Tuesday 9 December 2014

30 Things by 30: Curling

About a year ago Pappy mentioned a charity tournament at his curling club that was open to new players and expressed interest in having the whole family try out the sport sometime. Nothing really came of it until I asked him about it again this year. At my birthday he asked everyone else and found out there was a lot of interest – pretty much everyone but Nanny and Mom were up for it. (Nanny obviously couldn’t due to her osteoporosis and was sort of against it because she was worried about the rest of the family getting injured. Mom thought it was a fun idea but couldn’t try it because of her knees). 

The curling club has limited ice rental availability so Pappy put his name on a waiting list and we hoped for the best. Fortunately we only had to wait a few weeks before ice time became available on a Sunday afternoon. Once this was confirmed Nanny’s apprehensions worsened as she was convinced someone – mainly me! – was going to get injured. I may have a tendency to be a little klutzy and on more then one occasion have found myself injured, hence her concern.

Nanny and I came to a compromise in order to alleviate her concerns – that I would wear a helmet while on the ice. I haven’t owned a helmet since I was about 12 so a quick trip to Canadian Tire was necessary. Our curling time was booked for 3:00pm so we all met Pappy at the curling rink. Sadly Honey was sick so our group was down to Dad, Brian, Adam, Amanda. S, Amanda. G (at this point she’s become family), Beau, Connor, Paige and myself. Pappy had us come early so that he could tape up our shoes. In curling one foot (not your dominant one) needs to be able to slide. Curling shoes offer this or a special thing called a glider (I think) but because we were all just learning it didn’t make sense to go out and buy equipment.

Before we got on the ice Pappy went over the rules and purpose of the game and explained the concept. He decided for the first few rounds we would split into two groups while he showed us. The guys went first and us girls stayed in the lounge/viewing area. From where we were sitting it seemed easy enough – you kneel down and put one hand on the stone, pull the stone back and then push it ahead while you lunge out and then release it. However once it was our turn I realized just how hard it is!

I wasn't the only one who fell - Brian did too!
You are not supposed to touch the ice in anyway because it can melt quickly. Unfortunately I kept slipping when in the lunge position so my knees kept hitting the ice! We were on the ice for about 2 hours alternating sides and it was a really fun experience. Towards the end I started to get the hang of it and improved a little but am still not going to be trying out or any champion curling teams. My rocks didn’t go as far as I had hoped and there were only one or two times where I didn’t slip and end up on the ice.

Rocking our helmets!

Pappy teaching, Chantal Posing 

It was a great family event and no one got injured! (Paige and I ended up being the only two wearing helmets!). I would definitely be interested in trying curling again – and am glad that the first time was such a memorable family experience. Pappy was thrilled to have us all out on the ice showing off one of his favorite sports.  

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