03 March 2014

Alaskans Are Natural Curlers

My office was a buzz with talk of the Winter Olympics last month. People were asking me if I had seen the skeleton or asking my opinion on the Canadian hockey team. To be honest, I watched a few events, but was otherwise completely oblivious that the Winter Olympics were broadcast. Have I mentioned my schedule?

So when I coworker informed me that because of the Winter Olympics this year the Evergreen Curling Club of Portland, Oregon was hosting an open house to teach visitors how to curl, I felt that it was my duty to do a bit more for in honor of the Olympics.

We met Morgan, Chase, and Colt in Portland for the open house. With a $10 fee per person, we all enjoyed a group curling lesson on Evergreen's ice rink (set up in a warehouse in Beaverton). Our coach was a man who had grown up in Eastern Washington and learned to curl at curling camp as a kid (Yes, curling camp! And yes, I looked to see if there was an adult camp.) He taught us about the stones, the brooms, the hog line, and the house.

I had never curled in my life before Valentine's Day weekend this year. I had barely even seen curling on TV, but I was fascinated by the sport. And guess what?! I'm a natural. It must be the Alaskan in me that could get the rock to go where I wanted it to on the ice. Sweeping was not so much my thing, but I could get better.

We were one of the last groups to take the ice that weekend, so after our training we put together  a little game (one end) with one of the other groups. We were all newbies to the sport and our practice had been limited to half a rink up until game time. You like how I'm making excuses after I just said I'm a natural?

We lost to the other team, but we barely noticed. All four of us had so much fun and left the rink determined that we would join a curling club. Scott likes to imagine us having our own curling supplies like other couples have bowling equipment. If we lived in the Portland area, I think we just might. And you better believe I will be searching out curling clubs wherever we end up for residency. I see date nights ahead!

I thoroughly enjoyed learning to curl. It's a sport where I actually like the cold! I felt like the hour lesson went by so fast, and I could have spent hours there experimenting with how much weight to put on the rock in order to get it on the button.