I am not by any stretch an avid curler. I have curled on and off for probably about 5 years now, but this is with non-competitive teams and my seasons have been interrupted by such things as injury, pregnancy and child care.
I do, however, enjoy the game. Or is it a sport? At the level I play, it seems more like a game. Sure, I have some muscles that will likely be stiff tomorrow, but I didn’t break a sweat or significantly raise my heart rate. And how can something for which beer drinking and sweeping are integral parts be considered a serious sport?
Whatever it is, sport or game, there are several things I find very appealing about it.
For one, unlike with many sports, when I curl I don’t have the feeling that I likely peaked in my abilities 10 years ago and will just steadily decline from this point on. For example, when I play basketball I feel old and broken. I can’t keep up with the 20-somethings racing around the court, my knee injury flares up, my shoulder aches... I know that even if I were to start playing basketball daily, I'd never become good enough to even play at a college level again.
Curling however, is not reserved for the young and super fit. Sure, at the top levels the curlers have to be in pretty good shape to stay on top of their game. But it’s nice to know that my game is likely to improve over the years, especially if I work at it, not steadily worsening until it becomes embarrassing to show my face. There are seniors at curling clubs who show up youngsters all the time.
Secondly, I like how social curling is. When I went to the club this morning, I was greeted with hugs and handshakes from other curlers – many of whose names I couldn’t remember. A fun group. An enjoyable morning.