That time we took a CURLING class

A few months ago one of our docs asked me if I’d be interested in learning more about curling. “Of COURSE!”, I replied. Who wouldn’t really? Honestly…
Have you never heard of curling? Google it. I’ll wait.

Curling Stone
Everybody must get stoned

See? Cool stuff!! Kinda like a cross between shuffleboard and chess on ice. What’s not to love? My parents introduced Tracey and I to curling a few years ago, but until this past Saturday, we’d just been idle observers. On Thursday I received another email from the doc, asking if I was still interested and if so could I come to a class this weekend held by the Upper Valley Curling Club. I sent T a message, and BAM! It was agreed that we’d go.
We got to the rink in due time, and during the sign in process were surprised to learn that it was $25 per person…ummm…what? I guess the doc neglected to tell me that part. T stayed at the rink while I raced to the ATM and back. $50 sawbucks later, we were hanging out in the coldness of the rink, wondering what was going to happen next.
Curling takes place here!
Hockey AND Curling (NOT simultaneously!)

There were several other people from work in attendance, which was interesting. Some of them had been to a class before, and were now in the ‘beginner’ group rather than the introductory group. Huh. I had not idea it was so popular!
There were 5 of us in the intro group, and two club members (Bob and Peter) took us under their wings and were great instructors. We learned about ‘hoglines’, stones, the ‘house’, the ‘button’, sweeping, and ‘burnt stones.’ (stay away from those. avoid them. no bueno!) Did you know that Curling started in Scotland? Me, either. I had it pegged for Canada.
We spent about 20 mins or so practicing ‘delivering’ off of the rack, but without the stones; we used TWO stabilizers. Later we swapped out one stabilizer for the stone (see picture above. it weighs 42 lbs.), and after a few turns we were allowed to send stones down the ice. The other end is 126 feet away. Seems simple to get it there, right? I mean, IT’S ON ICE for crying out loud. Yea. My first 3 deliveries fell about 120 feet short. Ok, not THAT short, but only ONE of them managed to cross the hogline at the other end, rendering two of my stones dead. At least they weren’t burnt.
Sweeping is a very important part of the game, as it is used to decrease the rate of deceleration of the stone once it is released. It looks easy on TV, but lemme tell ya…my back and abs were feelin’ it the next day!
Curling Sweeping
Sweeping a stone into the house

If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, curling might be for you. Most clubs, it seems, have brooms and covers for your sneakers, so the cost to get involved doesn’t seem too daunting. We’ll consider going back for more, but T said that next time she’ll wear warmer socks. We were on the ice from 5:30pm until 8:00pm; plenty of time for toes to get chilly.
Have you recently participated in any classes related to something that you’d been interested in doing but had never pursued? What was it? Did you have a good time? Lemme know!

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