She Grew On Me
This is the story of how she grew on me – and when I say “she” I don’t just mean the love of my life, I also mean the sport of curling. I had just been through a marriage breakdown and attended a support group to help me move past the ordeal. In the group was a woman named Rhonda who had been through similar circumstances. Prior to the start of the sessions, I heard her talking with other participants about the local curling club that she was part of and the nights that she participated in curling. Talking about curling brought a smile to her face which was rare when you’re dealing with a marriage breakdown. After the support group ended, I contacted Rhonda to see if she wanted to meet for a coffee and she accepted. Gradually, we met a few more times over the following months and she would often talk about the exercise and social interactions she gained through curling. This sounded like something I needed. I signed up for a learn-to-curl program, but didn’t tell her. It happened to be on the same nights right after her games. When she stepped off the ice the night of my first session, her face lit up when she saw me. She was so excited that I wanted to learn something that she loved. I went on to complete the learn-to-curl program and had so much fun doing so that I joined the club and then a beginner curling session. It was something that we could do together and helped us develop new friends as a new couple.
The following year, I decided to surprise her with another curling milestone. I surprised her with tickets to the 2020 Brier in Kingston. We stayed for the championship weekend. Rhonda’s parent’s are from Newfoundland so she is a huge fan of Team Gushue. Apparently, the team has other fans too – there’s even a squad called the Gushue girls. One night after the events, we decided to check out what was happening in a huge tent across the road. Having never been to an event like the Brier, we didn’t know what to expect. It was awesome! There were lots of curling fans having a great time. We bumped into some of the Brier teams. I was still pretty new to curling, so sure they looked familiar to me, but Rhonda recognized them immediately – one of them was Kevin Koe. We had a great time that night and oddly, the pain of a dissolved marriage was slowly been ‘swept’ away. Team Gushue went on to win the Brier and Rhonda was ecstatic -it was such a thrill.
There wasn’t much curling taking place as Covid-19 set in, but the following year, I surprised Rhonda once again, this time with a personal video message from Brad Gushue. Rhonda almost cried when she received the message.
It has now been about four years since I was first immersed into the sport of curling. Rhonda and I are still growing together and this year, I gifted her tickets to the 2023 Brier in London. Curling has grown on me and I’m looking forward to seeing where it takes us.