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I have curled

Otherteam boss is big into curling.  So last week we had a multi-team "team building" event and he rented the Portage Curling Club for the afternoon; other club members (and otherboss's wife) were there to help train us.

I can see the appeal, but...I have a life; I feel no need to fill it with spending hours prepping ice then shoving rocks around on it.  And it's a social sport with extensive rules and behavoiral guidelines - none of which are my favorite things.  The ice is pebbled, so getting around is pretty easy, unless you go too fast.  Oh, except when you are actually launching the rocks:  for that part, there is a sheet of teflon under the foot that you end up balancing on.  Because my left knee is...not so great...I ended up curling left-handed (so that most of the impact of crouching would be on the right knee).

The next day, muscles were sore from knees to ribcage, but they recovered nicely.  They were troopers all afternoon, then as I started down the stairs to return the brooms to storage...my legs just crumpled.  Stopping a tumble down a stairwell is challenging when both legs stop working and one arm is full of brooms, but I managed.  And, being stubborn, then carefully descended the stairs, put away the brooms, and slowly climbed back up.

In accordance with Wisconsin team-building traditions, afterwards we sat around eating snacks and drinking alcohol.

Otherboss did a good job of providing history and fun facts.  It takes 500 hours to prepare the court at the beginning of the season.  And a full hour to clean and prep it before every game.  The stones weigh 44 lbs each and are made of a granite that is free of imperfections and can only be found in two places in the world; each set of stones costs thousands of dollars. The clubhouse isn't cheap, either, needing some level of climate control for the ice, and multiple machines to prep it.

(As a welcome-to-the-team gag gift a while back, otherteam gave him a pet curling stone - a pet rock with a little handle attached.)

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
randomdreams
Mar. 8th, 2016 02:25 am (UTC)
I would never have thought of curling as a team-building activity.
An interesting side-note is how or if individual disabilities are even considered when team-building is on the table.
ersatz_read
Mar. 8th, 2016 04:16 am (UTC)
Based on what I've seen...not really. I'm sure they would say otherwise: if someone were to say "I have a disability" then of course they wouldn't be required to do the activity - and likely the activity wouldn't be chosen for team-building any more. Which feels like putting the burden on the person with the disability.

And not everyone has a disability they want to expose, or run the risk of someone else deciding if their issue is "worthy". Or maybe they just don't want to go skittering around on ice, for whatever reason. That's when the peer pressure kicks in, and one starts to feel like lying to one's coworkers and boss is the best way to deal with the situation.

One teammate originally didn't want to do curling. But she did want to go watch. Pressure, mostly from otherboss, caused her to give it a try. And she was even kind of excited about trying it, but after she'd done it for a while, she was done with it and sat the rest out. Otherboss made negative comments about that. I corrected him a little, but still feel guilty for not just telling him he was being a dick.
I'd also offered to sit out with teammate when she decided to sit out - didn't want her to feel singled out; she said no. Still feel a bit guilty about that too - I was curling to prove I could curl; standing by my teammate should be more important than maintaining some bogus image for myself.
A few teammates just opted to not go curling.

The team has requested _more_ team-building activities this year. That one I did comment on, saying that if people want more activities, ok, but no one should ever feel obligated to attend.

I'm not big on team-building activities. Some of the activities are interesting, but I am able to supply my own interesting activities. None of which I would ever coerce the entire team to go along with doing.
randomdreams
Mar. 8th, 2016 04:52 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's kind of what I was thinking: there's an inherent competition, a physical (pseudo) meritocracy contest going on there, and that could get awfully awkward and non-inclusive.
ersatz_read
Mar. 10th, 2016 03:39 am (UTC)
Yes. That is far more succinct than my response.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Friending welcome, but lurking is fine too.

Constructive criticism is also welcome - whatever it is, trust me, I've heard worse.

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