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Pickleball Helps Stroke Survivor's Recovery

posted May 27, 2012, 6:46 PM by Northern Illinois Pickleball   [ updated Apr 8, 2013, 2:39 PM ]
Friday nights belong to Rockford Pickleball players during the summer. It's a game that can get pretty intense. And it's getting one club member back on his feet. "It's just a lot of fun, good way to get some exercise, and have fun at the same time." Todd Kennedy's one of the regulars at Friday night pickleball. He's like many of the players, retired, looking for a good workout. "Especially with doubles you can really get a lot of movement on it," says player Tom Bosley. The intensity can be a bit daunting for a new player. But everyone helps each other out. "Most of the people around here are fairly good, so it's naturally competitive." Ray Monroe used to offer plenty of his own tips. "He gave good hints on what you were doing wrong and if you need to improve," says pickleball player Pat Freed. But now he finds himself re-learning his skills. "One year ago I suffered a stroke, and now my friends here, in Rockford pickleball have allowed me to come out and participate." That stroke makes it difficult for Monroe to get around. But with a little help getting in place, he holds his own on the court. "They hit the ball so I can hit the ball back, and it gives me a chance to participate," says Monroe."With the competitiveness, we forget and maybe hit a harder shot than what we intended to do, but he wants it that way," say Freed. "I'm better than I was a month ago," says Monroe. He believes it's great for his rehab. The right hander has learned to play lefty. And he's graduated from sitting in a wheelchair, to defending his zone on the court. He never thought he'd get this chance. "I could have died, I was close to death, but I lived, and every day that I live, I'm going to celebrate living."