USA Pickleball Giving Tuesday Julie Nidiffer Inspirational Story
At the lowest point in her life, Julie Nidiffer weighed 243 pounds and literally didn’t have enough energy left after doing the nightly dishes. “I was no fun to be around. I was always thinking about suicide and I feared the world and my future. I was miserable.
Enter the healing remedy of pickleball. Playing at the Gordon Jewish Community Center in her hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, over the past ten months, Julie’s transformation has been nothing short of remarkable. Shedding 90 pounds, she is now at her ideal weight and picks up her paddle 2-3 times a week to play on the indoor courts. And, her journey was supported wholly by her husband Jerry. Her mixed doubles partner has experienced an amazing journey of his own. Once tipping the scales at 340 pounds, he has lost more than half his body weight and is now 166 pounds and credits pickleball with saving both their lives. Julie agrees. “I can’t believe how much I have changed in less than a year. I am so happy now and I owe it all to pickleball and so does my husband.”
Playing together, their games have improved to the point where they are entering tournaments and, in a few events, earning medals. They recently won a silver medal in 2.5 mixed doubles at a tournament in Jackson, Tennessee. Julie hopes to start playing singles soon and has her eyes set on a tournament in February in Owensboro, Kentucky.
Off the courts, Julie is starting to make great strides in running events. “I started running to get in better shape for pickleball and now I’m running as much as I am playing pickleball.” Running so well in fact that this Thanksgiving she ran 10 miles (the whole way) and the 52-year-old finished first in her age group. “What a great feeling that was! I was determined to run the whole race and never stop to walk, and I did it!” Next up for Julie – a half-marathon next December in Huntsville, Alabama.
Today is Giving Tuesday. For Julie Nidiffer, she gives thanks as do thousands of other pickleballers for the sport that not only can save lives but creates an everlasting journey of happiness and newfound friendships. Find a court near you at https://www.places2play.org. Like Julie, it can have a tremendous impact on your life and others.
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