6/11/12: The PINK CENTRAL BOILER has arrived!!
I had an awesome time at the Central Boiler Dealer convention in Grand Forks, ND June 7th & 8th. They made a PINK E-CLASSIC furnace and it was the hit of the event! I wanted to take it home so bad! Hopefully more will be coming off the production line again soon! A big THANK YOU to CENTRAL BOILER for bringing awareness to breast cancer! I was honored to speak to the group…..a full ballroom of people! It was really fun to meet so many dealers across the country passionate about selling the best outdoor furnaces on the market. I was truly inspired by each person I met and look forward to crossing paths again. We always look forward to seeing the Central Boiler employees we met over the years. The convention was simply amazing!!
6/24/12: OFF TO THE RACES FOR THE 30th YEAR IN A ROW!!
Today was the 1st tournament of the year and what FUN we all had on a beautiful day in Madison, WI raising money for the Huntington’s Society of America. There were 72 competitors and over $4,620 was donated. YO-HO!! There were 15 fierce competitors in the women’s field and I was excited to roll in 6 awesome matches. I ended the day in 4th place, just steps away from the podium. Five of the girls carpooled together from Hayward and it was a fun way to start off the new season! Time to head back to the training pond……soon I will have 5 weekends in a row of competitions!
8/1/11: LUMBER CAMP IS BACK AT FISHERMAN’S PICNIC
PROUDLY PRESENTED BY WOOD-MIZER SAWMILLS AND CENTRAL BOILER OUTDOOR FURNACES
The Grand Marais Lions are happy to host The Fisherman’s Picnic Lumber Camp proudly presented by WOOD-MIZER PORTABLE SAWMILLS and CENTRAL BOILER OUTDOOR FURNACES. Event sponsors also include HUSQVARNA outdoor power equipment, THE MINNESOTA ARMY NATIONAL GUARD, STEVE’S SPORTS, LUTSEN MOUNTAINS, EAGLE RIDGE, PAPA CHARLIE’S, LUTSEN REAL ESTATE GROUP, LUTSEN LODGING COMPANY, MIDWEST CABLING AND COMMUNICATIONS, WILDFIRE PROTECTION SYSTEMS, NACE HAGEMANN CONSTRUCTION, STUDIO 61 HAIR SALON, CIRCLE H TIMBER, CLEARWATER LODGE AND OUTIFITTERS, NATURALLY UNIQUE and HEDSTROM LUMBER CO. The site will host sawmill demonstrations, log rolling, chopping, cross-cut sawing, stock sawing, and axe throwing. See the pro’s at their best! Come and learn about renewable resources, alternative energy, timber history, lumberjack sports and life in the lumber camps and the great northwoods. Additionally there will be open log rolling all day in between exhibitions and axe throwing for adults and children following presentations. Come and see the Central Boiler interactive semi-truck and learn about the world’s best home heating advantage using renewable resources.
The Lumber Camp security will be provided by The Minnesota Army National Guard. . On site display will include rock climbing wall, a spyder tent and team building exercises, plenty of promotional gear and a team of National Guard personal. We are proud to help support and work with our armed forces. Everyone will be safe and secure at Lumber Camp! Come out and see our National Guard log roll, saw, and axe throw with our world champions.
Additionally the Minnesota State Championship log rolling and speed birling tournament will be held Friday August 5th and Saturday August 6th. The North Shore Rollers Log Rolling Tournament sponsored by Northstar Cabling and Studio 61 Hair Salon will be at 5:00 on Friday and will be followed by the Grand Marais ATV Club coin dive. The tournament continues on Saturday with the amateur Minnesota State Championships at 11:00am and professional athletes at 3:00pm. Many of the world’s top professionals will compete for over $2500 in cash and prizes and also to win a Husqvarna chainsaw.
Other fun attractions will include the HUSQVARNA & STEVE’S SPORTS stock saw chainsaw contest on Friday night at 7:00pm. Registration at 6:30pm. See the best square off head-to-head with Husqvarna 576XP saws cutting through 20 inch lathe turned white pine. This exciting contest is open to professionals and individuals with solid operating experience. Loggers, chainsaw carvers, tree service, forestry, log builders, clearing crews, and experienced chainsaw operators invited. There is $1500 in prize money (paid out to top 10 finishers overall, the top 8 women, a mixed doubles contest and the fastest time) and a Husqvarna chainsaw for the winner of the overall and women’s division. New this year is a women’s division see the best women compete for a cash and a chainsaw. Also a mixed double finale on Saturday right before the cross-cut contests. The event is sponsored by Husqvarna and Steve’s Sports. Come out and see the North’s Shores best and cheer on your favorite sawyer! As always, there will be lots of free stuff for our spectators. Entry fee will be $20 pre-registration and $30 day of the event. All competitors receive a competitor package of sponsor items worth over $30. Pre-registration preferred. Call Niel at 388-0899 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. Entries mailed to Niel Atkinson, 80 South Clearwater Rd, Grand Marais, 55604. Checks payable to Clearwater Logging. Business’ enter your employees to represent your company at the biggest local event of the year.
The Lumber Camp will also host open sawing contests with a traditional cross-cut saw featuring single buck, double buck, and mixed doubles sponsored by the Grand Marais Lions, Clearwater Outfitters and Lodge, Marine General and Hedstrom Lumber Co at 12:45pm on Saturday. Registration at 12:30pm. This contest will kick off with the mixed doubles Husqvarna Stock Saw finals. Following the sawing will be an axe-throw contest sponsored by The Minnesota Army National Guard.
We have over $7000 in prizes to give away during the weekend to all of the spectators and participants. Come out and get some great prizes. World Champion Jenny Atkinson will also be autographing posters & giving away coloring books for spectators after every exhibition. Come out and meet all the pros.
