Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Curling: It's harder than it looks on TV

As is true with most things, I suspect. We went to an introductory session to learn curling the other evening, under the auspices of the South Shore Curling Club. Links to photos are in this post.

My review: 5 stars for fun and 2.5 stars for my ability to curl. Let me emphasize that my ancien body⁠—not that well taken care of, unfortunately⁠—is responsible for this rating, not the club, not the venue, and certainly not MaryBeth and Mike, who did their level best to make curlers out of each of the four noobs they drew. (Luck of the draw, I suppose!)

My right leg couldn’t support me in the classic curling launch of the stone, but this is apparently not as unusual a condition as I feared. Some brooms are made with a bracket on the end allowing the curler to stand and walk, or hurry more likely, to the release point. That meant I could at least sling the stone down the ice.

Nothing made sweeping any easier, however. The club has done this before; they provided us with large wide rubber bands to slip over the balls of our feet, allowing some measure of mobility on the ice. Not as good as the slippers club members wore over their actual curling shoes, but believe me, far better than trying to walk on the ice in the sneakers we had been advised to wear. But the stones have to move pretty quickly to travel the 90 feet (in our rink) or 100 feet (Olympic distance), and I found it hard to keep up and sweep at the same time. Of course, you quickly realize that sweeping can’t slow the stone down, only speed it up slightly, or change its direction, so… Maybe not being able to catch a speeding stone isn’t so bad!

Curling is a genteel sport; sincere handshakes and well-wishes open and close each match. As I said above, five from five for fun, even though I’ll never make a good curler. I’m glad we went, and recommend an introductory session like this to any of you that have watched curling on you TV and thought… I can do that. Perhaps you actually can!

Comments are welcome; thanks for visiting!

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