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.