7/26/10: Lumberjack World Championships
It is incredible to be here once again, the same place I’ve been the last weekend in July for the past 28 years! My whole family is here as well and I LOVE being with them at the cabin! My brothers even stepped on a log again this year in the warm up area for a little sibling fun! Unfortunately my right quad has not healed, and I couldn’t even warm up for the boom qualifier. I managed to PAINFULLY run once and qualified in 5th. I then had to forfeit my 1st run on Friday night as I knew if I did it I’d likely be out for the whole weekend in all events and that I’d be able to roll okay if I didn’t run. It was a hard decision, but I knew it was the right one. All my “boom eggs” were in one basket on Saturdays run and I didn’t have a dry run. That’s just the way it goes. I know I’m fast, but it wasn’t meant to be this weekend and that’s okay! I have some many things to be thankful for. Congrats to Mandy on fast times and ANOTHER world title.
I had really good log rolling matches with the most challenging draw I’ve ever had at LWC. I only lost twice……once in the front bracket to Lizzie Hoeschler (1-3) who went on to win the tournament without any falls in all other matches and then I lost to Emily Christopherson to get into the 3rd/4th place match. She went on to win it! I rolled strong defeating Katie Rick, Maggie Bulk, and Clare Christopherson, in my other matches. I ended up tying for 5th palce which I’m happy with for 2010. It was awesome to have Central Boiler there again this year with the semi-truck interactive display. It is always a nice way to talk to fans and thank them for attending LWC. Over 300 people entered to win my 2010 LWC competition jersey. The drawing will take place Labor Day weekend at The Minnesota State Fair.
I did quite a few radio interviews over the weekend and was also asked to explain my breast cancer journey to the crowd on Sunday. I was happy to present the women’s trophy to Lizzie as well.
My “log rolling/boom running soul sisters” gave me a beautiful custom made silver necklace with a boom runner on one side and the breast cancer ribbon on the other side. It is really cool! They each have one as well and also bought one for my mom! THANKS GIRLS! I certainly love and cherish it! I appreciate your thoughtfulness more than words can say!
7/20/10: Namekegon River Roll-Off
It was REALLY COOL for the kids of Grand Marais to experience their first “out of town” tournament. They did FANTASTIC! I was so proud of their efforts and all the smiling faces were a dead giveaway for the FUN they were having! It was the first spike tournament of the year for the elite athletes and it was fun to be on wood logs again. Even though I rolled well, the muscle fatigue part was a challenge for me and I suspected it might be. I ended up in 9th place in an excellent field of women. Congrats to Lizzie on a great day and new engagement! Greg, you are roped in for life now! Unfortunately I pulled my right quad muscle in the first run of the boom run. It was REALLY painful and made it super difficult to compete. I can only HOPE & PRAY that it might be better by the world championships this weekend. I’m heading to Stillwater for chemo on Wednesday, and then back to Hayward for LWC Thursday night.
7/11/10: La Crosse Open
WOW….was it ever fun to hear the whistle of the start of a log rolling match again! The La Crosse Open was yesterday and it was AWESOME to see my log rolling friends again this year. We had a great day of rolling on the crystal clear waters of Erickson Pool. I rolled well and more importantly had FUN! Although my final result was 5th place, with winning a few matches and losing 2, I thought I rolled better than that. Sometimes the judges do not see the same things the “rollers see and feel” on the log and I came up on the short end of that stick today. That’s part of the sport! I’ll be excited to boom run again soon. Treatments are going well and my hair is sprouting back! It was fun to wear my new Livestrong tank…..THINK PINK! Thanks to my sponsors, Central Boiler, Wood-Mizer, & Starfish Point for supporting me this season!
7/5/10: NEW 2010 SPONSOR…..Brick Alley Massage
I am thrilled to announce that I am welcoming Brick Alley Massage to Team Atkinson for an exciting 2010 competition season! The owner, Orlando Castro, is an incredible massage therapist and I am happy to help him grow his new business in the St. Croix Valley area. He works out of a great studio in downtown Stillwater in the Brick Alley Building. Give him a try on your next massage. I know you’ll be more than satisfied! MUCHAS GRACIAS for the support Orlando!
In good health -
5/9/10: HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!!
I feel so blessed to have my wonderful little guy in my life celebrating this special occasion and motherhood! My mom, dad, Joe, Sally, Tracy, Juju, Anne, Berendt, & I all kicked off Mother's Day today with the 5km Race for the Cure with 50,000 other supporters at the Mall of America. The beautiful weather and experience was enjoyed by all! Thanks to anyone else who did the event!
I am 10 days post surgery and have turned the corner and look forward to positive strides each day. The first 8 days were full of good moments and agonizing times. I had a bad reaction to the anesthesia (5 severe vomits), antibiotics, & constipation, but it is behind me now and I am so thankful for the AWESOME pathology report post surgery:
1. Lymph nodes = negative!
2. Margins were clear (YES! This means no radiation or 2nd surgery is needed!)
3. Chemotherapy killed over 90% of the tumor and my body reacted excellent to the treatment.
4. There was NO CANCER or changing cells at all in my left breast.
I had my drains removed on Friday and am feeling pretty SORE and TIGHT. It is a little more painful than I anticipated at this point, but it was a MAJOR surgery and I keep reminding myself of that. I can't lift anything or move my arms very well which is very annoying, but I think that will get much better soon! I hope! I miss hugging and holding Bear more than imaginable! I CRAVE the day I can pick him up again and do everything I have always done with him! I've been happy to go on great walks every day which is nice!
I will see my surgeon on Thursday and then have a Herceptin treatment and another visit to my plastic surgeon next Wednesday......the journey continues!
Thanks so much for the beautiful flowers & plants, cards, messages, other special treats, and most of all prayers. The thoughtfulness of so many people is greatly appreciated! :)
Have a wonderful week! I was diagnosed exactly 5 months ago today......I hope all women have done at least 5 self exams during that time! Don't forget ladies......it is PRETTY IMPORTANT!
Love to all.....Rollin' ON!
