Around the House: A Recreational Curler’s New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s resolutions are made to be broken, say the anonymous pundits.  Maybe so.  But there’s nothing like a To Do List to get you organized and focused. So here’s my list of New Year’s resolutions for the rest of the curling season: 1. I’m going to get in shape. I made this my goal last summer after spending a winter with creaking knees every time I got down in the hack to throw.  I spent the summer biking and hiking, and it paid off. At least, at first. As the job and family obligations piled up in the fall, the workout routine suffered – and so did my curling fitness. Right now I’m welcoming this two-week break from league play because it gives me a chance to strengthen and stretch. I hope when I get down in the hack to throw my first rock in January, I’ll feel the difference. 2. I’m going to get in shape, Part 2. And, I’m going to keep it going. I know, I know: Resolutions are made to be broken.  But this time I will.  I mean it. 3. I’m going to find some practice time. When I was a curling-mad beginner, I carved out time to play and practice. Lots of babysitting money well-spent, and lots of good times – and success – with a variety of teams. My daily schedule is a bit different now, but I don’t see why I can’t still carve out some time to work on my game.  There is no free time, they say; you have to make time for the things you love. So I resolve to make time to practice. This January I will march myself over to the club, knock on the manager’s door and book myself some practice ice. 4. I’m going to find some practice time, Part 2 And when the workload piles up, and the snow drifts are blocking the driveway, and a cold curling rink has as much appeal as a march to the North Pole, I will find the resolve to leave the warm comfort of my fireside couch and get over to the club to throw some rocks.  I will.  I mean it. 5. I’m going to stop being so hard on other players when they don’t quite follow the rules. I play in a Business Women’s League made up of 16 teams of widely varying ability. At the top we have some curlers who compete at the Provincial level.  At the bottom we have – well, we have us, and teams like us. That means there is a huge spectrum of curling experience and ability out on the ice at any one time. But rules are rules, and I’m a stickler for rules and etiquette. Sorry, but I am. So, when I’m playing vice and the other team’s front end wanders into the house at the conclusion of the end to offer input into the score, well, I just can’t keep quiet. “Hey, Ladies?” I will say in my best friendly-but-firm voice. “Could you wait outside the house until we’ve decided the score, please?” Most players quickly realize the error of their ways and slide back. But not all. Some look miffed. Some are just plain confused. Some ignore me completely because, after all, who am I in the grand curling scheme of things? Well, I’m just one of them: a recreational curler out to have a fun game on a Wednesday night.  I’ll let someone else teach and enforce the rules.  I will. I mean it. 6. I’m going to stop being so hard on other players when they don’t quite follow the rules, Part 2 But if I break Resolution Number 5, I’ll forgive myself. After all, players really should know the rules of the game they’re playing, shouldn’t they?  I’m just saying… So my New Year’s resolutions focus on curling fitness, skill and sportsmanship. If I can meet those goals, I’ll be a very happy curler. Happy New Year to curlers everywhere, and good luck with your own resolutions!