Off to the Crush
A year ago, as a very novice Curler, I went to The Crush -- my first time playing in a Bonspiel.
Lots of firsts: first big event, first time playing more than one game in the same day, first time on really, really good ice, first time travelling with curling gear. First time watching some really great curlers.
I started to write that this year, I'm extremely pleased that my whole team is going -- curling with some of my favorite people on the planet.
That's true, but it also isn't, and that's one of the great things about this sport.
I was very pleased last year when Gail invited me to join them while Gordon was recouperating.
We met Bryan, Mike, Patrick and Matthew in our first game. We didn't exactly "challenge" them, but we had a great time. They went on to win the "Pinot Noir" event. First pin given at a Bonspiel. (our club was so new we didn't have pins -- we do now).
I met several people from Curl San Diego, and made friends there. When I make the 50-plus mile drive to visit they always make me feel very welcome.
I also learned from Debbie McCormick that people who curl are just people who curl, even if they played at the Olympics.
I met Bob, who put on the 'spiel, and Pam, who is now the Wine Country Curling Club President.
Last year I walked into Vacaville Ice Sports with very little idea of what to expect. This year, it'll all be very familiar.
I'm also going to be watching (and rooting for) Joe and Harmonie. Gail and I taught their first Curling class. Team Harder is at their full strength this year, and I'll root for them, and for Ryan and for Cindy.
Another Curling friend from far away said "Curlers are just friends you haven't met" and that somehow falls just a tiny bit short of the Spirit of Curling.
To say "I'm looking forward to The Crush" is an understatement. Sharing that with my team is even better.