For Immediate Release:
2/18/10: MUSHIN’ & ROLLIN' for a BREAST CANCER CURE
After a shocking December 9, 2009 diagnosis of breast cancer, Jenny Atkinson, age 36, immediately put on her rally cap just as she has in difficult situations before. She consulted with a great team of doctors, set out a treatment plan, and started chemotherapy just 4 days after celebrating her 1st Christmas as a mother. As an 8 time log rolling and boom running world champion, she draws strength from within and knows that a positive attitude and believing in yourself is an absolute critical part of conquering this battle. Her timbersport protégé, 13 year old Jessica Berg-Collman, is also working on conquering breast cancer through raising money for The National Breast Cancer Foundation as a musher in the 4th annual Mush For a Cure. She will be racing her dogs on March 13th in a 24-mile FUNdraiser event starting on Gunflint Lake at noon. This year she is running the race in honor of her coach, Jenny.
You can find all details about the event at www.mushforacure.com 1 out of 7 women will get breast cancer in their lifetime. 1 out of 247 will be in their 30s! This is a staggering statistic and I am really proud that a local youth like Jess is working to help find a cure for this disease. It basically affects almost every extended family or neighborhood and it is important that we all work to encourage early detection and new interventions. When people find out I am currently fighting this battle, I don't know if one person that I can think of hasn't told me of another person that they personally know of who has gone through it. It is incredible! I hope one day that Jessica’s generation of girls will not have to look into the eyes of their children and treasure each day while hoping to be there for each milestone in life. At some point, and hopefully sooner rather than later, a cure will be found and this will be a disease from days gone by. I really look forward to that day for all of us. For now, I am so thankful for the advances the medical field has made with breast cancer and knowing that many people are continuing to work to raise funds for greater awareness, research, and new advancements. I am excited to have my whole family here on the Gunflint Trail for Mush For A Cure. It is something I am happy all of us will experience together this year."
Just after Jenny's 2nd round of intense chemo and a newly shaved head, she and Jess were back in the Grand Marais pool for more log rolling training. "It felt GREAT!" exclaimed Jenny. "I felt more alive than at any time since my diagnosis. I was having so much fun and my doctors told me that exercise is really important throughout this process! It was also the first time her 10-month-old son, Berendt, was on a log. "He loved it too. Bear is such a water baby, that he was all smiles bouncing his feet all over!"
Jenny is really happy to report that her sponsors, Central Boiler Outdoor Furnaces and Wood-Mizer Portable Sawmills, are behind her 100% and are excited to endorse her for another season of competition in 2010. Jenny's new competition jersey will definitely be PINK! You can learn more about her timbersports career and see cool YouTube videos at www.jennyatkinson.com. You can also follow Jenny’s breast cancer journey on her CaringBridge site.
MUSH, ROLL, and THRIVE ON JENNY & JESS!!!
12/9/09: PINK is my new favorite color.
I learned the unfortunate news that I have breast cancer today! Needless to say, it was quite the surprise. It is clinically diagnosed as stage II (3cm lump that I found) Grade 3 (aggressive and invasive). I have amazing support from family & friends and I have a very strong mind and body. "I have CANCER, but it doesn't have me!" This will be a bump in the road and certainly a new journey full of learning for Team Atkinson. If you are interested in keeping up on my journey, please follow my CaringBridge site: jennyatkinson
We will THRIVE ON!
11/19/09: Northwoods Video
Rick Kezar, Central Boiler's marketing director, and a film crew came up to our place on the Gunflint Trail to shoot footage for a documentary about our experience with our Central Boiler Outdoor Furnace. It was a life style shooting and I can’t wait to see it once the finished product is complete.
10/7/09: Central Boiler……an impressive world headquarters!
Monday night was our first time Bear was away from BOTH parents for a night......we all survived! After dropping him off at my mom & dad’s house, we left at 7pm for the 5 hour drive to the northern tip of Minnesota (west side) to the tiny town of Greenbush for a visit to the Central Boiler plant. It was really fun to see all our friends in their work environments, tour the factory, watch the assembly line of outdoor furnaces in the making, have lunch in the cafeteria, check out the SUPER COOL gift store, and meet the owners, Dennis & Teri. They were really nice and down-to-earth. Niel & I are both really proud of the company they have nurtured from the very beginning. I gave them my framed 2009 STIHL Series competition jersey. They let us each pick out an awesome CB jacket from the store. Thanks for the GREAT day! We were hanging on to every play of the Twins game on the drive home......YEAH for the incredible game! GO TWINKIES!!
9/17/09: Boom Running MOMMY on The 700 Club
Talk about a 24 hour whirlwind.....I jumped on a plane on Tuesday at noon to arrive in Virginia Beach to film a segment on The 700 Club on Wednesday, the 16th. I had a quick dinner with a good friend Terry and then settled into The Founder's Inn for a good night of UNINTERUPTED sleep before an exciting day at the studio. The entire staff at The 700 Club was amazing. They were 2nd to none compared to any network I’ve ever worked with. It was so refreshing!! I REALLY ENJOYED the pampering in hair and make-up since we don’t spend much time on that anymore! It was very relaxing!! I had a blast filming the 13 minute segment with Pat Robertson & Kristi Watts. The focus was on my timbersports competition and getting fit as a new mom. I did an interview with Pat where they showed some cool photos and video and then jumped on the stationary bike with Kristi, followed by squats on the bosu ball, and ending with sit-ups on the core ball. I gave Pat a STIHL Timbersports hat, which he put on right away. We toured the CBN facility and then I was on an afternoon flight back to Minneapolis. It was a really GREAT day! Thanks Robin for your incredible attention to detail and making everything flow. You are fabulous at your job and Career Sports and Entertainment is lucky to have you! You can check out the link to the segment right here:
9/2/09: Bear at the FAIR…..at Central Boiler!!
We spent 2 full days at the "Minnesota Great Get-Together".....THE STATE FAIR! Central Boiler has a really cool display compound and we always enjoy spending time out there talking about something we love with potential new customers. Niel has so much insight into the operation of Central Boiler Outdoor Furnaces. He is ADDICTED to ours! It is really nice to have the perspective of another owner and customers sure seem to appreciate his honest opinion about the product. Bear joined us for one day and people flocked to the booth to see the cute little guy. His grandma's wanted special time on the 2nd day, so he stayed home. I had fun talking to fans and signing autographs the whole time. There were 131,705 people at the fair on Aug. 31st and 110,931 on Sept.2nd. This year the total attendance drew nearly 1.8 million people, which was a new record, over the 11 day celebration.
