Extreme Ironing: An exhausting allowance

                  Let’s face it, no one likes to do their laundry. Why spend precious minutes on trying to de-wrinkle your shirt? Well, if this activity hasn’t piqued your interest in the past, check again! If you are an adrenaline junkie and love to multitask, then you may consider trying out this dangerous sport! Not only can you have fun, but now your shirt will look good in the process! Extreme ironing is where you take your ironing board to an exotic location, and you iron! It’s pretty straightforward but far from simple. Some people have been known to iron while they are skiing on the water, rock climbing, skydiving, you name it — it’s probably been before. 

This sport is recently new. In fact, it dates back to less than 25 years ago! Extreme ironing became an idea in 1997, in Leicester, England. It wasn’t recognized as a sport until a few years later in 1999. In 2000, a German team of researchers took this idea of extreme ironing back to their country to explore its physics. In 2002, the first extreme ironing competition was organized, near a village in Munich, Germany. A German ironist named “Hot Pants” ended up winning the individual event, while a British team won the team event. 

How do you start practicing extreme ironing? This isn’t the type of sport that you can just pick up, especially when considering how dangerous this sport can be. People recommend that you start as simple as possible before you move into it. If you pursue this sport, it’s possible your family may take advantage of this opportunity in some way, but it may be worth it, considering the prize money. Keep in mind, the more extreme that you get, the more money you will make, but you won’t make any money if you’re dead, so it’s a good idea to practice in your backyard. There, you could try ironing while you swing or on the roof of a shed or garage! Keep in mind that the iron does need to be hot, meaning you have to actually iron some clothes — it may be difficult to be able to find a plug outlet in exotic places. Also, some extreme ironers have taken the challenge while scuba diving! I wouldn’t even know how to plug the iron in, let alone ironing without getting shocked …

Extreme Ironing: How do you play, and what are the rules? There’s a lot of specific rules regarding the iron and iron table. First, the board must be one meter long and 30 centimeters wide, probably to help make the activity more challenging and realistic to a normal ironing table. The next rule concerns the iron itself; it cannot be plastic, it must be a real functioning iron — I feel like that’s implied. This next rule seems odd to me, but whatever you are ironing, it needs to be at least the size of a tea towel … Maybe so they can make sure you actually ironed it? Lastly, it must take place outdoors. There are many different sections that you could be judged in: Urban (in, on or around a broken car), Water (ironing on surfboards, canoes, on the water, etc.), Forest (climbing or in trees), Lauda (ironing while on a rock climbing wall) or Freestyle (ironing anything, anywhere!). Like I alluded to earlier on, this sport can be played individually or on a team. During one of the team events on Jan. 10, 2009, they broke the record for the most people ironing underwater — a whopping 128 divers! 

How are people scored? There is a team of judges who score the participant(s) based off of how challenging their activity is (the danger of the activity, for example, balancing on top of a moving car) and on how well the items are ironed. Yup, you heard that right — you can’t just attempt to iron the clothes. You will also be judged on how well your items are ironed. Might as well start taking some notes from your mom! The participants are also judged on how creatively they iron their clothes, which I only know one simple way, but this may require some out of the box thinking! Then of course the participant(s) with the highest score wins! Remember, if you are thinking about trying this sport, it might help to get in good graces with your mom; you never know, you could learn a thing or two from them, and you may win big someday! 

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