A moment from Lilieth A. Rigdon

My interest was piqued when I saw an invitation in the neighborhood newspaper for seniors to play badminton at the local recreation center. There were no fees, no forms to complete and free use of the facilities was offered. I was interested in investigating this, but said to myself, “Hold on. Don’t jump so fast.”  Were they referring to “seniors” (graying hair, discounts on coffee at Arby’s) or high school seniors?  I reflected that, at 57 I was not ready to be labeled a “senior.” However, I opted to at least check it out.

When I arrived at the center I saw several fit females in athletic gear, but no high school seniors.  My fears were alleviated!  I observed the ladies while they played.  “What do you want?” one of the players asked.  I referred to the invitation in the newspaper, and soon was joining in the badminton games with them.  The age question was addressed and at “57” I was labeled the “baby” of the group. 

It has been almost eight years since I joined that group.  In retrospect, I am happy that I jumped at the invitation to play badminton. Over the years I’ve been playing badminton I’ve also lost 35 pounds and this has helped me chase after my grandchildren.

I met my husband at another badminton recreational center and we’ve been married for approximately 5 years.

To cut to the chase, I jumped at the local invitation to participate in badminton and I learned patience and a good sense of team spirit.  The implementation of patience was necessary when I participated at the local and State games with my husband and doubles partner.

I still love playing badminton and do so with my husband at the local and private tournaments.  I’ve had no regrets about my decision to join the “seniors” at the center.  So, the next time you pick up the local newspaper inviting “seniors” to play a sport, jump to it.

Paulette Ballard collects moving, funny or interesting stories. If you have a story to submit, email pballardnc1029@yahoo.com. Include your name and phone number.