8/3/09: Fisherman’s Picnic…NO Ordinary Lumberjacks!
The 4 day blowout event in Grand Marais for Fisherman’s Picnic was a phenomenal success once again! Our vision to bring a unique experience to a unique community along with all the support from sponsors, tireless labor from volunteers, spectacular performance from junior and professional athletes, and enthusiastic and interested spectators made for a WHOLE LOT OF FUN for everyone around town! Our DEEPEST APPRECIATION goes out to the Grand Marais Lions, Central Boiler, Wood-Mizer, Husqvarna, Steve’s Sports, Wildfire Protection, and Hedstrom Lumber for sponsoring the event. The "seven crew members" (Niel, Jenny, Dave, Tyler, Harmon, Anders, & Jessica) performed 8 interactive exhibitions on Thursday and Friday which included saw milling, underhand chop, single buck saw, stock saw racing, axe throw, log rolling, and a renewable resource presentation. Kids and adults were able to give log rolling a try in the tank between exhibitions and I have never seen so many happy faces. We also had an adult and kids axe throwing contest, and people LOVE to watch and participate! We sawed 2,000 board feet of salvage Ham Lake Fire white pine logs into lumber on our Wood-Mizer LT40 sawmill. The Husqvarna stock sawing event on Friday night with $500 in prize money and a new chain saw for the champion was well attended by competitors and spectators! Everyone had a blast and this years champion was Jeff Eliason! Niel took 4th place after having the fastest qualifying cut and I was a very respectable 7th. The turnout on Saturday morning for the kids log rolling tournament was fantastic! The youth of the Northwood are a hardy bunch and were not deterred AT ALL by the blustery wind, chilly winds, and occasional sprinkle. I was SO PROUD of every single one of them!! The annual sawing contest on Saturday afternoon sponsored by Hedstrom Lumber was a traditional hit as always. The professional log rolling tournament had a great field of 8 men and 14 women all vying for a piece of the $1500 prize money pie as well as a new chain saw for the Minnesota State champions. The Lake Superior rock awards for our event this year were made by Naturally Unique. Many thanks to Mark & Jan Herbert for their help on this project! I encourage everyone to check out their website at www.naturallyunique.com for amazing and affordable gift ideas. They ship anywhere and have REALLY COOL natural items. There were some awesome matches to watch and being in a tank always adds an interesting element to the competition for everyone. I ended up in 7th place. The volunteers helping assisting throughout the day and with tank tear down were greatly appreciated.....thank you.....THANK YOU! We ended the night with watching the fireworks show over the harbor from the best seats in the county......on top of the Central Boiler trailer. Having the Central Boiler interactive semi-display trailer was certainly a highlight for any visitor to Cook County during the festival. Mike, Dennis, and Steve answered many questions and also sold some new outdoor furnaces to people in the area. Come the end of October when heating bills start to sky rocket, many others will wonder why they didn’t order one then. It is not too late! Contact Steve at his Duluth dealership and he will deliver one anytime.
Sunday is always a highlight day for the competitors with a delicious pancake breakfast prepared by the best cook in all of Montana (thanks Jenn!) before the boom tournament. This year it was a fundraiser for the volunteer Gunflint Fire Department, a critical part of our community that any home owner appreciates! Kids delight in the opportunity to run the boom and certainly some future champions will always remember their 1st boom tournament back at Clearwater Lake. The women and men were blazing fast and Alyse won the honors this year. I made it through one race and took a miraculous 5th place. In the 2nd event, the pain by the end of the first log almost made my eyeballs pop out so I quickly fell to the side and walked back to shore.....the boom running season was officially over and it was now time to heal! Our black lab, Aruba, was a thrill for everyone to watch as she effortlessly and speedily flew across the booms. I wonder if any human could ever match her times?!?!
The 4 days went by in a blur and our bodies ache from all the physical labor involved in the production. But after clean-up, rest and ample rejuvenation; as the theme on the 2009 buttons states.....We’ll be Back! Of course only with the support of the companies like Central Boiler, Wood-Mizer, Husqvarna, Steve’s Sports, Wildfire Protection, and Hedstrom Lumber and of course the Lions Club organization in Grand Marais who tirelessly plan and support the entire festival for this wonderful community.
7/27/09: 50th Anniversary for LWC!
It was another historical event in Hayward, WI.....the 50th anniversary of the Lumberjack World Championships at Lumberjack Bowl. The festivities were fun for young and old, and the special tribute to the years gone by was certainly something to witness. I was honored to have participated in over half of the events held at Lumberjack Bowl.....this was my 27th consecutive season. WOW! I certainly have competed more years in a row than any other professional competitor on the log rolling docks today! It was also special for us to know that on the 50th anniversary Baby Bear was experiencing the championships for the 1st time, although his memory at 3 months old might be a little foggy. I hope this is the beginning of many fun years and treasured memories for him at this historic landmark! It was really cool to have Central Boiler come on as an event sponsor for women’s log rolling, bringing the interactive semi and furnaces for display. We enjoyed working with Ryan, another great CB employee from the headquarters in Greenbush. It was really nice to have the local dealer on site as well. If you live in the area and are interested in an outdoor furnace, you will find his business located in Trego. I signed autographed posters before, after, and during intermission Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and met many enthusiastic fans! Hundreds of people entered their names in the contest to win my 50th anniversary competitor's tank top. One lucky winner will be selected after the State Fair event at the end of August!
