Pickleball Points

This is the week we all think about WEIGHT.

I knew a fellow who did more than 90 percent of his sizable business on New Year’s Day selling on national television a stationary bike.
He sold a lot of them. So many, in fact, he would send his personal limousine to pick me up at the
airport when I visited, and then
we played indoor tennis at his personal tennis court attached to
his office. His consumers desperately wanted to lose weight, but
when he did a survey, the average bike only racked up 3.5 miles. They obviously needed encouragement, and this brings me to pickleball.

A nation overweight

Stop! Put it down! Drink a glass of water. Clamp down.

Bob Cairo from Ocean View is an extraordinary physical therapist. I was admiring Cairo’s much-earlier column about America being out of shape. A third of Americans are obese, and for those mathematically challenged, that means 110 million Americans are seriously overweight — certain to have serious health problems earlier than expected. On average, each American is 25 (and this is being kind) pounds overweight. And we collectively are paying for these problems.

While attending a community party before COVID, I withdrew to the corner like a quarterback in the NFL and called a huddle of the Ocean View Crew to figure out if we Pickleballers could fix this serious national problem. When Mike Smith and Steve Melofchik arrived, I explained the problem.

Based on the averages, America is 2.75 billion pounds overweight. As you can see, this is an enormous problem.

Then I said, “Get this straight, Mates, that’s a lot of extra weight in the old crate slowing down our collective gait and costing all of us a lot of pieces of eight.”

They had a very simple answer. Mike said, “Let’s just teach all 110 million how to play pickleball.” Melofchik, a bit of a mathematical savant, immediately calculated that all 110,000 million could burn off that weight in 1.85 years, or sooner, based on frequency of play. In his footnotes, he assumed only three games a session three times a week, and we all know that we play three games just to warm up.

Mike, no slouch at mathematics either, immediately quipped that if each pickleballer taught five new overweight Americans how to play pickleball, and they then each taught five of their friends, we would be well on our way to eradicating this expensive obesity problem by next Christmas.

‘A Christmas present for America’

Dom Travaglini, our resident rocket scientist, added to the conversation as he walked up.

“A Christmas present for our ballooning national medical care costs,” enjoined Steve Costa who heads up the Coastal Community Pickleball League. Bob Cook and Rocky Tinebra were last to the huddle, something about having to fix the broken entrance door.

Mike explained the problem and Rocky piped up, “We are Americans, and Americans can fix anything when we put our mind to it!”

Bob Zimmer stepped in the middle of us, clapped his hands and said, “Pickleball, 8 a.m.”

We broke out of huddle and lined up at the smorgasbord laid out by Ocean View Crew team members Donna Whitman, Paula Cook and Peggy Baker. Our team physical therapist Bob Cairo yelled, “Wait, what about Weight?” Smith laughingly said, “Wait!” Zimmer just shook his head and yelled “Grab your Plate. Pickleball, 5,000 steps an hour, 1,500 calories a session, Mate”

We are so close to a vaccine, please don’t do anything dumb so you really can have a Happy New Year. From all of us to ALL of you, best wishes from the Ocean View Crew.

Vaughn “The Baron” Baker is a Senior Olympics gold-medalist in pickleball, and is public relations director for the First State Pickleball Club (FSPC) and captain of the Ocean View Crew pickleball community. He spent his career working with top tennis professionals while working for Wilson Sporting Goods and introducing the Prince Tennis Racket and Wimbledon Tennis Lines. For more information, visit PickleballCoast.com.