By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

Seated next to me on my flight home from Arizona was an attractive and highly active sixty-something year old woman. Donning sport gear, in exceptional shape, and invested in what appeared a health magazine of some sort, I gave her a friendly nudge and asked whether I might momentarily bother her for a question.
Given an affirmative nod and smile, she looked at me with a natural confidence and leaned into me with a curious arousal.
I complemented my new friend on her obvious and notable physique and asked whether she might share with me her body maintenance strategy.
My momentary question turned into an enjoyable and highly energized two hour conversation by which an early and easy relationship was established.
"Laura" is a sponsored and professional pickleball player.
She travels around the US and plays on circuits and courts well known to the "pickleball community," appearing in significant tournaments hosted by the CBS Sports Network and other nationally known sport venues.
Her sponsorship is an athletic company which conveys her to games across the US and supplies and intersects her with interesting athletes, promotional companies, and fellow pickleball players.
A competitive and driven athlete, Laura's love and passion for the game distinguishes her from others, and so does her ability and desire to teach others about it:
Pickleball is a paddle sport combining elements of badminton, ping-pong, and tennis.
It's played on a badminton-sized court and boasts a net similar to tennis.
Tools for play include a solid paddle and a polymer perforated ball comparable to a Wiffle ball.
Double and single matches are common.
Serves are made diagonally and underhand.
The game is quick, active, and competitive.
 The first player to score 11 is declared the winner and a two point separation at the end is required.
Vocabulary words common to pickleball players:
 Fault, non-volley zone, double-bounce rules, dink, paddle talk.
Tom Early is a significant and familiar name to the pickleball world and highly respected ambassador of the sport; so is veteran player Steve Paranto.
Listening to my friend's obvious love of the game made me want to "try" the game.
Anyone want to partner up with me?
Beyond game talk, Laura spoke to me about what initially drove a passion for the game into her. She spoke comfortably and disarmingly about addictive traits and tendencies navigating her genetic disposition which resulted in her selection of a physically mobilizing and energizing sport.
Laura's nature seemed invisibly woven and absorbed into my own and our mutual internal commonalities created a forceful and empowering link.
We shared a verbal exchange of areas ranging from:
+Interests to addictions.
+Passions to personalities.
+Positives to potentials.
+Ambitions to achievements.
+Backgrounds to genetics.
Mmmm ...
The Arizona flight, combined with the intersection of a new and adventurous friend rejuvenated, empowered, and energized me ... all because of one initial and provoking question.
A simple question can translate into a beautiful answer and more.
Because of Laura, my serve is stronger and my disposition more energized;
my own passions have been stirred and my desires enflamed and excited.
I've got a paddle in hand,
a serve prepared,
and I'm striving for an 11.
Who's new in your court?
Pickle me.