I’m just going to come out and say it. My attention turns to curling every four years and mainly because I love hearing athletes bellow out instructions in foreign languages and yelling at rocks and ice. That being said, I’m a complete amateur at this sport, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t find it fascinating. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been much more of a Winter Olympics fan than I am the summer games. There is something about the winter sports that bring out the imagination and wonder. Like, I wonder what that Lithuanian lady just screamed to the other two down the ice and why is the Norwegian all of a sudden throwing their sticks in the air and hugging each other. Our questions were answered at the Cedar Rapids Ice Arena.
There’s local curling here and you can learn how to curl, too! Charlie and I headed to CR to take in the CR Curling Club’s (CRCC) clinic to introduce the masses to their favorite sport. And yes….It’s without a doubt a sport and you should probably stretch before you hit the ice. Actually, don’t hit the ice. It’s hard.
We got there ahead of schedule so we could see all the prep that goes into getting the ice ready. My usual flood of envy hit me right away as I watched the guy take the Zamboni for a few laps around the rink. I guess that experience will have to wait until another blog and a CDL or something. Anyway, CRCC organizers bolted down the launches, skated the curling stones out, and distributed the brooms. That’s right, I said brooms. Your education has just begun.
The man known as Murray was our team’s instructor. Living in “the states” for 20 years now, he is originally from Alberta. That’s Canada, folks and that means I wasn’t going to take this experience for granted. I tend to default all expert analysis on ice-related activities to our friend from up north whenever possible. We were all ears and ready to scoot these Scottish-made stones down the ice.
Watching curling on TV may not seem like the most exciting sport to some, but to the folks that get hooked into this activity, it might as well be the Super Bowl, Masters, and Scripps Spelling Bee all in one. The stones are obviously heavy, but they’re not the most challenging part of the game. Keeping your footing, balance, focusing on the ice ahead, and keeping you body bent is much more a part of curling than I ever gave it credit for. Imagine getting yourself in a sprinter’s stance and trying to move ahead in the same position for 10 yards on a slippery surface. And then there’s the brooms! Your teammates move ahead of the ice and try to manipulate the surface to help the angles and speed of the stone. That’s not easy either and you need to move fast. Imagine you just spilled a whole gallon of cherry Kool-Aid on the kitchen floor and you have about 38 seconds to clean it up before mom comes running down wondering what dropped. Now you know how fast you need to move. If you can get that Kool-Aid mopped up in that time you might just might take gold in 2018. As for Team Goodvin, we’ll be needing a lot more practice. Good thing for us we have a great group of curlers taking on CR ready to show us how to dominate. Always dominate.
Be sure to read about our other Cedar Rapids Area trips!
Thanks for reading! -Team Goodvin