The sport is a metaphor for relationships, combining strength, teamwork and communication.
According to NBC-2.com, wife-carrying is the cat's pajamas in Eastern Europe (as it is in Australia and Ireland, pretty much anywhere that men eat lightning and poop thunder and women don't mind so much being inadvertently dropped from time to time). The Baltic heartland of Latvia has an especially strong zest for picking up one's wife and rushing with her to a not-so-far destination. Read: The Joy of Flex: Exercise Better Together
Evidently, Latvian wife-carrying competitions are exclusively uphill affairs. The burly gents charge 410 feet in the skyward direction because a famous local, romantic film depicted a gal asking to be carried to a hill's summit (Jesus, it sounds like the pilot of Dharma And Greg).
Things to know when engaging in wife-carrying:
- Rule 1: The wife shall weigh no less than 110 pounds (50 kilograms).
- Rule 2: The man shall not let any part of the wife touch the ground (or in some locales beach).
- Rule 3: DO NOT TALK ABOUT WIFE-CARRYING.
Tips for successful wife-carrying:
- While the "cross the threshold carry" is perfectly legal, it makes running difficult. Although the "fireman's carry" (over the shoulder, carried-off-by-Vikings style) is legal the "Saladman's carry*" (she's draped across his back with her legs around his head and her face bouncing off of his seat cover and lower back.
- Don't yell at each other. Unless Ace Ventura's involved, very little verbiage is going to make the travel from her lips to his ears (look no further into that comment) and vice versa.
- For men: be strong and run fast but not too fast that you trip or get tired.
- For women: weigh close 110 pounds, especially if the guy isn't Big Jim Slade. It may be a lot to ask to allow this big galoot to eat weights and lift whatever he wants while the backseat (often called the "bitch" in the motorcycle gang community) has to diet. The alternative could get someone hurt, killed or ridiculed by larger, more rugged men.
- Have a ball.
Tips for unsuccessful wife-carrying:
- Get divorced. While you could carry your ex-wife, what's the point?
- Eat a fibrous meal. It's just common courtesy, OK.
- Ridicule your partner. Sure, he may not be exactly Magnus Samuelsson and she may not exactly be Mila Kunis (light but with seemingly strong hands and thighs), but the competitors will sense your bickering and exploit it (I don't know how).
- Forget to practice (with a helmet). Just because a guy is in good shape, strong and fast doesn't mean he'll excel at carrying his wife even if she's spritely with strong thighs and a good, strong grip. You need to practice but some mistakes will happen while you learn the proper technique. Will veterans and yokels make fun of you for your safety precautions? Yes. But their wives may have brain damage by now.
- Use steroids. C'mon, man. Have some respect for the sport.
- Quit. Winners never quit and quitters only win if everyone else gets disqualified.
*Note: That's what they'd call it in jail. The real name is “Estonian style,” those kinky Tallinnians.