When I was 9 years old, I used to spend many a Saturday afternoon clicking through channels 2, 4, and 7 hoping to find an old Shirley Temple movie or Land of the Lost to bide my time. Many times I had to switch over to channel 9 from Canada, and if I was lucky, the sport of curling would pop up on the screen.
There was something that interested me about curling. I was fascinated by the people who played, and the expertise that they showed when carefully gliding the stone down the lane. I would then laugh at the group with the brooms as all havoc broke out. The way that the players would work those brooms like every last brush stroke was a live or die situation was quite funny at times. It certainly looked like a lot of fun to me!!
So when my husband and I received an email from our good friend, asking us if we would be up for heading over the border Saturday night for a game of curling, I was in for sure!
We had a two-hour block reserved at the Roseland Golf and Curling Club. Roseland is approximately 1 hour from Rochester just across the border in Windsor. The price for the two hours is $120 plus $25 for instruction if it is your first time. Curling is a great sport for a large group. You can curl with six to 10 people, but the ideal number is eight. That is the size group that we had.
We arrived at the club, and I found it interesting that the parking lot was filled with Michigan license plates. I had assumed there would be a ton of die-hard Canadian curlers sweeping up the place! Instead there were a ton of groups like us. Just a group of friends out for a good time. After checking in, we had to get one of our shoes taped with curling tape and then we were ready to start. I had checked the Roseland website prior to our outing to see what type of shoes to wear. Flat soled shoes or boots were recommended. I saw all types of boots, as well as tennis shoes and flat casual shoes. I was glad that I dressed in layers, as well as having brought mittens. It was quite cold when you weren't working the brooms!
Two of the couples we were with had curled before, but we still had some instruction for the rest of us. The instructor had us walk across the ice (now known as the "sheet" in curling terms)to get our balance. Then we practiced throwing the stone down the ice. This is the part I had trouble with. It was hard getting the exact speed to get the stone down to where the sweepers could sweep!! I think out of the two hours, I only really was able to move the stone twice to the sweeping area. Sometimes I sailed it all the way to the end, but most times I came up short.
When it came time for me to sweep, I went to my inner 9-year-old and tried to imitate the great sweepers from my Saturday television days. All I have to say is that my arms were killing me the next day. It was a lot of hardwork!! I am not sure that I helped the stone along, but I felt like a true curler when the broom was moving!!
The two hours went really fast. There are four sheets at Roseland, and there were groups of people coming and going, but I didn't feel crowded at all. They had the start time of the groups spaced out enough so that not all four sheets had groups on them at the same time. This made it very relaxing for all. No pressure!!
It was a fun way to spend a Saturday night. Afterwards we went to dinner, and then headed back across the border to "America." Our customs agent asked us where we had been. When we told him we were curling, he wanted to know if we were good curlers. I fumbled on my answer. Hopefully the next time we go I will improve upon my stone technique and be able to say a resounding..."Yes!! I am a good curler."