Living in Minnesota, it helps to play a winter sport. I’m a figure skater primarily, my friend’s husband recently got into cross-country skiing. Winters in Minnesota can be brutal, so finding a way to enjoy them certainly helps. Occasionally, my team at work schedules team outings to help create a collaborative environment amongst our bigger team. The most recent outing was a trip to the Saint Paul Curling Club. I can’t say that I have been curling before, so I was intrigued as to how this was going to go. I was horrible at curling and I can confirm this isn’t a secret talent I have. Although, I would try curling again in the future as it was a fun way to pass the time.
While I have seen Curling at the Olympics, I barely knew much about the sport. In Curling, there are four roles on a team. The first role is the lead. The lead is the one who sends the stone across the ice hoping that the stone will land in the ring. There are two sweepers. Once the stone is released, the sweepers will sweep in front of the stone. Sweeping will warm the ice and extend the path of the stone. Finally, there’s a person at the end of the ice near the ring. This person will try and sweep when the stone extends near a certain line. This can help keep the stone moving, so it moves out of the ring. Each team wants to score points by having their stone in the ring.
When we arrived, we had a twenty-minute instruction on how to curl. There was a video combined with an on-ice demonstration. With Curling, there are things added to the ice to aid in traction. It wasn’t like walking on a figure skating rink which is what I was afraid of as I didn’t want to fall. I was slightly nervous, to begin with. While we were taught what to do, it’s a whole different story to have your body do the motions for the first time. I think the toughest part for me was doing the curling portion. There are certain blocks that your feet align to and then you lunge into a position on the ice to release the stone. I think it took me five different false starts to finally figure it out.
Curling, in a lot of ways, reminded me of putting in Golf. It’s a delicate balance of releasing the stone with enough force, so it glides into the ring, but not too much because then it will slide too quickly and pass the ring altogether. I’m a terrible putter in Golf because I always misjudge the distance to the hole and Curling was no different. It was nice because most of my work team had never Curled before either, so we could all learn together. I didn’t feel intimidated that I was the only one who sucked at the sport.
I was a little shocked at how much Curling felt like exercise. There’s the lunging into position to slide the stone, along with the actual sweeping portion. My Fitbit recognized that I was exercising, but wasn’t quite sure what to log the exercise as. I found myself running after the stone on the ice which led me to breathe a little harder. It looks so easy watching Curling compared to trying to replicate the movements in person.
In the end, I didn’t score at all for my team. My team did win, but not because I helped at all. I would consider Curling again especially if it gives me something to do in Winter.
4 thoughts on “Pushing Stones – My First Time Curling”
Yes!!!! I love curling! I’ve played since I was a kid, and it’s such a great hobby for me in the winter! It’s a great sport that isn’t too physically demanding and the community aspect of clubs is so great. I’m glad you had fun and hope you keep it up, because more people need to try this wonderful sport.
Completely agree about not being physically demanding. I will say that while I was walking and sweeping on the ice, I was surprised that I felt my heart rate rise.
It was super fun and I would definitely do it again.
I only know curling from the Olympics as well, but I’d certainly give it a go if the situation presented itself. It probably does take a good bit of time to become an expert at determining just the right force and timing to release the stones. Sounds like a good, fun team-building activity.
It’s to much tougher than it looks for sure. You definitely should try it!
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