Navigating the Journey: May Mental Wellness Court Connection Stories

May 24, 2024

Navigating the Journey: May Mental Wellness Court Connection Stories

Welcome to a special edition of Court Connections, where we shine a spotlight on the power of pickleball to uplift and inspire. Throughout the month of May, we invited players from all walks of life to share their personal stories of resilience, strength, and mental wellness in the face of adversity. From overcoming challenges to finding solace and joy on the court, these stories offer a glimpse into the transformative impact of pickleball on mental health. Join us as we dive into the heartfelt narratives that embody the spirit of May's Mental Wellness Court Connection.

As the world grapples with the complexities of mental health, pickleball emerges as a beacon of hope and healing for many. Amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life, the pickleball court serves as a sanctuary where players can find refuge, release, and rejuvenation. Whether it's the cathartic rhythm of the game, the supportive community of fellow players, or the simple joy of being outdoors, pickleball has a unique ability to nourish the mind, body, and soul.

"Honestly this little sport has brought so much joy to my life this year. A silver lining in a time that felt grey. After both our husbands were recovering from surgery my sister and I joined forces & started playing. One week, and then the next & every week since. It has been a while since I found something that motivated me to move my body & get outside. The last couple years took a toll on me. Both my physical & mental health were unfortunately in a not so great place. It might sound silly but I am so grateful for the days on the court and what it’s done for me. Our little pickleball crew, the competitive (yet genuinely unserious) aspect & most of all the sense of community. Pickleball showed up in my life exactly when I needed it the most."

- Kelsie Frazier (Vancouver, WA)

"Pickleball has brought my Dad and I closer together. We play almost every week now. Originally, my Dad asked me to play pickleball and I said “Isn’t that a sport for old people?!” I played with him and I was hooked instantly. I’ve become obsessed with the sport. I’ve gone to Major League Pickleball events with my Dad, competed in tournaments, and started making pickleball content on Instagram. I love that the sport allows people from all generations to play, get outside, exercise, compete, and socialize with others. Pickleball is the great equalizer!"

- Brandon Cirbo (Lake Forest, CA)

"I find myself coming to the pickleball courts not only for amazing games but also for the community I’ve built. Recently my girlfriend of 2 years broke up with me. I’ve been trying to keep myself busy and going to play pickleball just was my stress relief and something to occupy my mind while I try to overcome heartbreak. I’m usually a very cheery vocal person on the courts but the past few weeks I’ve just been quiet. A lot of the community noticed and checked up on me. After finding out about my situation, they filled me with love, support, advice, and a shoulder to lean on. I’m only 23 and this was my first heartbreak. I’m surround by people from all walks of life and some older people who have lived through so much. Their advice and empathy have comforted me and helped me become a better person. I cannot tell you how much they have helped me from spiraling in my thoughts and how the sport has helped me dink my problems away (haha). Those that had my numbers would text me to check in as well as drag me out the house to keep me company. Pickleball has given me the strongest, biggest, and most diverse group of friends. I am forever grateful to all those people whom I have met."

- Casey Nguyen (San Jose, CA)

"The short version is that I suffer from ptsd, ongoing effects of a tbi (traumatic brain injury) and other things since my military deployment in 2004. I don't get the normal highs that come with a typical life, and the lows come and go without warning. I also has back surgery in the service so physically and mentally things are challenging at times. By no means am I the worst of the worst, but my life has definitely been impacted. I joined a beginner league at a local ymca and can say from the first time playing that I had genuine fun. Pickleball isn't overly demanding like some thi gs, but it gets me up and moving which is huge for mental wellbeing. I am currently in 2 leagues and am improving little by little with hopes to actually hit the ball where I want every time haha. I have only played weekly for a couple months, but with the warm weather the opportunity to get out with my family and play gives me something to look forward to."

- Chris Warren (Cincinnati, OH)

"Pickleball has helped me cope with my bipolar disorder and my attention deficit disorder by giving me something to focus on that is beneficial to my health and social. I’ve met so many people who also suffer from similar mental health conditions and it definitely helps me come out of my shell and thrive."

- Sean Hart (Broadview Heights)

"I am the mother of 6 kids. For the last 21 years I have done nothing but raise my babies. I am so grateful for them and I love being a mother more than anything! But I lost myself! I had no hobbies, no exercise regimen, no interests….nothing for me. Pickleball saved me! I was able to enjoy doing something again, make new friends, be good at something, and most importantly it has brought back part of the Cheryl then went missing when I was having babies."

- Cheryl Gardner (San Juan Capistrano, CA)

As we reflect on the stories shared in May's Mental Wellness Court Connection, let us celebrate the resilience, strength, and courage of each individual who dared to open up and share their journey. Their stories remind us that we are never alone in our struggles and that pickleball has the power to uplift, inspire, and heal. May we continue to cultivate a culture of kindness, compassion, and support both on and off the court, as we strive to create a world where mental wellness is embraced, celebrated, and prioritized.

Join us in honoring these courageous individuals and their journeys as we continue to champion mental wellness through the transformative power of pickleball.

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Be entered to win:

  • 2 Paddletek Paddles (winners choice)
  • 2 Paddletek Paddle Covers
  • 1 Paddletek Sport Backpack (winner choose color)
  • 1 Performance Icon Hat (winner choose color)

Court Connections in May sponsored by Paddletek Pickleball