. I had a couple great partners in Leigh Waters and Shelton Jean-Baptiste, and even tried out singles again. The competition in pickleball gets tougher and deeper every month, and I’m constantly impressed by the level of play all around. We have some amazing athletes in the game these days and it’s so much fun to compete at that level.
For a while during covid, I missed playing in pickleball tournaments. I missed the competition and the atmosphere. But when tournaments came back, and spectators were limited, the vibe just wasn’t the same. The energy wasn’t there. I wasn’t enjoying the game like I used to.
The past couple events – the Minto US Open, and the PPA Atlanta Georgia Open – reminded me what I was missing about pickleball. The crowd, the atmosphere, the energy. It’s addicting.
This week, however, I’m enjoying the other side of pickleball. I’m not competing, but rather sharing my passion with others in a more intimate way. I’m teaching pickleball to a group in a vacation setting down in Costa Rica, one of my favorite spots in the world. Pickleball, beach, monkeys, margaritas, ceviche, outdoor showers…the list goes on.
It’s certainly nice to get that competitive fire back, and remember why I started this crazy sport to begin with…but I’m blessed to have opportunities like these to experience what else pickleball has to offer.
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