- Sports and Recreation
Strange Sports - Extreme Ironing
Uh-oh. Those shirts are looking pretty wrinkly. You're going to have to iron them. Better grab your iron, ironing bored, and...
ROCK CLIMBING GEAR!
What? No, that's not right. I'm sorry, what I meant to say was...
That's ridiculous! It should be...
Okay, what the heck is going on here?
This wacky past time you see is known as Extreme Ironing. Extreme Ironing was invented back in 1997 in Leicester, Midlands, England by a man name Phil Shaw. Shaw was already a rock climbing enthusiast when he decided to combine the two activities after coming home late from work one day. He knew he had chores to do, but much preferred the idea of rock climbing to unwind after a hard day. Instead of ignoring his other responsibilities, he decided to just bring his clothes, iron, and ironing board with him.
Pretty responsible and an excellent example of multitasking if you ask me!
It wasn't until 1999 when Shaw, or rather "Steam" he dubbed himself at this point, decided to take his show on the road and recruit others and share his idea of Extreme Multi-Tasking ...er, Extreme Ironing. Shaw traveled all over the world including the United States, Australia, New Zealand, South America, and Fiji.
After meeting a German tourist in New Zealand the "Extreme Ironing International" group was formed along with the German Extreme Ironing Section.
In 2003, the documentary Extreme Ironing: Pressing for Victory was aired on Britain's Channel 4. Because of this documentary, the sport finally began to gain real international attention, even intriguing British rowing champion Sir Steve Redgrave who attempted to back Extreme Ironing as an Olympic event!
Hey, with some of the official Olympic sports we already have, why not?
Extreme Ironing can be and pretty much has been performed everywhere. From Mount Rushmore to Mount Kilimanjaro. While ice climbing and while scuba diving. From South African gorges to the coast of Egypt. Wrinkled clothing have seen more extreme scenery than I have!
Extreme Ironing members even have a place to gather online.The Extreme Ironing Bureau at ExtremeIroning.com describes the activity as:
- "...the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well pressed shirt."
There they have a whole load of topics and pictures for enthusiasts to share. They even have their own shopping forum where you can pick up your own Extreme Ironing book, DVD, or calender today!
Extreme Ironing has also inspired other extreme sports such as Extreme Vacuuming and Extreme Cello, but they've yet to achieve much public recognition yet. What a shame.
Perhaps that's all we need to do to get through our usually mundane chores. Perhaps we too just need to take our chores to the extreme. I think I'm going to go create some extreme dish washing! Wish me luck.