TRAVERSE CITY-- Pickleball is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States this year. According to the Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP), there are 36.5 million pickleball players nationwide. And those right here in Northern Michigan are not immune to the recent craze.
Traverse City-based stand-up comedian, Marti Johnson, got involved in the pickleball community in Traverse City about eight months ago. Now, she finds herself playing three to four times a week.
“I saw my friends on social media that were playing pickleball outside and I’m single and I work from home. So, I thought this would be fantastic. Laugh, workout, I’ve lost over 10 pounds, exercise, social, it’s perfect for me. It’s fantastic,” the comedian said.
She’s found the game comes with plenty of benefits.
“It’s changed my life for the better especially for my mental health working from home and just the activity, what do you call that the adrenaline rush. But I would say if anyone’s on the fence and they’re curious about it. The pickleball community here in Traverse City is very welcoming. And I would highly suggest that they just give it a try,” Johnson said.
On any given day, weather permitting, you’ll find groups of friends playing at Traverse City’s First Dog Park, where they’ll gladly take you up on a game.
“The pickleball community is very friendly, engaging, especially with people like me that were a beginner. the more often you play, of course, and the better players that you play with, the better you become. And there’s a lot of people that have been very welcoming to beginners. I’m one of them, because we all start somewhere.”