October 6, 2012

DOESN'T LOSING RISK IMPLYING SHE'S FAT?:

The Things They Carried: At The National Wife-Carrying Championships : In which the author learns the Estonian Carry, meets America's foremost competitors in one of the world's weirdest sports, and nearly dies. (DAVID WANCZYK, 10/04/12, The Classical)

Wife-Carrying is, honestly, mostly Estonian. If only because The Estonian Carry is the sport's answer to the Fosbury Flop: both stylistic signature and agreed-upon best practice. There is no official technique in wife-carrying--Piggybacks, Fireman's Carries, and Honeymoon Threshold Lifts are all legal. But every champion has used the Estonian Carry, most notably the Estonian Uusorg brothers, the most decorated spouse-hauling athletes, and rivals of Miettenen's for international supremacy. At the farthest opposite end of the prestige spectrum, I also would need to master this Baltic carry for my own turn on the Wife-Carrying Championship course.

Since the North American Championship was my first attempt at extreme sports with my wife--they'd given us a wild card entry--I wasn't sure I could convince her to dangle near my rear as I traversed a slippery ski hill. She'd agreed to participate because I'd made some claim about Immersion Journalism, but we'd yet to get to the touchy subject of head-ass-ground proximity. I turned to the Castros for advice.

"Tell her, 'Look, you might be a little dizzy, but just hold on'," Lacey said. "Go right into the Estonian."

Dave added: "You'll put her on your back. She might not like it at first. But it'll be good."

I was convinced, but I was not really the one who needed convincing. Megan and I needed to practice, so before the competition, we took to the field between our apartment and the public library. It was dark. I popped her up on my shoulders and chugged up a hill. Right then, the local book club let out and we were bathed in the accusing glare of a dozen pairs of headlights.

Posted by at October 6, 2012 6:19 AM
  

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