Thursday, January 10, 2008

2008 - The Year of Living Adventurously

So, here it is a new year and I see I have been remiss in my blogging. If any of my readers are still out there, hang with me, it's gonna get better!!!

Several years ago an email conversation with a friend led me to think about my life and what I wanted to remember at the end of this life. As I thought about opportunities I had been given and had passed up for one reason or another I realized I didn't want to have too many more of those. There is so much to see, do, and learn about this planet we call home.

That year I made a goal for the New Year to try at least one new thing each month. I wanted to experience and learn new things. I didn't quite make my goal that year, but I did have a few memorable experiences. That was the year I began the Christian Writer's Guild program. Also that year I learned to throw pots. No, I didn't pull up anybody's toilet and chuck it across the room, I made clay pots. Those two activities alone have given me great memories, a web site, a book to write and a several lopsided clay pots!

This year I have decided it is time to dust off that goal and make it anew. I have dubbed 2008 "The Year of Living Adventurously." My friend, Renee, has joined me in this goal. Each month we are going to try something new. I may find it's not something I ever want to do again. Then again, it may be something that I love and will continue with. Each month I plan on chronicling my adventures right here on the Rocky Mountain Writer web site.

My first adventure of 2008 involved an ice rink, tape covering the tread of my left shoe, a broom, a 42 pound granite stone and plenty of aching muscles the next day. Welcome to the world of curling!

Renee was enthralled with curling at the last winter Olympics. I had never seen it played and didn�t really understand the whole concept. Yet when I opened the newspaper one day and saw that the Broadmoor Curling Club ( was going to hold a "Learn to Curl" night that week I knew we had our January Adventure.

Curling is believed to have begun in Scotland around the 14th century. It is played on a sheet of ice 146 feet long. I thought it was named curling because we would be curled in bed with sore muscles the next day, but it actually was named curling because of the motion of the stone as it slides down the ice.

We began by having the shoe on our non-dominant foot taped with clear plastic tape. This was our slider foot. After a brief overview of the sport we stepped out on the ice taking care to step with our non-taped foot first to prevent slipping and falling on our back sides!

Situated against the wall of the ice rink we learned to slide by squatting and placing our dominant foot against the wall. Using the broom in our non-dominant hand to balance we slid with our slider leg bent and the dominant leg stretched out behind us. Easy enough. Not!! Thankfully, I managed to not do a face plant on the ice while practicing, although I did take multiple spills.

Once we had mastered, well sort of, sliding we added the stone. This 42 pound piece of granite is smooth and round with a handle on the top. Grasping the handle in our dominant hand we then learned to slide with the stone. After several minutes of this we were allowed to let our stones go at the end of the slide.

When our instructors felt we were ready, we moved away from the wall and used supports called hacks that are planted in the ice. We placed our pushing foot against the hack to start our slide.

Once the stone has been released two sweepers run down the ice in front of it and sweep the ice in front to keep the stone moving or behind to slow it down. The object is to hit the bulls eye shaped "house" and to be the closest to the center.

Each team has four players and each player throws two stones. At the end of the throwing whoever's stone is closest to the center wins the point for their team. Actually, scoring is a little more complicated. However, by the time we got to scoring we had been on the ice for two hours and my feet were frozen and cramping. I didn't get much of the scoring discussion!

Overall, it was a fun and enjoyable evening. Renee and I had some good laughs. The next day I was hobbling around like a little old lady. I think I might need to find activities that use the muscles in my legs more! I so wanted to document our first adventure with pictures, but I waited until the end to try to take pictures and the cold in the rink rendered the batteries in my camera useless. Oh well :-)

Our adventures will continue. Who knows what it will be next; climbing a rock wall, learning a new language, trying yoga, or skydiving. Actually, skydiving is on the list for May or June! My cousin, Jay, has tried it and said it was a blast. I have always wanted to try it despite a fear of heights and have since found out that Renee and my friend Maggie want to join me.

You, dear reader, are welcome to join me also for any of my adventures. Whether you come and join in physically or in spirit by reading my blog let's celebrate a year of living adventurously!

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