I Played Wheelchair Pickleball

Let’s go play Pickleball!

While at the Valor Games Midwest, in Chicago, I saw pickleball played for the first time, at Soldier Field.  I did not know that we were being taped while we played, and did some drills.  I did not know I was in this video, but stumbled across it when looking up wheelchair pickleball.

I am the Caucasian woman with dark and grey hair, in a blue shirt.  It shows me doing drills, and actually on the court, playing.

Weekend Coffee Share

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I’d tell you I had a wonderful week of competition with other disabled veterans, in San Antonio, TX.  I’d also tell you the driver of the express coach to O’Hare, loaded me aboard the bus, then waved me off when I started to ask how much for the fare.  I’d tell you I made it to the airport in plenty of time, and breezed through security, without the usual hassle that I’ve experienced in the past, as a wheelchair user.  I would also tell you, that while waiting at the gate, the airline lady came over to me, and told me that a gentleman in first class was offering me his seat, if I would like it.  Well . . . yeah!  They were giving me drinks throughout the entire flight, as well as a choice of meals to choose from.  I had a delicious Asian Salad.  I would tell you about my experience, once I reached San Antonio.  I made it from the gate to the shuttle buses if a good amount of time, since I had packed light, with only one carry-on bag, my laptop, and my CPAP machine.  After waiting a considerable length of time, a shuttle with a wheelchair lift finally arrived, but they weren’t going to take me and had to go in and check that out.  He finally decided he could take me.  He opened the back door and let the lift down to the pavement.  I rolled on and he pushed the button.  The front end of the lift started to rise, but the back stubbornly remained on the ground, and the front would go sliding back to the ground.  I got off, he tried the lift again, and it still wouldn’t go up – without me even being on it.  I was afraid I had broken as my humongous large chair probably weighs close to 400 pounds, and that’s without me in it.  He finally got me aboard and we were off.

 Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I did my best throughout the three events I took part in, one each day of competition.  I played table tennis first, and I did well in the first round, but not as well as during warm-up.  I would tell you that I got pounded to the pavement floor by a competitor, who it turns out just happens to belong to a national table tennis team.  He must practice for hours on end each day.  I didn’t think that was a fair go-around, but I gracefully rolled away, and joined my friends on the sidelines, one of whom had my phone, and took some very good pictures.  I would tell you that my second event was bocce ball.  I made it through the first two rounds, and then lost to the person I had played against, two years earlier, at an exhibition event for bocce ball.  I believe I lost to him then, as well.  Also, I don’t remember seeing any other women playing, but I could be mistaken.  The air rifle event, was really rough on me, physically.  The MS has progressed (probably why they call it “progressive”) and I couldn’t hold the rifle still enough to even see the entire target, much less those tiny little dots I was to aim for.  They got a stand for the air rifle, and one of the volunteers helped to adjust the sight, so that I could actually see the individual dots I was to aim for.  Another volunteer was helping, by putting each pellet in the rifle, and telling me which dot I was to be aiming at for my next shot, and telling me how far off I was with each shot.  I did a poor job hitting those targets, and didn’t even stick around to see what my final score was.  I would also tell you that the trip home wasn’t nearly as pleasant as the first flight.  We took off late, arrived late, and I waited about an hour for them to bring my chair to me.  I missed my shuttle bus and was screaming scrambling through O’Hare, trying to find the shuttle bus, and when I took the elevator to garage level – twice.  When I finally got to the ticket counter, the fare was $27, and I had $25 on me.  I ended up giving her the $25 in cash, and putting the remaining $2 on my debit card, as I wasn’t too sure about how much was left in my checking account.  The lift on the next bus was broken.

Image result for CoffeeIf were having coffee, I would tell you that the beginning of October is kind of bittersweet.  My mother passed away, four years ago, on the 1st of October.  I would also tell you that the end of the month not only brings Halloween, but a Halloween birthday as well.  When I was in elementary school, she would bake her famous ‘chocolate drop cookies’ and bring them to my school, so I could share them with my class.  All my teachers wanted the recipe of those cookies.  I  like birthdays, except these last few years, my age is starting to seem surreal, uncertain at times, and higher than it was a year ago.  I would tell you how, throughout the years when I was a kid, my mother would throw a ‘surprise’ birthday party, then we would all pile into the car to go Trick-or-Treating, after it got dark!  Imagine that.  We had to use a car, because we lived way out in the country in upstate New York, and the nearest neighbors were up to several miles away.  I would tell you that I always enjoyed those birthdays, and somewhere deep inside, that child who had wonderful birthdays and Christmas’s, is still buried deep within me, and that part of me, I might never let go of.  I would also tell you to have a great week.