On to the competition results......I once again had 5 fun log rolling matches, and finished in 6th place. Uggg! I was sooooo close to making the finals with a great match against Emily Christopherson in the semi finals. We went to the 5th fall and she pulled off the win. I was disappointed for me, but thrilled for Emily to be in the finals at LWC for the 1st time in her career. It is a euphoric experience! I was in the finals match for the last 5 years in a row, but this time I watched and cheered from the sidelines. My other 3 matches were running matches....beating Alyse & Leah, and then losing to Alyse in the back bracket to get into the 3rd/4th place match. I had a good time rolling Shana in the tie breaker for 5th/6th. We always have fun bucking! My back was in constant pain, by the joy of competing overpowered the feeling inside. I only wish I could have been performing a full capacity.....that is certainly much more fun! Congrats to Katie Hoeschler for her 1st big win and newly crowned 1st world title!
In boom running, I tried to "mind-over-matter" the situation and my mind was tough as nails with incredible desire from deep within, unfortunately the "matter" was too profound. I wanted to perform at my highest so badly I could taste it! The training runs were almost impossible to manage, and I only made it through the first day of competition on Friday and then knew the smart thing to do was forfeit the rest of my boom running on Saturday and Sunday in hopes of not injuring myself further while still having a shot at the log rolling title. At best, I could barely survive on the boom and it wouldn't have been fast. The nerve damage could have potentially been permanent, so we knew I had to pull out. The decision was absolutely heart wrenching, but we knew it was absolutely the right decision as well. I am already looking forward to next season! Shana ran fantastic on Sunday and she won the boom running world title for the 2nd time. Congrats on her superb performance! I am now focused on the Grand Marais event this week. I know it will be a great one!!
7/20/09: An old friend and a new tournament!
Yesterday was the Namekegon River Roll event in Hayward, WI. This was a spike tournament and a great warm-up in Lumberjack Bowl prior to the World Championships next weekend. I had excellent training this week up at the cabin with Tyler, Leah, & Jessica. We were in the pond twice a day, rain or shine! It was a beautiful sunny summer day and everyone had a great time. The log rolling matches were awesome to watch! It was also soooo exciting to finally see a boom for kids/pros to practice on in Hayward! I hope many people appreciate the access to this great training for years to come! Thankfully, I had 5 good matches, which typically only happens when you work your way up the back bracket. I was happy to have these matches under my belt even though my back/leg was still very problematic. I definitely could not boom run, but I wanted to see how my body would handle a lot of spike rolling in one day. I won 3 matches (Syd Hadley, Lauryn Schroeder, & Maggie Bulk) and lost 2 (Katie & Abby Hoeschler). I certainly would have been more pleased with a podium finish, but 5th place was where I landed today. It was really nice to have a weekend with just "Grandma Honey" (my mom) and Baby Bear in Hayward. Another highlight was bumping into my long time childhood best friend, Jenny Oczak Johnson, and we smiled, laughed, and caught up for an hour on Saturday night. We went to school together from kindergarten through Grade 12 in Stillwater. Jenny rolled many moons ago in the mid 1980’s and we reminisced about our fun times at tournaments back then. I tried to talk her into pulling out a pair of shoes again! I know her girls would be hooked, just like we were back then. Trail’s End Campground in Hayward should get a log for guests to use.....they have the perfect beach for it and they have a hidden instructor who is up there quite often. C’mon Jen! Many THANKS to Kathy Mast, Kathy McCoy, and the whole Hayward team for hosting a great event with a delicious lunch! I greatly appreciate all the work that goes into hosting a tournament. I hope to see this one on the calendar again next year! Congrats to Shana for the win and to Leah for her boom running milestone.....the training certainly paid off.....YEAH!
Yesterday was the Namekegon River Roll event in Hayward, WI. This was a spike tournament and a great warm-up in Lumberjack Bowl prior to the World Championships next weekend. It was a beautiful sunny summer day and everyone had a great time. Thankfully, I had 5 good matches, which I was happy to
7/12/09: Boom Boom.....Boo Hoo!
The La Crosse Open tournament was this weekend, and after 2 and a half weeks off from the boom, I tried it last Thursday hoping it would feel okay so I’d be able to compete and it was just as painful as the day it happened. Uggg! It is somewhat painful when I log roll, and I don't have any power with my right leg. But it is the long stride of the boom that is impossible. I almost didn't go to La Crosse at all, but I really wanted to compete in log rolling again and support their event. My competing wasn't anything spectacular, but the weather was gorgeous and the drive down from Stillwater is truly beautiful. It was the first time I ever competed in an outdoor pool and I learned a new lesson: bring your sunglasses to La Crosse! Not the Hollywood kind, but the type you can compete in! I won my match against Greta, but lost to Emily and Katie Hoeschler. I would do anything to be able to use my right leg effectively, but it is not in the cards right now. I am learning that it is really hard to adjust your rolling style or have body parts not functioning at full capacity. Lets hope for next week. Congrats to Emily for winning!
Two weeks until the world championships......
6/23/09: Pain and agony!
Well, the weekend certainly didn't turn out as planned. The flights were excellent and Baby Bear was perfect the whole time. For that, I am thankful! It was really exciting to have the Central Boiler interactive semi-truck display on site, and it was air conditioned I might add! What a life savior in the record breaking Georgia heat! "Big Mike" was the man behind the wheel and we also met another great CB employee named Brian. We had a busy day of media on Thursday, and I felt awesome on the booms. It was so good to feel fast and just plain "regular" again! We don't get to take many runs, just for filming and demonstration, so it is not like training. On the 2nd to last one, I felt something really weird and painful in my lower back and right leg. I wished it away, did a lot of stretching, and hoped it was nothing. IT WASN'T! The next day, during warm-ups before the competition, I could not even make it to the end of the 2nd log without jumping in. My right leg didn't work at all.....something was wrong with my nerve. It was the most excruciating pain I had ever felt! Could this really be happening??? I managed to barely make it through one quarter final run, hoping for a miracle, but the pain was increasing RAPIDLY, and the miracle did not happen. I had to pull out of the competition the next run and watch the weekend slip away. It was devastating to feel so good, but for just a few short days! I held my head up high and spent the remainder of the time split between cheering on my competitors, talking to folks at the Central Boiler display, and autographing poster in the stands. So many people are interested in Wood-Mizer portable sawmills and Central Boiler Outdoor Furnaces that it was a great distraction to the disappointment of the competition. They really appreciate when I give them literature and tell them about our mill and boiler at home. I also had so much fun seeing all the great employees of AFLAC again this year! There were so many familiar and friendly faces from last year. Columbus is a nice city and I certainly hope we go back again for a tournament next year. CONGRATS to Alyse Schroeder for her first big boom run win......she was fast as lightning and I couldn’t be any happier for her success.....way to go girl!! Thanks to STIHL, AFLAC, and Outdoor Events for putting on another great event in the timbersports history books!
