Over two years ago, specifically during or right after the 2010 Winter Olympics, I found Curl San Diego online and discovered that they regularly sponsor “Learn to Curl” sessions. At that time, I was still recovering from Thyroid surgery, preparing to undergo radiation treatment, and had recently been diagnosed with a hernia. So, it wasn’t the time to go to one of these sessions.
Over the intervening two years, I’ve periodically gotten emails from them but once I was healthy enough to consider, I kept not seeing the ones announcing the Learn to Curl sessions, until about a month ago. So, after confirming that the date, May 19th, didn’t conflict with any other commitments (at least not at that time), I signed up.
So, last night I attended my Learn to Curl session. As I expected, it was largely a class on the basics: throwing the stone, sweeping and a bit on getting and reading The Skip’s signals. After about an hour of practice, the training squads (7 new players and an instructor) pared up and did some eight-player scrimmages (8 players means that everyone throws one stone per end, not the normal two).
Short answer: I had a very good time. If (when) I do this again – probably a regular pick-up game – I will probably think about bracing my knees and right wrist. But I came home with none of the three problem joints complaining. Well, my right knee wasn’t happy that it was wet since I dragged it on the ice nearly every throw.
I was far from perfect. I ended up falling down after releasing the stone on nearly every throw. I was often chasing the stone when sweeping, And I always seemed to throw the stone either too hard or not hard enough – yet it seemed to me that I was throwing it about as hard each time.
I’ll also have to admit, it is kind of fun to realize that in May, in Escondido California, I could participate in a winter sport most popular in Canada.