Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Bit Strange

I don't hide my pride over my Finnish heritage at all--and I probably show TOO much pride in being a Finn.  So be it.  While the Finns have done much for me to be proud of, as in any culture, there are some strange things happening as well.  And here we go.

Many places around the world have sports that are different than what we follow here in the US.  And some of them are a bit odd.  Finland happens to have two of the stranger sports.


The sport of wife carrying started in Finland and this is where the world championships are held in the month of July.  Men race an obstacle course while carrying their spouses/significant others and the first to reach the end is the winner.  The grand prize?  The woman's weight in beer.  Read more about it here

I had to laugh at this one.  I told The Oldest that, not only couldn't K and I WIN this, he wouldn't even be able to pick me up to attempt carrying me.  The Oldest said HER husband wouldn't even be able to run the obstacle course WITHOUT carrying her!  :)  I guess all four of us need to get into shape.


One of the best parts about being a Finn is the sauna.  Now, I have regularly been in saunas where the temperature is in the 175*+ range, but I DON'T do extreme sauna-ing and I don't know anyone who does.  But in Finland, they have the sauna world championships--and I would think that ONLY true Finns could come close to winning.  (However, there HAVE been non-Finnish women who have won.)

To begin, the temp in the sauna starts at 230*.  Then the contestants go in and sit. Every 30 seconds, water is sprayed on the hot rocks, which causes steam.  And the contestants try to wait out all others, in order to become the winner.  The championships have been going on for 10 or so years, they are nationally televised, and no one BUT a Finn (in the men's competition) has ever won.  And ambulances are at the ready, for those who literally bake to the point of blistering.  Frankly, I think anyone who tries this is more than a little crazy, but whatever floats your boat, I guess.  For more on this, go here to read an excerpt from Rick Reilly's (a national sportswriter) book, in which he describes his attempt at this contest.  (A VERY good read, by the way.)  I STILL cannot believe anyone who is not used to a Finnish sauna would actually attempt doing anything this stupid!

As I said, I probably never have been in a sauna hotter than 200*.  I prefer a temp of no more than 150*--and even THAT can be too hot if you add steam.  When the temp in the sauna is very, very hot, throwing water on the rocks and creating steam can literally take your breath away.  For anyone familiar with the practice, a wet washcloth placed over the mouth can help breathing.  While you feel rejuvenated and cleansed beyond anything you have ever experienced, it isn't something I did on a regular basis.  I liked the long, slow sweating process of sitting in a lower temp.  It is beyond me how anyone can sit in a sauna that is 230* or hotter.  That is crazy.


Thivaskar said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

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God bless!

cmk said...

I don't know where some of these trolls come from. Thankfully, this little blog isn't 'important' enough to attract too many.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes you can have a little fun with them!

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