6/16/09: Ready to fly...in airplanes and across booms!
We leave for Columbus, Georgia tomorrow for the STIHL Timbersports Series finals which will be aired on ESPN2 in the fall. You can watch the action live on-line at www.stihltimbersports.com
The last 2 weeks have been fantastic training and I feel REALLY FAST again, which is such an exhilarating feeling. I am so ready for my "normal" boom running and I can't wait to compete again! I love the AFLAC Outdoor Games and can't wait to get to Georgia. I hope Baby Bear is great on the airplane again.....we learned a valuable lesson in Utah.....ALWAYS bring the stroller on vacations! I think we were the only couple without a baby stroller in the airports in route to Utah. You can just check the stroller at the gate.....note taken....lesson learned!
6/8/09: Mission accomplished in Utah…..off to Georgia!
Utah was a great weekend and a much needed success! Baby Bear was awesome and dad had a lot of bonding time with the little guy. He was amazing on every flight and I was thrilled! We had a very busy media day on Thursday with radio, newspaper, and TV interviews all day. The evening was capped off with a preview exhibition for military families in the Utah area. I never thought I'd be so happy to place 6th, which qualifies me for the finals in Columbus, Georgia in 2 weeks. A top six finish was my one and only goal, and I am so proud to have accomplished it! The opening round of the STIHL Timbersports Series is more cut-throat than ever this year with only the top 6 advancing, instead of 8. The field of competition is better than ever and the depth of incredible boom running ability is amazing! Everyone was blazing fast! I wasn’t at my usual top notch speed, but I definitely gave it 150% and held nothing back. I feel better and stronger with each passing day and I see major gains with each set of runs! Congrats to Olivia Judd for the best boom running weekend she has ever had! It is cool to see her break in there. THANKS to the great folks at Thanksgiving Point and the Utah Sports Commission for hosting another fun Great Outdoors Festival in Lehi. The Utah fans were awesome and excited about the autographed posters and coloring books! As always, thanks to Wood-Mizer for producing them!
Georgia.....here we come!
6/2/09: Off to Utah...1st flight for Baby Bear!
Tomorrow we leave for Utah and this will be Baby Bear's first plane ride, how exciting! We are flying on Uncle Jack's United buddy passes, so hopefully we will get good seats and the planes will have extra space for us!
THANKS to my GREAT SPONSORS (Central Boiler, Wood-Mizer, and Starfish Point) for sticking with me for this exciting season and new endeavor! Team Atkinson is packed and ready to roll!
Next stop....Lehi, Utah!
5/28/09: OUCH.....Face Plant!
Wow.....always something new! Today was my first day back on logs since last August and I was excited to say the least! FINALLY!! I also knew the water would be freezing (bummer!) and I hate cold water, but it didn't stop me. I wasn't as worried about my incision in the mid-section as I thought I'd be. Other body parts caused much more pain.....think "food source!" I felt strong, confident, and excited! I knew I'd have to ease back into it again and that it might feel a little off, however, it certainly surprised me to take a nasty wipe out and hit my face HARD on the log on the 2nd run. OUCH!! I had doubts about this whole plan for a moment or two, and then I turned it into positive energy and tackled the boom right away again. The training session turned out feeling good even though I had a pretty nice bruise on my right cheek bone. Six days before we leave for Utah and every moment counts......and I’ll be in the pond rain or shine every day!
Glad to be back!
5/26/09: Thumbs up from Dr. Goudge!
I had my 6 week post-op check-up today and Dr. Goudge gave me the thumbs up on a great recovery and said I can do whatever my body allows.
Yah-hoo.....I'll be boom running soon!
All smiles -
The Boom Queen
5/14/09: Wood-Mizer onsie!
Today in the mail we received an adorable blue Wood-Mizer onsie and a card signed by the staff in Indianapolis....thank you.....THANK YOU! It is so cute and seems huge right now, but I bet it will fit him perfectly this summer. I'll be sad when he outgrows it someday!
We take great long walks in the woods with the Baby Bjorn and go on stroller rides everyday. Uncle Jack bought us a really cool "jogger" stroller with 3 big wheels for the dirt roads up here. It works perfect and is used often! I do lots of stretching which is needed after surgery. I am also still riding my stationary bike everyday while Bear is napping. It is kind of boring, but I am looking on the bright side and happy to be reading a good book while working out......always multi-tasking! I miss the excitement of riding on the roads and feeling the swift wind in my face. On nice sunny days I move the bike out on the deck and look down the lake at the pallisades......not a bad view!
Many thanks to the WM family!
4/16/09: YEAH....I’m a mom!
On 4/10/09 (Good Friday - YES it was!) our son, Berendt Archer Atkinson ("Baby Bear") was born via C-Section at 8:07am weighing in at 6 pounds 2 ounces and 19.5 inches long! He has a full head of dark hair and is loved and cherished more than I could have ever imagined! My doctor, Christine Goudge, is wonderful and my hospital stay at Lakeview was great. I was up and walking around the first day and feel like my road to recovery is well on its way! I even talked to all the kids in my class at school right before lunch the day he was born. Today I started physically preparing for a new season and healthy lifestyle. I have been on stroller rides each day, but wanted to get the stationary bike trainer out and set up in the garage. I rode for 30 minutes with Baby Bear sleeping in his portable basket right by my side. It was AWESOME!
Motherhood is bliss!
1/9/09: Sawmills around the world!
