Table Tennis Changed My Life: Scott Badillo

Richard Perez Scott Badillo table tennis

This is the story of how table tennis changed my life…

On May 22nd 2012, I was playing frisbee when I passed out due to a leaking brain aneurysm. I was taken to the hospital where I had to undergo emergency brain surgery to clip the aneurysm.

The recovery to this surgery required 17 days in the hospital and still to this day, I am recovering. I am thankful to say my symptoms are very minimal now but the hard part to this recovery is the unknown. For a period of 6 months to 2 years I was told I could experience a great deal of nausea and headaches from the blood that had leaked into my brain.

4 months after the surgery I was still experiencing extreme headaches and nausea. I started to feel depressed, which is very common at this stage, because I felt hopeless there is no way I could ever feel better.

As a kid I had a ping pong table and would play occasionally. While I always liked it, there was never anybody to play. I also had no clue about playing real table tennis but knowing I’ve always enjoyed playing, my buddy and I agreed to hit on his table for an hour each day. I had already started watching “how to” videos on the Internet and started looking up table tennis clubs my area. I found “The Asheville Table Tennis Club,” just 10 minutes away. After one session I was hooked on table tennis immediately.

After about three weeks of playing and despite being physically beat after every session, I realized how clear my mind had felt. My headaches had basically stopped and I started to retain my ability to think clear and stress free. I mentioned this to the President of the club and he had told me about the proven medical benefits of ping pong, of which I had no idea. After going home and researching I found it was probably the best thing I could have done for my mind and body.

After playing for 6 months my wife and I decided we were going to move from North Carolina back to our family in Michigan. We had found out that we were expecting our first baby too. Although it was difficult leaving all my new friends and new life, we felt it was the best decision for our new family. After we had left I realized my passion for the sport and desire to see my friends was greater than I thought. I found myself driving back to Fayetteville for the Cape Fear Open, a tournament I had played in while still living in North Carolina. And I always make a few pit stops at my hometown club in Asheville. I have missed the past 3 Cape Fear Opens because of the birth of my daughter. However, I plan to get back there November 16th for another great Cape Fear Open.

After playing for about 13 months, I have attended over 20 tournaments. In addition, I go to club 4 or more times a week. I never get headaches and my nausea is slight and rare. The best part is: I have lost 80lbs and am faster now at 25 than I was at 18.

I am very passionate about the game because of what it has done for me and I enjoy every single second of it. I do not plan to stop and have acquired Samson Dubina as my head coach and trainer. Over the past few months he has improved my game drastically with only 1 lesson a month. However, in an attempt to further polish and refine my game, I will soon be seeing him once a week in order to accomplish goals; such as reaching a level well over 2000 plus many more.

Lastly I would like to encourage everybody to come out and play at Farmington Hills Table Tennis Center, in Farmington Hills, Michigan or to look up a club in your area. It’s a great sport filled with many medical benefits and awesome people.
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Richard Perez Scott Badillo trophy

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