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The team end

Carlson Ng

February 2, 2021

It was my second-year curling and Winnie and I were fortunate to play with a much more experienced couple, Carol and Gregor Grant, in our weekend mixed league at the Leaside Curling Club. We all have those days where the rocks just don’t seem to do what we want, and we (mostly I) were having one of those days so predictably, we were behind by four points heading into the final end. Curling provides a team with the opportunity to end the game early by shaking hands, but our team chose to continue and play out the final end. This is how that final end played out:

It was the start of the sixth and Team Grant was behind,
We could have gone in but were of one mind.
So the skip makes his way down to the other end,
In hopes that his team will not bend.

In the battle of leads, Carol freezes to shot rock,
Then staggers the guard like a boat coming in to dock,
The strategy is aggressive and the setup is made,
Like a samurai, Carol wields her blade.

The other team comes around the stagger and shows a good piece,
Leaving Carlson to hit and stick like pepperoni on cheese.
The other team is good and also makes their hit and stick,
So Carlson comes down and delivers a swift in-turn kick.

The opposition makes a come around and things begin to look droll,
Until Winnie unstaggers the guards with her hit and roll!
“We will guard first and third rock!” cries the other team,
All for naught as Winnie throws hack weight like a dream.

Close to the end, the opponent still has shot rock,
They guard the tap for fear we will unlock,
Gregor throws heat and removes the guard,
Surrounding their shot rock with one last card.

The other team guards again to prevent the tap back,
And it is déjà vu back in the hack,
Just a little more curl to hit low side across the face,
Gregor’s eight rock is true and runs their guard into our one with pace.

The rocks stop moving and we look around the pin,
We count one, two, three, four, five for the win!
We experienced ups and downs in this flight,
By not giving up, winning was always within sight.

When the season started, we were two couples,
And now, we work together better than Tim’s double doubles,
Our identity crystallizes when teams leave the door open a crack,
That is when we bear down and begin our comeback!

I was so elated afterwards that I repeatedly played out the final end in my mind that night in bed. Through the sport of curling, I have experienced the power of perseverance and every time I might want to give up on something, I think back fondly to this game and try to carry on. I am positive that any obstacle may be overcome with perseverance, be it sport, work, or the current fight of our times, COVID-19.