Something I don’t mention a lot is a love of curling.
My playing days were very short-lived having recognized quickly how much better suited I was to the game from the couch.
Thinking about strategy, seeing angles, predicting shots and watching the impossible happen is pure mind candy for the old inner geek.
The women’s championship, the Scotties Tournament of Hearts being played this week is like feasting on chocolate, apple crisp and angel food cake all at once.
Now before you bail because you don’t get curling, I understand where you’re coming from.
I don’t get baseball or golf.
Hopefully someday I’ll meet someone who does and will explain the deeper workings they see beyond the actual play.
As can probably be said for most sports, what I see beyond the game is how much curling is a microcosm of Life.
For as much as you think you’re in control, you’re not.
The more you fight to see what you expect, the greater the struggle met.
Top-level curlers practice for hours on end, throwing hundreds if not thousands of rocks.
They spend off-ice time working on their mental and physical conditioning in addition to honing their expertise on strategy.
Even rocks are studied for their behavior.
There’s no doubt as to the effort put into being prepared to play.
Except there is so much working against them.
On the surface is the inherent fluid nature of curling.
The “board” changes after each shot – planned or not.
Look deeper and there’s a long list of elements conspiring against the players:
– arena ice is not the same as club ice
– different ice makers make different ice
– the building changes ice conditions
– the number of spectators change ice conditions
– the weather outside changes ice conditions
– the ice in the morning is different from the afternoon is different from the evening
– the ice differs between sheets
– the ice changes from the first end to the last
– no two rocks are the same or behave the same
– how the rocks are prepared changes how they behave
– broom types work better on some ice than others
– hair, lint and once even feathers on the ice cause the rock to veer off or stop
– releasing the rock differently changes how it moves on the ice
– throwing with too much or too little weight changes how the rock behaves
… the list goes on.
Quite frankly, I’m amazed anyone makes a shot.
You can do everything right and still come out on the bottom scratching your head.
I’ve watch world champion curlers fall apart in frustration because they couldn’t figure out the ice.
Or the rocks.
The more they wanted the game to go as they thought, the worse their game became.
Crash. And. Burn.
They resorted to going through the motions, having given up for the promise of the next game.
Unless there isn’t one because this is the finals.
Curling is a game of dealing with what’s appearing and making the most of what you’re given.
An over arching strategy to arrive at the end is filled with the tweaks of being flexible to the other opportunities and disappointments that present themselves.
Sometimes you wait for another end to score.
Sometimes you give up a point for the chance to get more.
Sometimes you see the rocks in an entirely different pattern for a shot that wasn’t there a second ago.
Sometimes you forget the last three hours of your life and move on.
Strategies, angles and shots are thoroughly enjoyable to watch.
The whole deeper level of players handling themselves in changing conditions is thought provoking.
I’m quite sure obserflecting during games as to their reactions has influenced – for the better – the way I respond to situations in my life.
Do you have a favourite sport or activity where you find parallels to Life?
feel free to share
chief nudging officer
Crazy for cats and potatoes, Lorraine's insatiable curiosity of Life leads her to question, explore and push beyond the box. A self-professed "left-brained creative big picture" type, she has an intuitive knack for seeing beyond and beneath first appearances while at the same time nerding out on the details. Most of all she sees and holds others in their highest until they can see it for themselves.