It’s never too late in life to get a new hobby. For “V” (Veronica, the “V” in Chef V), her new hobby is more like an obsession. And she’s not the only one who is mad about pickleball, the fastest growing sport in America.
You’d figure that an unbearable late summer humid heat wave lasting several days with temperatures approaching triple digits would deter V from pursuing her latest passion: pickleball, which if you don’t know is an exciting game that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis.
It would be one thing if V were playing pickleball indoors. But nope, she’s been playing pickleball al fresco, with not a care in the world that rivulets of sweat are pouring down her face. After all, the entrepreneur behind Organic Green Drink home delivery is a devotee of hot yoga.
Pickleball: Serious Business
So why has V become so obsessed with playing pickleball, often testing her skills in matches six days a week for the past several months? Well, for starters she’s not alone. According to the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, pickleball participation has grown nearly 40% of the past two years. Currently, there are nearly an estimated 5 million people who regularly play pickleball, making the sport the fastest growing in the U.S. for the second year in a row.
And if V continues to improve her game, watch out, because who knows, it’s never too late for another professional side hustle. In fact, pickleball is such a hot sport that there’s Major League Pickleball (MLP)… who knew? And MLP is no joke. We’re not talking about beer pong prize money here. The winning team from a recent tournament in Newport Beach, CA walked away with a prize of $100,000. Even former NFL quarterback Drew Brees owns a team in the MLP.
Pickleball is clearly not in the same league as beer-guzzling “sports” like darts, horseshoes and cornhole; it’s serious business. Don’t bother showing up unless you plan on bringing your A-game! (Or at least learn how to play with serious intent.)
Stay Out of The Kitchen
But let’s get back to V and why she was called to the activity, nay, sport, nay, way of life and obsession. Maybe it’s the fact that there’s an area of the pickleball court called the kitchen. And if you’ve been following V’s recipes over the years, you know she loves being in the kitchen. Although to be sure, in pickleball, it’s a no-no to volley the ball in the kitchen. Perhaps this is the rare time that V likes to be out of the kitchen.
Actually, V started playing on a more social level. So she and hubby, Brandon, went to a “learn how to play” pickleball lesson and subsequently went on to win 4 matches to advance to the championship game. And before she knew it, she was hooked.
“From the very first day I loved it and my goal was to immediately learn how to get really good and get to the next level,” says V.
While V hasn’t specifically mentioned an aspiration of making it to the majors (MLP), she does plan on dominating her “Chickleball” league, a pickleball competitive group for ladies in the region of San Diego where she lives. And how cute is this … wait for it … V personally named her team the Volley Llamas. (Get it?) An appropriate pickleball pun for someone who places as much emphasis on spiritual development as physical and business.
A Vehicle For New Customers
And of course it wouldn’t be V unless she quenched her thirst on the court with Organic Green Drink. V brings plenty of Green Drink with her, not only for herself and Brandon but for other pickleball players who have never experienced the crisp, refreshing taste. (So much more satisfying than water, especially in this recent heat wave.)
“The Green Drink has been a big social hit,” says V, adding, “When it’s hot and you need nutrients back in your system fast, it’s the perfect beverage.” And just as V has become obsessed, some of her new pickleball friends have become obsessed with Green Drink.