Sunday was a day of adventure. After a bit of cajoling from the local gang, I tagged along to the curling open house at the Norfolk Curling Club, which was about a 1.5 hour trek from Poughkeepsie.
We arrived at 1:30, a bit before the open house officially started, and soon found ourselves in an incredibly crowded lodge, as apparently more than a few people got the Curling fever during the recent Olympics.
The first hour on the ice was mostly doing little drills, which was interesting, but got repetitive quickly. We eventually left the ice so that others could have a change. However, after being inside for about 10 minutes Pyg aptly noticed that part of the court had freed up, and maybe we could get some more time out there.
After a few rounds of throwing stones, I decided to grab a broom and see if I could manage this sweeping thing. That presented a couple of new challenges. There was the challenge of running the whole court after the stone without falling on your butt, the challenge of sweeping with great vigor, without falling, and the challenge of hearing the difference between the words “sweep” and “up” from the skip at the far end while the din of stones moving across the ice, and while concentrating hard on the not falling part. I only screwed up the not falling part once, but that can be excused, as while I was managing running on the ice, and sweeping hard pretty well, the addition of trying to avoid stepping on the kid that fell in front of me was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Anyway, after about 30 minutes of that I’d had quite a nice aerobic workout.
And then, the really cool part happened. It was about 4:15, and people kept peeling off the ice (I was about ready to hang up my broom after tiring from sweeping). One of the guys from the club noticed that there we 6 of us left out there, Jay, Pyg, and I, plus 3 high school kids that seemed to know each other, so he asked if we wanted to play a real game.
All I can say is… FREAKING AWESOME. My lack of throwing practice clearly showed itself, however the fact that I actually spent time learning sweeping technique helped a bit. We played 2 ends, with the guy from the club playing skip for both of us and giving us advice. In the end we lost 2 to 1, through a nice knockout on the hammer by the other team.
All in all, a very fun experience. If you ever have a chance to try it, do!