When is the last time you had fun? I mean smiles all around and a real feeling of delight in what you were doing. I wanted to reflect here on the joy that has come from…pickleball. You may have heard about the fastest-growing sport in the U.S. with the funny name. Today, I wanted to focus on the FUN part.
Pickleball began as a pandemic activity for my husband and I; a way to get outside and socially-distance in those dark days of the beginning of COVID where there was nothing but uncertainty. The sport has a dedicated following, and some people take pickleball very seriously. I, however, have found pickleball to be one of the best ways to maintain and rekindle social connections.
Because pickleball has such a low barrier to entry, any age and physical condition can play pickleball if they want to. All you need is a paddle and court shoes. Despite what you might think, it isn’t just middle-aged or older people playing pickleball. I’ve seen parents playing with their kids, as well as a large number of teens and young adults trying pickleball, too.
Most importantly, pickleball has reminded me of the simplicity of the childhood invitation, “do you want to play?” To do something without judgment or the embarrassment that stops us from trying new things. You are a little lost, you learn and you can laugh a little or a lot. It really is the best medicine.
Eileen Crespo, MD, FAAP