Thursday, March 09, 2006

It does exist

The Kenai Peninsula is hosting the Arctic Winter Games right now, and Homer just happens to be the home of curling. After spending the 2002 and 2006 Olympics scratching my head at this sport from a safe distance, I went to Ice Rink today to check out a few rounds. Geoff and I watched the undefeated Alaska girls take their first loss in a close game against Alberta (Alberta? Alberta isn't an Arctic territory!). We cheered the boys from Nunavut (after all, how often do you meet someone from Nunavut?). But we spent most of our time in a penalty box loudly discussing our theories on how the game was played, how ridiculous the scoreboards were, and what we thought was covering the bottoms the the players' shoes. (All the while, the Northwest Territories boosters looked at us like we had just shuffled in from Mars.) All in good fun. After two hours of concentration, I think I may have a vague idea about what curling is. Understanding the rules, the scoring or the object of the game - well, that would be a stretch.

Curling chewed up all the daylight hours, so I put my iPod to good use on the trainer this evening. I only had an hour before it became just insanely late, so I put in an effort worthy of my Spin days ... cranked up the resistance, wheezed until my lungs hurt, sweat out about a half gallon of fluid (today, mostly Diet Coke). No apologies. But I plan to get outside on my bike tomorrow. Maybe I'll even do the terrifying commute to work. After all, it's light in the morning now. Given that I spent the last three months turning myself into a hardcore, cold-weather, fear-no-hills cyclist, I have no more excuses.

8 comments:

  1. What's terrifying about your commute? Distance, weather, road conditions?

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  2. Good for you, and I suspect the primary fears are the cars? Am (I right, Jill? I mean after all, cars at least weren't to be feared on the Iditarod, during the Susitna.

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  3. Curling kicks ass. There are no two ways about it.

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  4. Alberta can certainly qualify as "Arctic" if you've ever spent time in northern Alberta in the winter!!! :-)

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  5. Curling is curious. It's big here in Northern Minnesota. Heck the bronze medal winning team from Turin/Torino hails from these parts. I'm not native to the upper midwest, so it's been a learning curve for me. When I lived in Chicago and Pittsburgh you would hear about people going to their bowling leagues on Thursday nights. Here, they go curling.

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  6. Why is it called 'Curling'??

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  7. It's called curling because you're supposed to put a spin on the rock to get it to curl around at the end and knock the other team's rock out of place. It's like how you put a spin on a bowling ball so that it hits the pins from a side angle rather than head-on. In curling, the team that goes first will try to get a rock close to the center of the circle and then create a barrier in front of it with their other rocks so that it doesn't get knocked out of place (the team with the rock closest to the center of the circle at the end of the round gets the points.
    When I played (just for fun, I swear), we'd put plastic slider-things on our shoes so they slid along the ice easier. It's actually a really fun game if you can get it figured out.

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  8. Bless you Jill, you said Diet COKE!!! not that heathen p word!

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