Ron Garner was eager to get back onto the ice, even though that proved trickier then he remembered.
Garner was one of a handful of people practising Tuesday night as the Nelson Curling Club re-opened for the season. Garner, who plays in the senior’s league, wasn’t concerned so much about draw weight as he was just staying on his feet.
“It’s shaky at first but it’s nice to get out there,” he said.
Garner has been curling for seven years. His goal after several months off the ice was to get comfortable sliding again, and with some practice he looked ready for extra ends.
“I was getting it, they were a little bit long but it’s a fine touch to pull back on them. But it’s lots of fun,” he said.
This year has been an important one to the club. It hosted the provincial men’s championship in February, and a plan to seek funding for a concrete floor was approved by the city earlier this month.
But on Tuesday, all that mattered was the game.
On the rink next to Garner, Cathy McLeod and Rose Beauchamp were preparing for the start of the ladies’ league season. McLeod, who’s been curling for over four decades, motioned to her hamstring as she described the difficulty getting used to sliding again.
“You stretch in here when you’re sliding out. [It looks] like my first time,” she said with a laugh.
The pair were all smiles despite the discomfort. “We were anxious to get out,” said Beauchamp.