I am having difficulty expressing my extreme excitement re CURLING!. Luckily, I am capable of sitting long enough to write my first review of this fabulous sporting activity. Check back in the coming couple of days to read all about me standing on ice with a slider and a broom. And then me falling on ice with a slider and a broom and the thing that is a STONE NOT A ROCK.
I will be posting in this spot immediately below the line of MA-tildas (I know they’re called ‘Tilda’s but I deem MA-tilda more appropriate because this is my blog).
OH! I tried to make CURLING! an Extreme Sport and was lovingly called a “big Goof”.
LOVE CURLING! I LOVE IT! I WANT TO BE ON THE COVER OF A CURLING MAGAZINE DECLARING MY LOVE OF HER!
There are three things you need to know about me:
(1) When I say ‘curl’, I am usually referring to the state of my hair at rest.
(2) When I utter the words ‘sweep’ and / or ‘broom’ it is only to indicate that I don’t.
(3) My body takes to athletics extremely quickly though no one who knows me well would ever consider me ‘athletic’.
Odd this because until my late teens, I figure skated and swam four times a week. In my early twenties, I lifted six times a week at three hours each turn (I didn’t have much else going on and having a six-pack was addictive).
As an adult, I box, swim, shop for Crack, walk almost everywhere, do bikram yoga on Saturday mornings (avoiding thinking of the heat, the dripping sweat, the bacteria and the men who, unfortunately, assume it’s necessary for them to remove their shirts and show their disturbing bodies) and as you all know, I purchased LULU last summer. Even with all of this, no one who knows me considers me ‘athletic’ by any stretch of the imagination. UNTIL NOW!
Well, maybe not, BUT, but when I make it on to the cover of SWEEP!, then my friends will consider me ‘athletic’. (I’ve already been called ‘a new convert’ at Curl News blogspot, based on which the voices in my head and I concur that SWEEP! is a true and real possibility.)
The lead up
At the end of December, the Super Head Biggest Cheese at my workplace asked me if I would be interested in joining her curling team. I’d always been under the impression that curling was for folks over the age of eleventy million and so was a little shocked to learn that people I considered young were doing and digging it.
Because the women on this team are luminous and magical creatures, but short of unicorns and faeries, I accepted the invitation to CURL!, thinking I could always hang back and chat rather than get my ice on. Curling was as appealing as golf, and the closest I ever came to coveting it was in terms of the hilarity of “Men With Brooms”.
The follow through
As is the norm, that meant I was also extremely over-eager, over-excited and over-layered. Over-layered because when I went into the washroom, I thought I had undone all of the layers only to discover that the one nearest my skin was still clinging on for dear life. When I asked The Panty about it later, she cried and explained this because she was being smothered by three layers of pant, six layers of top, one puma zip-up and a very large woolen jacket. (The Panty was calmed only when I promised to never ever again take my dressing cues from Paddington Bear.)
As I wobbled into the arena, I quickly realized that CURLING! appreciates and encourages The Pretty. Clothes clinging to the body help your flexibility, form and mobility. You can even wear your hair down and bouncy. Hurrah for CURLING!
A wonderful woman named Fleure showed me how to serve / volley / throw / launch the stone / rock / ball down the lane / sheet / ice / arena / rink / field.
Please pay very close attention to the following illustration:
(1) As I’m right handed, I place my right foot on this angled at 45degrees plastic thing-a-ma-bob.
(2) My right leg is bent at the knee and I am positioned as though preparing to shoot off and wobble a race in my over-layered excitement.
(3) My left leg is also bent and positioned behind my right leg.
(4) On the bottom of my left foot is a ‘slider’, or rather, a piece of plastic that allows one to slide forward at breakneck speed. (Thank you, B.)
(5) My right hand is holding the small handle of the stone / rock / ball which weighs an approximate 7000 pounds (this I discovered while attempting to pick it up, lost a war against gravity and instead tripped forward. Because I maintained a firm grip on the stone / rock / ball as I tripped forward, I was snapped back and so I experienced my first ever full-bodied bobbling motion.)
(6) Using the stone / rock / ball to generate momentum, I was sliding her back and forth and back and forth and then propelling her forward as I held on and went along for the ride.
(7) In tri-dem were the propelling forward motion, the pushing off from the plastic thing-a-ma-bob and the bringing forward of the left leg so as to slide all the way forward, aiming and then letting go of the stone / rock / ball.
Surprisingly, my body froze up (ha! ha!) during my first two serves because I envisioned falling on my face and breaking it. First this happened, I lost my Cool Demeanor & Focus, tipped over and smashed my right knee relatively hard against the ice.
Second this happened, I fell backward on to my bum and remained seated for a good two minutes, pouting and watching others serve / deliver / volley / launch / propel in perfect form. (As is my weirdo nature, I was having trouble understanding why I wasn’t already perfect at it; it was, after all, my second turn already.)
I spent the duration of that particular game watching the technique of others and so when it was my turn to play again, I added the following three steps:
(8) As soon as my left leg came forward, I dropped my right knee to the ice and extended my right leg back, bent low and pretended to aim.
(9) I ran to my team-mates and asked if they had witnessed MY ‘FORM’! MY ‘FORM’! MY KNEE WAS ON THE ICE AND I CAN CURL!
(10) My team-mates patting me on the head as their eyes glazed over and I kept chattering on about MY FORM! (Really.)
What not to do
First. As the other team ‘delivered’, I was in the end zone and knew we could broom their rock out of the point area if we broomed a little faster. So, in my over excitement and due to my over-layering, I over-heated, started laughing to myself while a voice in my head screamed “WE’RE GOING TO GET THEIR BALL OUT! BROOM, MAHA! BROOM!” and began to broom alongside my other teammate who was already brooming.
Apparently, you can only have one person brooming the stone / rock / ball of the delivering team. It doesn’t matter how happy and excited the second broomer may be, they are not allowed to broom. (I shake my fist at this rule.)
Second: Do not “I’m just going to push your rock out of the way for a moment”. Ever.
Third: Recall that this is not an Extreme Sport, and so when at the end of the game, you are sliding all of the rocks / balls / stones to one end, do not ‘let it rip’ and start smashing them all against one another and laughing at the fact that “they don’t break” or else you risk being called (lovingly, and with the biggest laugh and smile) “ya big goof” by the aforementioned Super Head Biggest Cheese at your workplace.
Fourth: Don’t smash your team-mate’s broom as you are brooming together. Most definitely, don’t do this and then ask them why they kept hitting you…
Fifth: Don’t wear a long scarf, no matter how pretty and colourful she may be.
Finally, don’t broom with the wooden portion of the broom. Use the straw end…though this may go without saying for all normal folk, it was something I needed to have pointed out after I scraped all of the ice and stood wondering WHY THE ICE KEPT PEELING AND SLOWING ME DOWN
What to do
Join a recreational CURLING! team today. Enjoy an extremely fun sport and smile because you could be the next to grace the cover of SWEEP!