by Nan Walter
When Gerda Jorgenson was assigned a project as part of the coursework at the Nutritional Therapy Association, the idea for the Petanque+Nutrition brochure was, dare we say it, a natural. The intersection of her two interests, boules and health, has yielded a handsome and handy trifold that is loaded with useful information for both the recreational and competitive boules player.
Nutrition and hydration information is both proscriptive (don't overindulge in diuretics—looking at you, morning coffee) and prescriptive (do consume high-quality fats like nuts for long-burning energy). She even provides checklists on what to look for to determine if someone is suffering from dehydration or heat exhaustion and suggestions for calculating amounts of fluid for proper hydration. The latter has become a real concern for pétanque players, as each year we seem to set a new record for summer heat. Indeed, reminding fellow players to be proactive was one of Gerda's objectives in creating the brochure, "…the summers are getting hotter and for long days of play, it's so important to take care of oneself."
While Gerda has recently relocated to Camas, Washington, along with her boyfriend, fellow pétanque player, Aaron Baughn, and their dog, Kronos, she learned to play the game when she lived in Port Townsend, Washington. She and friend Bekah Howe competed as a team in the inaugural Pourhouse Taproom pétanque league. Gerda and Bekah came in third, ahead of a field comprised of mostly all-male teams. Since then they've never looked back. Gerda and Bekah went on to take third in their first FPUSA Tournament, the 2014 NW Regional Women's Doubles. They followed that up in 2015 with second place at the FPUSA National Women's Doubles. In 2016 they took first in the NW Regional Women's Doubles and second in the NW Regional Women's Triples along with teammate Linda Ferguson Conyers.
This year Gerda and Aaron have been playing at the Portland Pétanque Club and the Lake Oswego Pétanque Club, but she occasionally gets back to Port Townsend to play with her old friends. Now that she has completed her coursework and achieved her NTP degree, she hopes to have more time for knitting, hiking, and, of course, pétanque.
Gerda’s brochure is available as a downloadable and printable PDF on the FPUSA website in the Resources section.