John calls the line on a shot back in the day. (File)

COLUMN: I feel confident (Brain: hold my beer)

We’re starting today’s lesson with a definition.

We’re starting today’s lesson with a definition.

hu·bris /ˈ(h)yo͞obrəs/ noun, excessive pride or self-confidence.

Now some backstory. I used to be a pretty good curler. Back in the day, I played on the Manitoba tour, won a couple of trophies in the world’s biggest bonspiel, the MCA, and even played a year at the Saville Super League in Edmonton. But I never played in a provincial playdown and never won an event in an MCT.

We came close to qualifying a few times, but it just never happened. I used to practice every lunch hour at the Granite in Winnipeg, and I’d get in 32 rocks per session. I did delivery analysis with Connie Laliberte using lasers and video. I spoke with some of the top players on the mental side of the game. I did all of the right things.

RELATED: Vernon to host at BC Juniors after regional wins

RELATED: Curling tours close, first B.C. provincial berths set

In the end, controlling the grey mass between the ears was the biggest challenge for me. I had a terrible time handling the big-game pressure. The best players in the world thrive when the lights brighten, whereas I tended to wilt under the heat. That combined with a shoulder injury from years of intense sweeping (yes, that’s a thing, smartypants) led me to bury the Teflon shoe in the backyard four years ago.

Fast forward to my arrival in Vernon this spring. Something told me to get back on the horse and see if things could be different after time away. I called up Merk (Dave Merklinger) and asked if there were any teams looking for a player. As luck would have it, there were three guys all individually looking for a team. I joined on as the skip and off we went — team Duct Tape.

We’ve had some amazing games so far this season, and have had many tilts go to the last rock. Despite that, we’ve only chalked up one win. Still, I’ve had a blast. The league is competitive but laid back, which is a rare combination.

This week’s game was a particularly graphic example of the fickleness of sport and the dangers of confidence.

We came out of the gate firing on all pistons. We made stellar team shots — two hit and rolls behind cover that required the perfect weight, line call and sweep. I even made back to back five-point guards. Gliding back after scoring four in the second, my stupid brain decided to queer the deal in a split second.

Stupid Brain: You’re actually a good curler.

Smart Brain: Now why would you say that? Are you serious right now?

Stupid Brain: You should call Jim Cotter and have him drop his third so you can join him.

Smart Brain: Wow. Even for you, that’s a massive dose of stupid.

Sure enough, I ended up throwing successive shots that actually helped the opposition steal four and score three in future ends. It was intensely frustrating to watch my shots chip off of guards and send their rocks in for second and third shot.

Unlike my Mark Messier persona from the old days, I was able to laugh this off and still enjoy the game.

I may have some saddle sores but the horse trot feels rather natural.

To report a typo, email: newstips@vernonmorningstar.com.


Follow me on Twitter @johnkwhite
Email me john.white@vernonmorningstar.com
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Downtown Vernon Association is requesting free parking on Saturdays in 2021 to boost recovery efforts of businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Free Saturday parking in Vernon must wait for budget talks

Downtown Vernon Association request to boost shopping local amid pandemic

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Crime up 31 per cent in Vernon in 2019: Statistics Canada

Increase includes a 45 per cent rise in violent Criminal Code violations

Four staff members at the Okanagan Men’s Centre have tested positive for COVID-19 since Oct. 23, 2020. (Adult and Teen Challenge OMC photo)
Four positive COVID-19 cases at Okanagan Men’s Centre

Those affected are staff and have been in isolation since Oct. 23

Three Okanagan College Mechanical Engineering students manufactured 3D printed Trick-or-Treat Bowls to aid in a physically-distanced Halloween experience amid COVID-19. (3D Okanagan Facebook)
Trick-or-treating made safer thanks to Okanagan College students’ project

3D-printed Trick-or-Treat Bowls available for sale ahead of Halloween

RCMP are investigating a trailer fire off Firwood Road on the Westside, discovered Oct. 27. (Google maps image)
RCMP investigate Westside trailer fire

Burned trailer discovered by RCMP Oct. 27 near Fintry

A woman wears a face mask and plastic gloves while browsing books as a sticker on the floor indicates a one-way direction of travel between shelves of books at the Vancouver Public Library’s central branch, after it and four other branches reopened with limited services, in Vancouver, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
B.C. reports 234 new COVID cases, 1 death of senior who had attended small birthday party

Roughly 5,700 people are isolating due to being exposed to a confirmed case

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

A Tuesday Oct. 27, 2020 apartment fire in Penticton killed two and displaced dozens more. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Fatal Penticton apartment fire deemed accidental

The blaze gutted an apartment building on Tuesday morning, killing two people and displacing dozens

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports seven more COVID-19 cases

Eighty-nine cases remain active, none of whom are currently hospitalized

Burnaby RCMP responded to a dine-and-dash suspect who fell through a ceiling in March 2020. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Suspected dine-and-dasher falls through ceiling of Burnaby restaurant

A woman believed to be dashing on her restaurant bill fell through the kitchen ceiling

This Photoshopped version of the crosswalks near the entrance to the Salmon Arm Arts Centre on Hudson Avenue show what is proposed to help create safety for and show inclusivity to the LGBTQ2S+ community. (Salmon Arm Arts Centre image)
Tri-rainbow crosswalk and Progress flag requested to help make Salmon Arm safe

Council will consider budget requests to help make city inclusive to LBGTQ2S+ community

A can of Canada Dry Ginger Ale is shown in Toronto on Thursday Oct. 29, 2020. The maker of Canada Dry Ginger Ale has agreed to pay over $200,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit launched by a B.C. man who alleged he was misled by marketing suggesting the soda had medicinal benefits. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Joseph O’Connal
B.C. man’s lawsuit over marketing of Canada Dry ginger ale settled for $200K

Soda’s maker, Canada Dry Mott’s Inc., denied the allegations and any liability

Animal care manager Tracy Reynolds confirmed the lynx is the same wildcat that was spotted wandering North Kamloops in broad daylight on Sunday, Oct. 25. BC Wildlife Park.
Lynx found wandering Kamloops taken to BC Wildlife Park

While the lynx’s outward appearance was deemed normal, it actually had an abdominal infection

Wild Tiger
AlleyCats Okanagan: Pet of the week

Meet two lovely felines looking for their forever homes

Most Read