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Getting fit for travel #9: Curling

18 January- 8 February 2015

You may have noticed that I haven’t posted a fitness update in a while. That’s because I have no updates to give. My New Year’s Resolutions crumbled in seconds and my New Year’s Resolutions  Take Two (starting beginning of February instead) passed by miserably. There has been zero exercise and on Friday I ate two pizzas. I could say that I had a lot going on but that’s no real excuse. I just couldn’t really be bothered. The weather has been freezing and, whilst I have been working from home a lot, I haven’t had time to go out running on my lunch breaks.

Then yesterday came and I accidentally did some exercise. It was my brother’s 21st birthday in December but due to Christmas and the fact that he lives away at university, we didn’t have time to celebrate properly. We had initially planned to go bowling with some family friends over the holiday but that got changed to a weekend in February and instead of bowling we were going to go curling.

Going curling was not something I ever expected to do- or had even considered- but my friends had gone with my parents a while ago and they had fun and thought we should all go together. After a home-cooked dinner, our group of ten made its way over to Fenton’s Curling Rink, near Tunbridge Wells, for our session between 8-10pm. The first half hour or so was spent watching an introductory DVD and being taught how to curl.

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I had been slightly nervous. I’m not adept at any kind of sport and I fall over a lot on ice. Thankfully, we were not on skates but on shoes with special soles that stop you from slipping on ice. There was the option of a slippy sole and as much fun as it looked, I could tell I wouldn’t be having so much fun when I landed on my face.

There were three lanes, each of which were full, and we managed to get the one by the far wall. Despite the busy ice, I didn’t really notice anyone else there. We were in the zone.

The curling stones were unsurprisingly heavy, so we weren’t allowed to lift them, only slide them along. For someone with zero upper-body strength, it was hard enough just getting the stones to the other side of the ice, let alone inside the target itself, but surprisingly I did manage it. Once. And nearly twice more but not quite. Thankfully, getting them to go in an almost straight line (whilst curling them at the same time) wasn’t as hard as I anticipated, so I didn’t hit anyone in the other lanes. There was the option of using a stick that attached itself to the handle, which appeared to be the equivalent of using a bowling ramp, so that you could curl even with a bad back, but I didn’t crack that out.

It wasn’t the sliding from which I gained the most exercise. No, that was the sweeping, which is done to try and make the stones go that much further, if necessary. I can honestly say that it is the most I have ever cleaned and it was a tad exhausting. Although, having said that, I was feeling a bit worse for wear after the Friday night before but the whole curling experience actually made me feel brighter than the hours I had spent earlier watching Gossip Girl on Netflix, curled up in bed.

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Today I have to say I am feeling a bit stiff and my muscles ache. Granted that could be from spending Friday night on my friend’s small sofa (that I discovered in the morning was actually a sofa bed) or it could just be that I have a weak back and my curling technique was probably wrong. However, it may very well be from the effort it took to slide those curling stones and sweep that ice.

I’d imagine that most of you reading this will not have gone curling, or considered doing so, but I am happy to report that it is actually hilarious and a lot of fun. It also doesn’t matter if you don’t have a clue what you are doing. Having said that, my team did win with a score of 2-1 points from five games. Admittedly, it may not have been the most high-scoring session that rink has ever seen but we all enjoyed ourselves- and that’s the main thing.

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6 Comments

    • I don’t think it’s a particularly popular sport but if there is a rink near you I’d definitely recommend getting a group of people together for an outing- we definitely had a laugh!

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  1. I love curling!! It is such a great way to stay in shape during the winter. You never realize how many muscles you have used until the first day back, am I right?!

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