WOW.....just moments after pulling out of our resort it was quite a surprise and super cool to come around the corner on our way to the airport and see a Wood-Mizer portable sawmill being towed behind a pick-up on a Costa Rican dirt road. I immediately yelled to Niel to pull over and flagged the guy down. I wanted my photo taken with the first WM we found in Costa Rica…..I knew it was bound to happen! I gave the guy an autographed poster and WM orange cup I had in the front seat of the car. He had the biggest smile and kept saying, "Gracias, GRACIAS!!" I also had a big smile on my face at this cool, chance encounter!
11/28/08: The heat is on.....THANKS to Central Boiler!
This time of year is one of my favorites…..random snowflakes are in the air, holiday festivities and traditions are greatly anticipated, the firewood is stacked at the cabin, and it is time to "put up" the big stuff for the "Garage Lodge" winter heat. We know sub-zero temps are right around the corner in Minnesota’s great northwoods! Our 7260 Central Boiler Outdoor Furnace keeps us, (as well as our snowmobiles, skidder, Wood-Mizer, boat, & plow truck) toasty warm all winter! We would never have this luxury with a traditional heating source. We are now starting a tradition of taking a photo right as we have the wood piles at their biggest! It is a triple team effort of our favorite woods tools: STIHL chain saws, Wood-Mizer sawmill, and Central Boiler outdoor furnace. I wonder what it will look like next year?
Warm & cozy –
9/8/08: Lumberjills do dress up!
This weekend many of the girls on the circuit converged in La Crosse, WI to see one of our dear friend's, Mandy Erdmann, become Mrs. Sobiech! It was a gorgeous fall day and quite the event. Mandy truly beamed & Paul is roped into timbersports for life now! CONGRATS Mandy & Paul!!!! Who will be next?
What a fun way to end the season!
8/31/08: CB at the Great Minnesota Get-Together!
Niel and I spent 2 days at the Central Boiler interactive display on "Machinery Hill" at the Minnesota State Fair. It is always fun to see our friend, Dave Anderson, who we bought our CB 7260 from 8 years ago at the state fair. We also met "Big Mike" who drives the "Big Red CB Semi" all around the country. He is one of the friendliest people I have ever met and knows about the furnaces inside and out! It was great to meet new people interested in alternative heating. If you have ever thought of buying one, this is the place to check it out. Or you can always go to www.centralboiler.com to learn all about their amazing products as well. Kids (and adults!) sure seemed to be happy to get an autographed poster and coloring book to put in their bag of "cherished &collected items" from the Great Minnesota Get-Together! We'll be back next year…..come find me at the CB display! The new school year is starting soon. Kids, be extra good for your teachers and always give it your best! Don’t forget to read every night!! I can’t wait to meet my new class of 3rd graders. What fun we will have learning together!
8/4/08: Fisherman’s Picnic....No ordinary lumberjacks!
What a GRAND weekend......perfect weather, great exhibitions, exciting competition, and fun by all! After 2 full days of exhibitions including sawmilling, chopping, sawing, stock saw racing, axe throw, log rolling, and a renewable resource presentation it was time for the COMPETITIONS to begin! Friday night, we held the STIHL stock saw event with a full crowd on hand cheering on their favorite local. I placed a very respectable tie for 3rd place (beating Niel!) amongst a great group of professional guys. It was so much fun! On Saturday, it was time for the fun lumberjack sawing events before the log rolling showdown for the title of Minnesota State Champion! Everyone had a blast and bragging rights will be in full force until next year.....I can hear Shana, Taylor, and Tyler already! We had a fantastic group of log rollers attend our tournament and I was on top of the podium again, beating Shana in the finals.....it must have been a little bit of bitter sweet redemption after last weekend. She wouldn't trade it though! I had to roll through Emily Christopherson (3-2) and Katie Rick (3-1) before meeting Shana once again the finals.....there seems to be a pattern this season! Congrats to Dave.....the men’s champ! Hey, we both have a Wood-Mizer sawmill in our family......was that the extra bit of luck! The boom run on Sunday was awesome too. Many spectators from the Gunflint Trail came by to watch is shock and awe at the fancy footwork sprinting across the logs. We do have the longest and most challenging booms on the circuit (Niel wouldn’t have it any other way!) and it was great to see so many people giving it their all! Congrats to Taylor for winning......she was right on today! I was happy with 4th after such an exhausting couple days! MANY THANKS to all the tournament volunteers, Grand Marais Lions Club & Wood-Mizer for hosting such a great addition to Fisherman’s Picnic 2009.....we’ll be back!
7/28/08: In Memory of Uncle Randy
For the 1st time in 2 decades, I did not sleep in Hayward on the Thursday night of LWC. Unfortunately my Uncle Randy died from a sudden motorcycle accident (please wear your helmets!!!) and his funeral was Friday morning. It was an amazing service and reflected his incredible life in the outdoors. I think there were as many mounts of deer, bear, fish, and anything that flies as there were people in the church....and it was packed!! We all were instructed to wear casual clothes reflective of what Uncle Randy would want.....I wore a kayaking t-shirt that said, "Life is Good!" I know he believed it. Anyway, Niel and I raced up to Hayward immediately following the funeral just in time for my first match against Emily Christopherson. I knew she would be tough and aggressive. I had to take a deep breath and think how happy Uncle Randy would be at Lumberjack Bowl near his cabin in the northwoods of Wisconsin. I won (2-0) and knew it would be a good weekend with Randy looking over my shoulder! I also had victories in rolling against Samantha Hadley (2-0) and Katie Rick (3-0) in the semi-finals. I rolled Shana Martin in the finals and had a good match, although not one of our best, and lost 1-3. I had a couple quirky falls, and she is too challenging for anything other than my best rolling. So, my 4 year consecutive run of log rolling titles at LWC was over. I was happy for Shana.....what a memorable and well deserved day for her!! I did really well in the boom qualifying days with the fastest on Friday and second fastest on Saturday, but ended up in 4th in the finals on Sunday. The races were really close and a big CONGRATS to Shana for winning her 1st boom run title as well. It was really fun to have my whole family in Hayward cheering me on. I appreciate the support from Wood-Mizer, Central Boiler, and Starfish Point in my efforts to win more world titles. We'll give it a go next year! The logs are not done spinning yet.....there is always next weekend!
