When choosing an RV park, access to pickleball courts is always a consideration. I fell in love with this game last year out in Arizona and try to find it where ever I go.
So when I searched the Pickleball USA website and found a group in North Ft Myers I contacted them to see if I could join in since it showed a private membership. I was invited with open arms by the lovely lady responding to my email.
The first day I went to play there were only a handful of people playing due to the cold weather and everyone seemed glad to meet me and we all had fun.
The next time I went there were many more of the residents of the park playing and a lady approached me to find out "how I got in". Yikes! I felt like a total interloper. She gently but firmly put me in my place that the residents should have first opportunity to play as they live here.
I played for a bit and then when the players switched out I quietly exited and went home. This may seem like a small issue but let me tell you, it pushed all my insecurity buttons. I was feeling the shame of being unwanted and unwelcome and had to really work to shrug it off.
However, while there I did hear one lady mention that some of the people were going to the new community center to play. So when I got home and soothed my bruised ego by telling Left Brain of my misadventure, I searched the internet for this community center.
After getting some basic info I called them and asked about the pickleball courts. Yes, indeed they had courts indoors and played three days a week. I would have to pay a membership fee. My heart sank as I know how expensive the memberships can be at the YMCA and the like. Then she told me it was a $10 lifetime membership.
Needless to say we raced down there after lunch to make sure this really could be true. The facility just opened in the fall of 2013 and was gorgeous. We both paid down our $10 for the lifetime membership.
Then I found another program they have as an adjunct to this for $10 a year. It offered tai chi, yoga, Spanish lessons, crochet, and a host of other interests to varied to mention. I just found my favorite place to visit!
So in looking back I realized that the lady who confronted me actually did me a favor. I can now play indoors with no questions as to my right to be there and free of all elements of the weather.
It just goes to show there is always a silver lining after the storm if you just keep looking for it.
Long Live the Queen of Pickleball