I walked through the door and took a deep breath of energy-laden air. "This," I said, "is what a room full of ice is supposed to feel like."
The second I set foot on the ice, my body was completely surrounded by cold. It wrapped me in its comfortable embrace and I felt more at peace than I had since spring.
This is not how I felt the last time I was on ice. That was in Wenatchee, at their Desert Rocks Spiel. It's awesome that a town the size of Wenatchee has a club and it's filled with great people and the bonspiel was fun, but... Arena ice really isn't the same.
And it's not just the ice, though the ice was the strangest I've curled on. (I still haven't figured out how a rock can travel in a series of 's' curves. That doesn't seem physically possible.) The thing that made me really not as happy there as at my home club was the air.
If you've been ice skating indoors, you know what an arena rink looks like. Just put some curling lines down amongst the hockey ones and you've got it. But the room is huge. The walls are far away and the ceiling stories above. To top that off, this particular arena has heaters aimed at the seats around the ice, to keep spectators warm. Which would be fine with me if the heat stayed there, but it spreads out and warms the entire building. So the ice is cold, but the air above is just too warm.
Normally, I curl in a jacket, long-sleeved shirt, short-sleeved shirt, and some form of warm hat. Sometimes I get warm enough to unzip the jacket.
At Desert Rocks, I was stuck with the jacket because it had my team name on it. But it was unzipped, the sleeves were rolled up, and I had a thin tank top on under it. I had to lose the hat. If I could have lost the leggings under my skirt without worrying about ice burn or flashing people, I would probably have entered the last game bare-legged.
No one had warned me about the heat and I don't know if it's all arenas that are like that or just this one. I'm sure I'll find out eventually. But for now, I'm happy that I get to play in my freezer of a curling rink.
And, yeah, I'm happy to get to play at all. Friday League started last Friday and I'm, really glad to be back. :)