How Many Steps Does A Curler Take?
Sunday, March 6, 2016
I had a great time with the Saturday evening Schrod league last night and my mother-in-law and brother in law came to watch me play. They were eager to see what I have been bragging about lately with my new found sport. When I went out to the ice they were in the window watching and looked very confused. Thank goodness for the kindness of another curler who came to their rescue. She sat with them and explained what was happening on the ice. At the end of my game my mother in law said she would have left a lot sooner if she did not have someone helping her understand what is occurring. This is just another example of the kindness of curlers. It is a unique sport and we are all eager to share what the heck is happening out there on the ice with people sliding stones and stones crashing into each other. And why do the people sweep and then stop sweeping? What’s happening out there on that ice? (Or so non-curlers think)
We missed our regular Skip, David, and First, Caroline, for league play but Jim and Will stepped in to help. We all played well and boy did we need to rise to the occasion. We were playing the infamous Steve Emt team. Steve just returned from the World Wheelchair Curling Championship in Lucerene, Switzerland. They secured a place to go to Worlds again next year, too. Congratulations to our own Cape Cod Curling Club’s Steve Emt and the USA Team!
So…we were playing Steve’s team and it was exciting as each player did his/her part to either set guards, do take outs, or draw the stone into the house. It was also critical who had the “hammer” or the last stone. (Boy! I’m really throwing these curling terms around now.) And it was also important to sweep when the Skip called out “sweep” or “stop.”
Speaking of sweeping, I felt like I was a sweeping fanatic last night. When I hear “SWEEP” I know I need to sweep the ice to have the stone move further and curl more. Ok, I admit it-I talk to the stone too. I might say, “come on…” or “get there.” Most of the time I swept alone last night and I must admit that I was a driven sweeper. My biceps and triceps were even a little sore at the end of the night but it was also a great upper body strength exercise. At the end of the night Jim told me he liked watching me sweep as I am a little crazy with my broom.
Speaking of exercise, I wear a fitness tracker, a Jawbone 3, which tracks the number of steps and lots of other data about my fitness and sleep patterns. I have, in fact, worn a tracker for many years before it was a popular trend. I was a faculty member, Program Chair, and eventually an Administrator in teacher preparation at the higher education level and my expertise was physical education, health, and wellness. So wearing a pedometer and then a Fitbit and now a Jawbone was natural for me. I always love a good challenge and a little competition. (Ok-my family and friends will share the truth that I thrive on competition!) So I wear my tracker all day and all night.
How many steps did I take curling last night?
With 2,000 steps equivalent to about a mile, I walked (on the ice) a little more than 3 ½ miles playing eight ends (an end is the length of the game after each team has thrown all of the stones-a total of 8 for each team) in two hours. The physical activity was not aerobic exercise but I think some of my sweeping could be considered high intense. The number of steps I took was about the same as my Thursday morning open curling time play, too. Note that the Skip does not sweep or move up and down the ice and his/her job is to strategize and provide the calls for the team so the Skip would not track many steps.
I ended up tracking my steps for the past 3 weeks for my Thursday and Saturday curling:
February 18 6,664
February 25 6,212
March 3 7,861
February 20 6,432
February 27 6,875
March 5 7,759
Average number of steps on the ice for six sessions=6,967
I wish there was a way we could track the number of sweeps I took when I was sweeping! All I know is that I enjoy knowing that you can help your teammate to move that stone. MOVE IT! Sounds like a song.
We ended up tied with the famous Emt team but lost in the last end. It was an exciting game but we’ll win next time. The only good part of losing in curling (which I do not like to do often) at our club is that you don’t have spend money on your drink. The winning team and opposite player purchases your drink. What a great sport!