Curling stone

Curling stone

During the 2004 Olympic games in Turino, Italy, the hubs became obsessed with curling.  I had never heard of curling prior to Turino, but apparently this insane curling craze washed over the United States and all kinds of people wanted to take it up.  The hubs was one such person.  He dedicated more time than I’d like to think about, researching curling leagues and practice sessions.  Then, he found one and signed us up.  “We’re in training for the Olympics!”  He informed me.  Low and behold, the training session was overfilled and we couldn’t go.  I heaved a sigh of relief and hoped he’d forget about this marginal sport.

Unfortunately, the 2008 Summer Games in Bejing somehow reminded him of curling.  He signed us up again and this time, they weren’t filled up.  Darn.  So because I love him and think of myself as a good time, I bundled up and put on my tennis shoes to go to the local ice arena.  I was skeptical.

The curling session was two hours long.  Two hours of pain and humilation for me, namely, because I am not into sports.  I like watching sports.  I like guys that like sports.  I do not like participating in sports.

And it showed.

So did my lack of coordination.  Here’s how you curl: you pad out onto the ice, holding a broom, which looks more like an oversized squeegee.  There is what looks like runner’s blocks on the ice, called “the hack” and waaaaaaaay down across the ice is “the house” where you want your “stone” to “curl.”  So.  You put one foot on “the hack” and one foot on a teflon coated slipper (I never found out the proper name for the slipper) on the ice.  Squat.  One hand goes on the forty pound stone, one hand holds the broom out.  

Now the part that requires coordination.  You push the stone forward and then pull it back towards you, as you do so you raise your butt up in the air.  Check balance.  Then launch yourself forward, sliding on the slipper while at the same time keeping your other knee and the broom off the ice.

I couldn’t do this.  At all.  

The hubs looked fantastic, gliding around and launching forward with proper posture.  I spent the majority of the time sitting on the ice watching the stone stop five feet in front of me.  The instructers were helpful, saying things like “put your rump in the air, Heather!” or “keep your back straight,” or “just kick the darn thing down the ice if that’s what it takes.”  

The position I liked best was the…the skip.  The skip stood down in “the house” and placed their broom down where they wanted the stone to go.  Then, they held their arm out the way the wanted the stone to curl.  This was a great job, as it required a lot of standing around aimlessly.  I’m sure in a competition setting, the skip needs to know where the stone needs to go.  In this practice session, I just held out my arm where the guy told me.  Easy.

Somehow, despite my lack of athleticsm and overall effort, my team won!  Amazing!  The hubs said, “So, we’ll do this again right?  You’ll come again.”  I told him I would be more than happy to go again and sit on the bleachers while he curled.  I’d even bring cookies.

And thus, battered and bruised, my curling career ended.  I live by Eeyore’s mantra, “Stay undefeated.  Don’t compete.”

Edit to add:  The hubs thinks I sound like a bad sport.  I’m not.  I’m out of shape and have no eye hand coordination.  Let me tell you right now, curling is not for wussies like me.  It takes someone with balance, agility, and hell of impressive leg muscles.  My legs were sore for a week.  So stop calling curling a nonsport.  You know who you are.