Little did I know when I invited my friends for a guys' night out and a few rounds of pickleball how fast I would fall in love with the sport.

Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country and I've fallen for the hype. All skill levels are welcome as it's a game that you must dive into to understand. You'll eventually get the swing of it.

So here we were, four of us looking like a group of amateur jabronis, walking onto a pickleball court for the first time. Our knowledge of the game came from YouTube or Google.

This was going to be interesting.

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Now, I wouldn't exactly call our group "elite" athletes, but we put in the work, and boy, did we work up a sweat. Our sweatshirts were off immediately following the first game, which consisted mostly of us getting used to the light ball and rackets.

Our games looked like slow-motion matches compared to the veterans surrounding us on the other courts, but it was the fun of the game that left a mark.

After the games, it was nice to grab a beer with the guys, watch Tom Brady do his thing on Monday Night Football and share a lot of laughs.

The next day was a little rough.

None of us had stretched before playing (it just didn't seem necessary) and as a result, our knees were swollen, ankles sore, thighs strained and hips most certainly not lying when it came to pain.

The moral of the story: Play to your level and leave the competition at the door. Have fun. Be persistent. Find a night that works for everyone and stick with it. You're only going to improve with time.

Finally, don't forget to stretch. Your body will thank you in the morning.

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