Wednesday, July 26, 2006

World Champion... at last.

Last weekend was nothing short of exhausting, both mentally and physically. Right off the bat I had to roll Taylor Duffy, and Abby Hoeshler. I hadn't rolled against Taylor in five years, and Abby has a habit of beating me on a regular basis. Needless to say I was super nervous. Luckily both matches had a great outcome. In semi finals, I had to roll Jenny Atkinson, last year's world champion. She smoked me the weekend before in La Crosse, so I wasn't expecting much. I ended up taking the match three falls straight! Then, I had to wait two days before finals. Next up: boom running. This particular boom run was not one of my favorites. If you even looked at these lathe-turned logs funny, they would spin you off into the water. Thus I fell in for both time trials and didn't make it to the finals for the ILRA boom. I was a bit sad at first, but it was nothing a pint of Ben and Jerry's couldn't make feel better. Plus, I still had the log rolling finals, and the STIHL Timbersports boom run to compete in.
Saturday the only event I had to compete in was one boom run against Tanya Fischer for the Quarter Finals of the STIHL Timbersports boom run. It was a VERY close race, but I pulled it off without falling in. That night us “party animals” (aka. people too young to drink, and people to old to want to drink) went over to Jamie's and played with the the puppies. They also tried unsuccessfully (again!) to teach me poker. It was a really fun night with great friends.
Sunday morning Jamie and I warmed up at his house. It was a little less stressful than being at the arena. After several other exciting finals matches, I was finally up against Lizzie. She exhausted me to the point where I thought I wouldn't finish the match, but luckily I was able to win three falls straight. After this emotional roller coaster, I kind of started to cry. I got flashbacks of going to Hayward with my mom and dad, watching the professional rollers hoping to one day become a world champion. Up until this year, I seriously doubted it was possible. Then I cried because I knew my mom wanted this for me so much, but couldn't be there to see it. I will show her the video when I get it, but it still won't be the same. Quite the moment, let me tell you.
Later that day we ran the semi finals and finals for the STIHL Timbersports boom run. Needless to say Mandy smoked me in semis (I fell in AGAIN). I ran against Jenny for third and fourth, and luckily for me SHE fell in. So I took my time, had a clean run, and went home with third place. I was pretty pumped, because I had NO expectations for this boom run.
All in all it was a GREAT weekend, just very exhausting. I'm still trying to recover! But before I get the chance to recover, it's off to Hayward tomorrow afternoon. Woof!
I need to thank some incredible people: Olivia (for being the greatest training partner and fellow Madison log roller ever), Ken (for being such a supportive boyfriend and coach), John Hallett and Kent Kallsen (for getting me started in this stuff), and of course, my parents, for taking me to all of the tournaments, and emphasizing that FUN should be the key in this sport, not winning. My amazing parents are my inspiration for everything.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

A Great Weekend... and Another Win!

Last weekend was another great one with the boom boom girls. I swear, I couldn’t be luckier to have a great group of friends like them. We are all so unique, yet get along so well.
I flew into Nashville, TN on Thursday night, and then drove down to Decatur, Alabama fairly late. STIHL gave us all suites at the Country Inn hotel! Thank god, because it was too hot to do anything other than sit in our rooms!
I did a media appearance with Jenny on Friday morning, and managed to fall in on the boom and make an idiot of myself. But hey, I’m good at that. During the day Friday I picked a few folks up at the airport, and hung by the pool with Katie. Normally, I would love a day hanging by the pool, but when it’s over 100 degrees and humid, even the pool isn’t refreshing. I got some great reading in though. One of my clients John Kovalic writes comic books. I finally got the time to read some of them, and I just LOVE them! He’s a very talented man.
Saturday and Sunday were hot days of competition. We were all so close it was amazing. Luckily I pulled it off on Sunday and was the winner. But man were we all close! The difference between first and seventh place was under one second! I was most impressed with Lizzie, Olivia, and Maggie’s boom running. Lizzie stepped it up to hold the fastest time of the weekend, but I lucked out with the brackets. Olivia has finally turned herself into a rock solid boom runner. No more trips for her! And Maggie had one of the most amazing runs of her life, despite the fact she doesn’t have anything like a boom run out in Hermosa Beach, California. I still don’t feel sorry for her though, she gets to live in Southern Cali!
Sunday night we drove into Madison, Alabama (Decatur doesn’t sell liquor on Sundays… bad for them, we could have done quite a favor for their local economy!) and I was DD as usual. We took over a little bar, and had a blast! I got to meet some pretty cool new folks, and laughed my ass off watching the others play flip cup. This little Alabama town didn’t know what hit it!
So now I’m back in Madison, and training hard for the next three contests this year. Only three more! Summer totally flies by.

Upcoming contest dates:
Saturday July 15th: Waterford Valley Contest - La Crosse, Wisconsin
Friday July 21st – Sunday July 23rd: STIHL Timbersport Finals, and ILRA World Championships – Stillwater, Minnesota
Friday July 28th – Sunday July 30th: Lumberjack World Championships – Hayward, WI
And log rolling classes all summer long here in Madison!

Here is a short write-up about the event:
Pictures from the Midwest Log Rolling Championships 6/26/06:
Photo Credit: Jim Berkvam