I started curling here in Chicago around April. I picked up curling shortly after the 2014 Sochi Olympics, and found a learn to curl southwest of Chicagoland at Waltham Curling Club. I immediately fell in love with the sport.
My third-ever curling experience was at a curling club that will remain unmentioned. It was a pick-up game, and I curling with several people with a lot of years of experience. When I mean a lot … well, yea. Anyway … there are a few ho-hum experiences that I’ve come across:
- Getting in a fender bender on my way to curling (ended up costing about $2,500)
- Totally choking in front of a pretty woman at an important game
- Getting grief for dragging my knee and causing imprints in the ice from this one guy
As a new curler, I’ll admit my form was a bit to be desired. Now, keep in mind, the other curlers were trying to help me out and pointing different things that I was doing. This guy was just an angry man, muttering under his breath the whole day.
Fast forward to May. Just a little bit of a back-story, I am the Marketing Manager at Raging Waves Waterpark … and May is my busy time. I spent most of the day working to get the park ready for opening day, so I was in shorts. I would leave the park to head off to curling, just grabbing my windbreaker. And, the first time I did this … I didn’t even think about it.
I pull into the club, and realize that all I have to curl in are shorts. But, with the temps being warm and being outside all day. I figured, why not?
Honestly, it wasn’t that bad either. I have about 15 years of hockey experience under my belt as well, so I’ve spent plenty of time on the ice.
The one thing I noticed, I wasn’t dragging my knee. It was almost instinctive, I didn’t want to set my kneecap down on the ice. Even popping myself up after a delivery, I wasn’t setting my knee down. My delivery improved, and I was getting better at the game. I did it for a few weeks, until the waterpark was officially opened (and I spent more of my time in the office in dress pants).
The bad habit was broken! I kept delivering without dragging my knee.
If you want to try breaking this habit, and don’t mind the cold, try this technique. See if it works for you!
Dan Mulka is a member and guest blogger for Windy City Curling. He’s also a member of Chicago Curling Club. He’s found out that its a lot less painful to curl than taking pucks to the head as a 15-year-plus amateur beer league hockey goalie.
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