Curling Up Again

Back in 2020, in the “before times,” I wrote about curling and how it helped to make winter in Toronto enjoyable. Now, 3 years later, I am still curling, with a few adjustments – for age.

Peter still curls 3 times a week and loves it. I join him on the weekend and we have a wonderful social time. We have met lots of interesting people at High Park Club. The members are busy, engaged, and athletic. After the game, when we sit around with our celebratory drinks, we share stories of travel. These people do not just sit on a boat and cruise the Mediterranean. Oh no, they Bike Around the Mediterranean. They don’t just take a bus ride to Machu Pichu – they Walk up the hill the Machu Pichu. And that’s After they have finished hiking the Camino Trail in Spain.

Last Friday, after we had talked about the game and all the terrific shots we had made, or should have made, the conversation turned again to travel. One couple are heading to Antarctica in a couple of weeks. I shuddered at the thought of leaving a cold and windy Toronto for a place even colder and windier. But I listened with interest as they described their first challenge – sailing through the Straits of Magellan without getting sea-sick. Then they told us about the other adventures awaiting them: helicopter rides, kayaking, and even swimming. Yes, well a kind of swimming, where they are tied to a rope and dunked up and down, up and down, in the Antarctic Ocean, with no wet suit, as many times as they can stand.

See what I mean? These people are active! They also have history. One member plays an accordion in a band and, when he was younger, he organized and ran Saturday night dances at the Palais Royale. Another one gave up a potential hockey career for curling and photography. When asked why, he said that his father was rather famous – Frank Mahovlich to be exact – and he, the son, found the competition rather stressful. Instead, he runs his own photography studio where he takes pictures of food and fancy cocktails.

Peter and I have loved this weekend activity, with one exception: the late hours. On Saturday nights the game times switch, which means that one week we would begin our game at 7:00 pm. But the next week we would play at 9:00 followed by drinks, and bedtime not until after midnight! So this year we signed up for Friday mixed social – at 5:00 pm. This is followed by dinner at 7:00 and home easily by 9:00 pm. Perfect.

In order to continue enjoying and playing, I had to deal with one other little issue – my aging body. This sport requires some agility: getting down in the hack, trying to see the broom at the other end of the ice, hurling a big rock towards it, and then getting back up without slipping! Somebody suggested I try using a stick. This is known to the athletes as the “easy way out.” The curler stands upright and shoves the rock down the ice with a broom handle. Believe me, it has its challenges too; like getting the right weight as you shove off. But I’m working on it.

Meanwhile, Peter continues to do all of the above, without using a stick. And with great success. Show-off!


7 thoughts on “Curling Up Again

  1. I’ve had to use a stick for years after I blew out both my knees and was grateful that I didn’t have to give up curling. It is difficult at first but once you get good at it you will enjoy it. I think that your Antarctic friends are masochistic rather than athletic getting dunked in freezing water. Don’t they find it cold enough on land? Great photo of Peter although your “rink” needs better ice making even if it is scenic.


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