Sunday, March 6, 2011

A Year on the Ice


The above Pretty hangs on my wall, but hasn't done so for very long. It was given to me Friday night by my skip this season as a "Thanks for putting up with me" gift. (His wording, not mine!) I can't tell you how touched I was that he made these for me and my teammates.

If you're wondering what, exactly it is... The curling sheet is obvious. The ogham is probably less so. Oghan, also known as the Tree Alphabet, is a form of medieval Celtic writing. You read it from bottom to top, and in this case it says, "C-U-R-L."

Not only did this gift coincide with the end of my first full season of curling (we're still playing, but it's the post-season now), but it also came very close to the anniversary of my first real life curling experience.

I wrote about that here: Playing on Ice. (Note: I still don't know why I thought "hack" sounded like "hat." Sure, the instructor was from Boston, but it's not like she has a massive accent or anything. I've been curling with her on my team all season and she is not in the least bit difficult to understand. My only guess is that it had something to do with how loud it was on the ice that day. A rink full of open house visitors makes more noise than a rink full of curling matches.)

I've learned a lot over the last year. I can usually get either the weight or the line right when I throw (occasionally both). I still don't think I'm capable of slide sweeping, but I am moving around better on the slider than I used to. And I hardly ever hurt myself now. (No, don't look at the bruise still lingering on my knee from my last practice session! I was trying to find a new/better form and, well, clearly one's going to bang on the ice a lot while doing that.)

More importantly, I've met a lot of awesome new people and had a lot of fun with them.

I've also written a novel. Which is directly related since it's a curling novel. I learned a lot of lingo and strategy for it, and some techniques that are well beyond my skill level thanks to my competitive curling beta-reader being able to say of several things, "Yeah, we tell beginners that, but Darcy would know..."

It has been a truly awesome year for me. I have my fingers crossed that the next one will be amazing.

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