First time on the ice

I know there are people who grew up on Ice.  My business partner says he can't remember learning to skate as a child in Canada, but he does remember going to Hockey practice.  My friends in Calgary think that we don't have Ice in Southern California, I had to remind him that you can't make a decent Margarita without ice.

So I was slightly nervous on Feburary 27th when I showed up at the skating rink.

We walk in, and a hockey match is winding up.  My business partner (along to document the event for posterity) says "the puck isn't frozen."

Didn't know that mattered.  He could tell just from the sound.

Promptly at 9:00pm they round up the 16 people and take us to a classroom.  Except for a "ringer" who came to help teach, and our instructor, we all have about the same reasons for being there -- sheer curiosity.

They've got a video that does a good job explaining the basics of the game, how scoring works, how to deliver a rock, what makes it curl, how to sweep.

Then, it's time to set foot on the ice.  I realize, the next hour and a half or so will be nothing but firsts.

First time on the ice.  Check.

They pair us off to slide curling stones back and forth -- my first encounter with 42 pounds of granite.  Check.

Then pushing out of the hack for the first time.  Check.

First time falling on the ice.  Check.  Bruce got it on Video? Check!

Take the brooms and learn how to sweep.  Check.

Okay, everyone's got it, right?  Let's play an end!

I had fun, but later, I found out that Curling is a blood-sport.  Despite the risks, I'm hooked.

Posted May 11, 2010, Updated February 15, 2011