The Day We Scored an 8 Ender and Lost - Curling Day In Canada

I was never introduced to curling as a child. In fact, I’m not certain that I had even heard of curling until I was in high school. I moved to Jasper, AB as a young adult when a business opportunity presented itself to my spouse and I. One winter evening shortly after we moved there, I remember hearing about a learn-to-curl event, which peaked my interest. I attended the learn-to-curl and met some women there from the local ladies’ league and they were looking to pick up a lead for their curling team. They asked me if I would be interested in playing with them and, without hesitation, I said yes. My skip was a 72 year old woman named Mary and her second was her best friend of the same age and the 3rd was a woman whose son was my age. None of my own friends curled at the time, so even though these were not necessarily my peers, it was a lot of fun. We even managed an away bonspiel together. Mary was a good curler and she always had a high expectation for proper curling etiquette. She taught me so much and I was grateful that she took a brand new curler into her long-time curling circle. Flash forward a couple of years, our club was struggling a bit and bringing in new curlers was not something we were good at. I had a few friends who were interested in picking up curling and we had so few members who were confident enough to skip their own team. I decided that I would skip my own team this season. Mary had a fill-in that she had previously curled with and she went on to play several more seasons. Curling at her age was always very impressive and inspiring. I was always thankful for my time with Mary. My new team was a struggle. I quickly learned that going from playing lead to skipping was a huge learning curve and suddenly I really had to pay attention. We quickly assumed the title of Worst Team in the League. We went seasons without winning a single game. We had fun, but losing every time was tough. Eventually, some more young teams joined and they had a learning curve also, but our league was growing. We became incrementally better. On this one occasion, we were playing one of the better teams in the league and we were down by 8 points in the 4th end. We only had one point on the board. Somehow, and I’m not even sure if I knew it was happening at the time, but this inexperienced team of mine, lead by their amateur skip, managed to score an 8 ender in the fifth end. It was a curling miracle. It was a tad awkward while we all assessed what had just happened. Our opponent was a bit floored at how this D squad curling team could have achieved such a feat. We were all floored. It was truly unbelievable. We went on to finish the game and the really funny thing was that we still ending up losing by 7 points. They had run us right off the board. Nevertheless, this was a special day for my novice curlers and I. I still can’t believe it happened. I often share that story with new curlers. Do not feel defeated when you are down. Anything can happen. You never know. You might just get an 8 ender and tie it up. Keep the faith. And a big thank you to Mary, who without, I would never have learned to curl, and therefore never had this amazing opportunity.

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