April 01, 2023

GUEST COLUMN: Orient native is pickleball proud

It was an ordinary day with extraordinary results. It began in Omaha, Nebraska at the Common Ground Community Center in 2018. I was walking on the running track on the balcony above the basketball court when I noticed people playing an unusual game with paddles, a whiffle ball and a net. It didn’t look like tennis, badminton or ping pong, but I was intrigued. What kind of game are these “old” people playing? They look like they are really having fun.

As a former Iowa Girls Basketball player from 50 years ago (1973), I have always enjoyed sports, competition and physical activity.

I asked some onlookers what type of game these “old but active” people were playing and they said: “Pickleball; You should try it.” I didn’t even have any equipment, but the group was so welcoming that they let me borrow a paddle, got me in a game, gave me a short instruction lesson, and I was hooked!

When I moved to Montana with my husband I didn’t know anyone except my immediate family. In order to meet people and develop friendships, I immediately got involved with pickleball. It wasn’t always easy to fit in to some of the cliques. Most people are very welcoming, but there are a few people that will roll their eyes and forget that they too were once new to the game of pickleball. (Lesson learned: Appreciate the good people, and karma will take care of the others.)

I have invested my time and talents by sharing my love of pickle ball with my husband, my children, my grandchildren, my siblings and friends. It’s one of the best “investments” I’ve ever made. It’s so much fun to travel in the U.S. and play pickleball with new people who become friends.

Your “SHIP” will come in when you start playing pickleball. The “wealth” you receive may be in the following:






Pickleball is not a game of being perfect. It’s a game of progress. (You either “Win” or you “Learn” in a game.) In PB we strive for PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION. Play for the “health” of it! (Health is wealth!)

Where’s the fun? It’s in Pickle Ball!

Come join me!


Theresa Proud (AKA: Pickleball Proud) is a farmer’s daughter who grew up to be a “late bloomer” and blooms wherever she’s planted. She believes in M&Ms (movement and moderation) and has a sweet tooth. Rumor has it that Theresa is humble by nature and “PROUD” by name. She is a 1973 Orient-Macksburg graduate.