Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a fantastic weekend… before I get into talking about my weekend adventure — learning how to curl, I wanted to thank you for all of your wonderful support on Friday’s post! I am happy to say that today is day EIGHT with no soda! I feel like the first 4-5 days are the toughest, so hopefully I can keep this truck rolling.
So, one of my goals for the year was to try something new each month. I love doing new things because I feel like it expands your horizons, helps you meet new people and hey, you might end up with a new hobby in the process.
Yesterday, I took a class on learning how to curl with my friend Leanna. Yes, curling… that weird ice sport that Canadians play where they do some sweeping and push these block things down the ice. Ha! One of my good friends is actually a major curler and when he mentioned that they have Learn to Curl classes at Lone Star Curling Club here in Austin, I definitely wanted to do it! So there you have it, my new thing for January.
First, they kicked off the class by teaching us some interesting facts about curling:
- The curling stone (or rock) is made of granite that is sourced from two locations in the world (one in Scotland, one in Wales).
- It weighs approximately 40 pounds!
- You actually “curl” the stone when you “throw” it by slightly moving the handle from a 10 o’clock or 2 o’clock position back to the 12 o’clock position.
- Curling can be traced back to the medieval ages, the 16th century to be exact, in Scotland.
- There are special shoes for curling! They have rough grippy and you can take the bottom off so that it’s this Teflon sole that you need when you throw.
- Brooms aren’t like the brooms you are thinking. They are basically a chalkboard/whiteboard eraser with a stick on it. 🙂
- The ice is treated to have “pebbles” — so before we played, someone walked around with a shower head and sprayed warm water all over the ice so it looked like it was covered in blisters. This makes sure that the stone actually moves.
So! Back to our adventures of learning how to curl.
After we learned some fun facts, we went and practices how to throw a stone. They warned us that it takes some balance (uh oh, not my strong suite) and that it’s like riding a bicycle — it takes practice.
You first put your foot in this thing called a hack, which kinda reminded me of a sprinter block (only with a spot for one foot, not two). You put your ball of your foot in there, rested your other foot on the ice with a Teflon sole (they just gave us some to rest our shoes on for practice) and grab the rock in front of you while squatting.
You move the foot with the Teflon sole up by about a foot, and then back about a foot while you raise your hips in the air (reminded me of the sprinter position) and used your thigh muscles to get momentum and shoot the rock down the ice.
This was pretty much me every single time I threw a stone:
Like I said, no bueno on the balance front. BUT, it was still super fun! I didn’t get any pictures, but we also had the opportunity to sweep — which was my favorite part (and a great workout). Basically, someone throws the stone, and you have to stay in front of it, moving your brush back and forth as fast as you can so that you can help give the stone momentum when it slows down so it can make it to the “house,” or the area where you need the stone to be to score.
If you’ve ever watched curling, you’ve likely heard a LOT of yelling. This is because they are trying to gauge how fast the stone is going, and tell the sweepers whether they should sweep or not sweep. So sometimes it can change really fast, where you sweep for two seconds and then have to stop.
We only played for about 45 minutes, but it was fun to actually try out the sport once we learned the ins and outs about it. I would definitely love to go back and try to perfect my throw (so that I actually don’t wipe out) and maybe actually score some points for my team (these runner thighs were doing nothing for me!).
If you have a curling club in your town, I would highly recommend checking out to see if they have Learn to Curl sessions. It’s something different to do (even for a date — there were a lot of couples in our class!) and I think it gives you a whole new appreciation for curling (I had no idea it was so strategic). I can’t wait to watch it in the Olympics now (or if I can catch a professional championship before then — haha).
Have you ever curled before? What did you think?
What’s your favorite sport in the Winter Olympics? I heard that curling is actually the second most watched behind figure skating?
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