Pickleball made me cry.

Today, pickleball made me cry.


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A post shared by Cassey Ho (@blogilates)

Growing up my childhood was all about academics and tennis tennis tennis. My dad was a USTA coach and I trained so much I hated it. Sure he taught me beautiful form and technique, but I never learned how to have fun. Even though it’s been years since I’ve stopped competing, I can still hear the yelling anytime I step on a court and my ball hits the net or goes out.

Winning was winning. But losing wasn’t losing. It was failing. Failing my coach, my dad, my team, and myself.

I cold turkey stopped playing tennis after HS because mentally, it gave me too much anxiety. Plus physically, I couldn’t play like I used to anymore. I had badly injured my wrist my sophomore season. My career on the court was over.

But today, many many lifetimes later – something in me asked to try something new.

It asked to try pickleball. Same-ish concept as tennis but smaller racquet, smaller court, and lighter ball.

At first, I was getting so frustrated at my timing bc the ball was bouncing differently and I was literally missing the ball and swinging at air! I kept yelling at myself the same way my coaches used to.

Later that night, Sam asked if I wanted to play a game and my immediate response was “absolutely not because it will ruin our relationship.”


For the next 2 hrs we peeled the onion and man, there is a lot of trauma I need to work thru.

When Sam was asking me to play, he thought it would be a fun game.

But what I HEARD was he wanted to beat me. And if he beat me, it would mean me losing. And me losing, means me failing. And me failing means me being worthless. And worthless was how I felt anytime I lost a game.

Then he said something that brought me to tears. He said “You need to learn how to lose.”

When I heard that, I realized, omg. I had never been told it’s ok to fail. I’ve only ever been coached how to win, never how to lose…without losing my self worth. I started crying.

I’ll always be grateful for my dad and my tennis journey but today I need to begin undoing my past in order to move forward.

cassey ho blogilates popflex pirouette skort mockneck shruggie

PS: I’m wearing the POPFLEX Mockneck shruggie (s/m), corset bra (xs) + pirouette skort (s). I’m 5’5”.

6 thoughts on “Pickleball made me cry.”

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  1. Johanna says:

    Thank you for sharing so vulnerably Cassey! As someone who was put in the “gifted” program at a young age in school and learned to connect perfectionism with success, I found this very relatable. Living that way produces burnout and doesn’t allow space for failure and growth. It’s encouraging reading how you’re processing your own journey. Please keep sharing and being you!

  2. Stacey says:

    Celebrating you for reparenting your inner child!!!
    Only Love is Real!!
    Celebrating you releasing your earthly father in the part you had him play in your life!!
    We are worthy simply because we are all Children of Our Loving Creator, whatever you choose to call your Higher Power/Self!!

  3. LexyA says:

    This a really interesting and brave post, Cassey. It reminds of something my son’s Year 6 (last year of primary school) teacher said to him – ‘I dare you to get something wrong every day in my class’. All through Year 5, he’d refused to do a lot of the work because he couldn’t bear it if he got it wrong. He has high-functioning autism and the anxiety he felt when he got something wrong, when he usually got everything right, was unbearable to him. His Y6 teacher enabled him to get past that and he learned to dare to fail. He’s much happier now and I hope you are too.

  4. Smriti says:

    Cassey I am missing your workout kindly post atleast one video in a month and keep in touch

  5. Niki says:

    Good god girl get a grip.

  6. Gemma says:

    This was so raw and emotionally inspiring. Thank you for sharing!!