Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Well, its been a while I know... but don't let this fool you.... my dedication remains... I am now approaching my curling on a two pronged attack. Firstly, one needs to be fit and strong to be an athlete.. Curling stones for example are heavy, and more than anything I don't want to drop one on my toe... especially if I have cool shoes to go with my cool pants, which pretty much seems a given to me. So I decided to do healthy things like go to the gym and take up kick boxing. Don't take up kick boxing, its just legal torture that people get suckered into because its administered by a fairly nice looking 20 sometime male instructor. Of course, while he starts the lessons reasonably good looking by the time I am a quarter way in, my arms on fire, dripping with sweat and still not able to master this 'push kick' that is apparently quite easy, I hate him a little. Sometimes a lot. By the famous two day later pain I hate him completely and wish that I possessed the upper body strength to cause pain when I punch him next time. This is why my sport of choice will now be curling... the only burn I intend it to cause me is the ice burn I'd get if my famous pants are too thin. Besides this and hoping for no curling stones dropped on my tootsies, it seems like a reasonably safe plan.

My other plan is I need to know everything about curling. And the obvious place to start is Google, and what do I usually do when I don't have any idea? I Google for dummies. Imagine my surprise when 'Curling for Dummies' shows up as a website and book. Who would have thunk it? Certainly not I.... but AWESOME... an obvious investment.... It was quite hard to get, apparently Australian stockists, even the ones who stock 'every single dummies book' didn't have it... Or are just trying to sabotage my dreams?!??!?!?! But this will not stop me... thank you Amazon.. its actually cheaper too... Thank you global financial crisis.... And now, I am the proud owner of Curling for Dummies. Now I just have to read it... which should be easy to do after my next kick boxing session because the only part of me I can't move without excruciating pain is a finger to flick the pages.... I think I'm well on my way to Sochi......

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Selective Broomism?

“Curling is a game of skill and tradition. A shot well executed is a delight to see and it is also a fine thing to observe the time-honoured traditions of curling being applied in the true spirit of the game” – Olympic Winter Sport, The Rules of Curling and Rules of Competition, June 2008.

I figured that in order to get my ‘curl’ on, I need to freshen up on the rules….who am I kidding! I need to learn the rules! Maybe even watch a couple of games to really understand what curling is all about. So, I have downloaded The Rules of Curling and even managed to find an A – Z of Curling Terminology. S and I were having a bit of a giggle over some of the funnier curling terms, such as:
- Hog Line;
- Hogged Stone;
- Peel;
- Swingy Ice; and
- Burned Stone.

So, what have I learned I hear you ask? Well, firstly – curling is played on ice (no surprise there!) on a curling sheet. Secondly, that it is a sport that dates right back to the 1500’s (thank you Wikipedia!), so I guess one could assume that it is a fairly old sport, much older then ice hockey and bobsleighing!

Thirdly, the ‘things’ they push along the curling sheet are called stones, and according to the rule book, they can weigh no more then 19.96 kg. Fourthly, a team has four players – so S and I are going to have to recruit! Finally, I have learned that the big ‘target’ looking thing at the end of the curling sheet is called the ‘house’. And, from what I can tell, the game is scored according to which team can get their ‘stone’ as close to the red circle in the centre of the ‘house’ (look at me go! Using all this curling terminology – I will be an expert in no time!).

The two players with brooms, you know the ones that look like cleaning ladies on speed, well….. they are the ones who basically steer the stone, or create a path for it by altering the state of the ice. I was talking to my mother the other day about what role I would play in the team and she thought it was funny to quip that I couldn’t be a sweeper because I don’t know how to use a broom! – good one mum! We’ll see wont we, maybe I have selective broomism and will make an awesome sweeper!
PS – the 2010 World Seniors and World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship is currently underway in Chelyabinsk, Russia – go the Aussies!!

Monday, April 12, 2010

and so it begins....

If you had asked me a month ago what was the first thing that came to mind when someone said curling, I would have answered ‘my hair’. But things have changed since one of my best friends planted a seed in my head about us becoming the first Australian women’s team to qualify for an Olympic games. At first I am pretty sure that I had a little chuckle and brushed it aside as another crazy idea of S’s. But, as soon as I started picturing us in some whacked out crazy pants on ice, the more I came to love the idea!

I have always been a fairly athletic person (ok, more so when I was younger :-P) and I love the competitive nature of sports and like most people, I like to win. I also like a good challenge and this goal of ours will certainly present us with many of these. But, we are up for it!

Ok, before I sign off I wanted to share a little something with you. Last week I decided to do a little market research and test the reaction of some of my work colleagues to the news that I was going to the next winter Olympics (as you do…..). So, you know when you are in a group situation, whether it is in a new class or some training, and you have to introduce who you are, where you are from and in my situation, I had to tell them something interesting about me. I am sure that you would all agree when I say that I loathe these introductions and let me tell you that the interesting facts that others presented…………….well lets just say their definition of ‘interesting’ differs slightly from mine. Especially in light of what I was about to tell them!

My turn came quickly around and when I told them that something interesting about me was that I was going to be a winter Olympian, you should have heard all the gushes , ‘oh’s’ and ‘really’s?’ that were whispered around the room! But it all became a bit of a joke to them when I told them my sport of choice was curling. Exactly what is funny about that?? Seriously, I was thinking 'you can laugh now….but wait until you see MY pants in Sochi!'

Until next time – L*

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Beginning....

Some things start as a crazy fly away comment, you laugh about them... and then you never mention them again... some stay in your mind a little longer... and others stay in your mind long enough for you to say.... could I really make that happen? Could I do it.... Lots of these ideas get dismissed... most of mine do, after all, I'm too old to do something that silly right? Right? And yet, the latest idea has stuck... and it seems I have convinced a good friend that it is not only possible, but she should join me too... And so here we have, two sensible, twenty something females, deciding that they should learn how to curl more than their hair, and then see if they just can't get good enough to qualify for an Australian Team, and maybe even Sochi 2014... Especially if you are allowed to wear pants as funky as the Norwegians! So we watch the curling, we get our google on, and maybe we go to work in Canada and get taught to curl there (they seemed to know their stuff in Vancouver... ).. Simple... It's a little bit Bridget Jones, its a little bit Cool Runnings, and a little bit crazy... but fun crazy.. and who knows, at the end of it, you might see our pants in Sochi! xS