Event For The Day

Today was the first day of events, at the Valor Games Southwest in San Antonio, TX.  I always play by the seat of my pants – no preparation in advance.  The game today was the best 3 out of 5 games.  I had to score 11 points and try to keep my opponents points to a minimum.

So I warmed up with a standing guy, who was a better player than I am.  I figured out where his weak spot was, and shot the ball in that direction as much as I could, then I would hit a soft little lob that just made it over the net, hitting the table on his side, but out of his reach.  You would have to have gargantuan arms to reach a ball that close to the net.

wp_20160927_030When I finally was up to compete (the official murdered my last name), and I played against one of the women I played 9-ball with in June/July.  She remembered me to.  We played.  I won, she won, I won, she won.  We were each 2 out of 4 at this point.  I took the fifth game.

We were a good match, about the same levels of play between us.  I had a good time.  I didn’t expect what was coming next.  They paired me up with a guy I didn’t know – and he just stomped me into the ground, taking the first three games.  I was out.

I later learned he was one of three professional players there.  They played on a team together.  No wonder he beat me so hard! 

This post was written without using the taboo word for 9/27/26.  Tomorrow, the last day of the challenge, is nearly impossible.

You can see today’s taboo word below. Visit Eric, author of the All In A Dad’s Work blog and creator of the challenge, for details on participating.

 taboo

Click the blue frog to read others taking part in this fun challenge 

If We Were Having Coffee

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I’d tell you that it has been a long week.  I have not been able to go anywhere, due to the heat and humidity.  Fortunately, I didn’t have any appointments to go to during the week.  I’d tell you that I have a fascinating (at least to me) idea for a new blog I’d like to start, as well as some changes to the looks (Not the content!) of this blog.  I’d tell you I spent a tremendous amount of time, playing Sudoku online, as I play that to try the repair some of the deficits in cognitive ability due to nerve damage on my brain from MS, by stimulating new nerves to take the place of the damaged nerves, with new ones (not sure that has helped).

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee,  I’d tell you that I spent Friday baking goodies for us to eat with our coffee.  I’d tell you I made a delicious carrot cake with cream cheese icing, and molasses cookies (because they are my all-time favorite, after chocolate),  but the cookies were burned because I forgot to set the timer on these newfangled stoves they put in here.  The weather here has turned a bit cool after the storms went through, and I had to put on jeans for the first time all summer.  The air conditioner is off and the cat is enjoying the open window.  Unfortunately, my flowers in the window boxes on the sills did not fare well due to me or the weather (I’d rather blame the weather).  I may have to try something different next year.

Image result for CoffeeIf we were having coffee, I’d tell you that I have an exciting week ahead.  I will be going to Chicago for three days, for the 2016 Valor Games Midwest.  These games have been adapted for veterans with many different types of disabilities, ranging from Archery to Tandem Cycling (for the ones who cannot see), as well as Field events, Indoor Rowing, and some exhibition sports that we can try out, and see if it is something we would like to pursue.  I’d tell you that since I’m either sitting, or in bed for the night, I don’t get much exercise, except when I use my manual chair when someone gives me a ride somewhere.  So I play adaptive sports in the summer, both for the competition, the wish to push myself a little further, to meet up with old friends, or just cheer for our teammates.  I’d tell you I went to Salt Lake City the end of June, into July, and that I won a bronze medal in 9-ball, a silver medal in bowling, and a gold medal for the Power Slalom, which is just a fancy way to say an obstacle course for power wheelchair.  I’d tell you that I don’t do it for the medals, but for the competition with friends I’ve met over the years, conversations by the pool that can last half the night, and the opportunity to travel all over the US.  I’ve been to events from the western part to the state to the eastern part, and I have yet to visit a city I haven’t liked, except for maybe the heat.  I’d also tell you that in September I’m going to San Antonio for the Valor Games Southwest.  This will be my third year going, but this year is the first year that I’ve had to pay for everything myself.  I was charged an extra $200 for my flight, because I changed my departure day to return home, from Friday to Thursday.  Then I turned out I had the return flight scheduled on the correct day the first day, but my departure from home was a day early.  So I cancelled the reservation entirely (BIG mistake) and applied for a refund for the entire trip.  I then made a new reservation, on the correct days, but was later informed that I would not be receiving a refund at all from the first reservation.  Any ideas how I can do that??  I would also tell you that I won’t be posting much this week, due to my travels.  And I would tell you to have a great week!