During the cold months, Tom curls.
He plays in a couple of leagues each week, and travels to bonspiels with his curling buddies.
It's his thing . . . not my thing.
I have never had any desire to curl -- despite encouragement from Tom and the other members (many of whom are couples) of the curling club. There is no real reason why I wouldn't want to at least try it. Except that it's never appealed to me. And I have plenty of other things I already like to do. And it's cold.
But a group of our friends decided they would like to try it. And Tom offered to organize an outing. And . . . I finally tried it. On Monday, I went through . . . the curling entrance . . .
and went right out on the ice.
Tom was a great curling instructor. He's passionate and patient -- and has a good sense of humor. (I think it helped that this particular group of our friends . . . are all very athletic with a strong competitive spirit.) (Okay. Let's make that a VERY strong competitive spirit.)
It was actually . . . a blast!
Curling is a game of finesse and technique -- and WAY harder than they make it look on TV. It's also a bit scary. Because ice. But it's the kind of thing that - with a bit of solid instruction - you can actually DO (even if badly) right away.
I mean, it wasn't very pretty . . . but we learned the basics AND played 3 "ends" (kind of like an inning in baseball) in 2 hours. (Of course, we were motivated.) (And - did I mention - competitive?)
It was a lot of fun. But also kind of . . . intimidating. It's awkward to push off "the hack" on that slippery ice with a teflon-coated "slider" under your foot . . . to send a 42-pound "rock" down the ice.
And the first time Tom told me to RUN down the ice to sweep one of my teammate's rocks, I was like . . . are you freaking kidding me?????
But. I got there! It was challenging -- and a whole lot more fun that I imagined.
The best thing about curling, though, is that it's a really social game. We all had a great time -- lots of laughing and banter. And after the game? Well . . . then there's something called "broom-stacking." (According to the Glossary of Curling, this is "slang for socializing with teammates and opponents, often over a drink, after a game.") We went out for beer and pizza!
Will I try it again?
Sure! (Although the weekly league thing sounds like way too much commitment for me. . . so don't count on any regular curling posts here.)
And, the four people to the left side of the photo above? WE WON! (Just sayin.)