"Yo-Ho to LWC 2008!"
6/30/2008: Miles & Medals!
I have quite a few miles under my belt in the last few weeks and some special medals to be proud of too! I wanted to send you a quick update on the past 2 weekend tournaments. On June 21st, I competed at the Midwest Championships in Madison, WI. It was a fundraiser for Huntington's Disease and the event raised over $5000. The horrible disease holds a special place in my heart as one of my competitors & friend, Shana Martin, has a mother who is bound to a nursing home due to the disease. Shana has a 50-50 chance of having the disease as well, but she lives each day to the fullest bringing her passion and ambition to everything she does. Shana is very involved in awareness and working towards a cure for Huntington's. I won first place in the log rolling winning my matches 3-1, 3-1, 3-2. It was the first log rolling tournament of the season and it felt good to be competing and winning again! I wore my favorite Wood-Mizer hat and I think it brought me good luck! I ended up in 4th place in the boom run, just 0.2 out of 2nd place! The field of competition is very strong and we all raced well.
This past weekend I was in Columbus, Georgia from June 25th-30th for the Aflac Outdoor Games & Stihl Timbersports Series Championships. It was a great event and I was proud to go home with the silver medal around my neck! I was so close to winning, but the stars were not lined up for me that day. I was proud of my efforts and held my head high! Once again, I am amazed at the level of competition and heart, soul, and determination put forth by each athlete. I wore my WM hat again in the semi-finals and finals giving excellent exposure on TV and in the stands. Speaking of fans in the stands......the folks in Georgia are absolutely incredible! I have never given out so many posters and signed so many autographs! I know I signed my name a few thousand times over the weekend. The media coverage was excellent and I had a lot of time to interact with fans, young & old, after I was done competing each day.
Check out the links below for more great stories and photos!
www.espnoutdoors.com (click on Timbersports for articles and pictures in each photo gallery)
We are really excited about the upcoming WM Timber Days event in Grand Marais on the 4th. I know it will be really cool. Have a great day......THANKS for all your support!
June 3rd, 2008 THANKS TO MY GREAT SPONSORS!
With the 2008 training season underway, "Team Atkinson" is looking forward to competitions starting soon! I would like to welcome my new sponsor, Central Boiler, to the winning team of STIHL, Wood-Mizer, Idaho Chucks, & Starfish Point. Central Boiler is a natural fit and I am thrilled to have them on board. They are a great northern Minnesota based company selling the world's best outdoor wood furnaces. We have a CL 7260 at our Clearwater Lake home which heats our 5,000sf garage/shop with slab wood from our Wood-Mizer LT40 sawmill and trees needing to be thinned out on our property with my favorite STIHL chain saw! As always, the amazingly delicious food at Idaho Chucks keep Niel and I well fed and energized while we are busy working and training in the Twin Cities. My first competition, the STIHL Timbersports Series, is this weekend in Lehi, Utah. I will be proud to represent every company on board with "Team Atkinson" each and every step of the way. It looks like it will be a great media market. I have 4 appearances scheduled before the event even starts. Niel & I always enjoy talking to fans & spect ators a bout the fantastic products we endorse. We have a lot of exciting competitions & events planned for this season. I will keep you updated along the way! Thanks so much for supporting me and the great companies I represent!
August 1st, 2007
Hi again friends and fans!
After a few days of training up north with some up and coming competitors, we were off to Hayward for the Lumberjack World Championships. This was another dream come true weekend with winning the GOLDEN TRIFECTA!!! I ripped off the 2 fastest times in the finals once again winning the boom run. My family was all smiles!!
I also won the log rolling with my first match 2-0 against Greta, second match 2-0 vs Olivia, and then 3-1 against Lizzie in the semi finals. In the finals, I had a SUPER MATCH against Shana Martin and I won 3-0 with all falls on the 4 log. After the Stillwater match, I wasn't going off that log for anything!! This was my 3rd straight log rolling title at LWC and I love to compete in Lumberjack Bowl! Many thanks to the board of directors, sponsors, volunteers, and spectators for making this awesome event happen. If you have not ever attended.....this is one not to miss!
The 3rd win of the weekend was my relay team taking home the top honors, which is always fun! We had a blast the whole weekend with Mom, Dad, Joe & Sally at my parents cabin.....the weather was perfect and the pontoon, floaties, jet skis, good food, and laughs kept everyone having fun! Quality time with my family was a real treat on a competition weekend!!!!!
I will let you know when the air dates are out for the Stihl Series on ESPN2 in Nov. & Dec. Thanks again to my incredible sponsors for supporting me in my best season yet.....25 years in the sport and still winning!! I am off to Eau Claire this Saturday to compete in log rolling at the Chippewa Valley Games. I will be wearing my sponsor gear with pride! I hope to see some of you there!
July 24th, 2007
Greetings friends and fans!
THANKS to everyone who came out to watch at the STIHL World Championships and STIHL Timbersports Series finals in Stillwater. It was so fun to see all of you! Your signs, cheering, and support mean so much to both of us!! It was an incredible weekend full of competition at the highest level. I am the 2007 World Champion in the boom run which was a goal I set out to do and a dream come true. It was quite emotional for both Niel and I when I laid down the fastest run each heat in the finals on the world's hardest boom! WOW! Reality was setting in and happy tears were brimming in my eyes.....the moment was finally here!
I was 2nd in the log rolling, winning 3 great matches (Olivia 3-0, Greta 3-0, Lizzie 3-1) and then losing to Shana Martin in the finals. Congrats to Shana on her victory! I am thrilled with the silver medal, but disappointed I didn't have a better final match.....sorry.....but that is sports. I walked away smiling knowing I tried my best and counting down the days until we would meet on the log again at the next competition.....only 7. I will be ready and waiting!
Winning the Overall World Champion title for the 2nd year in a row was really special because it combines the log rolling and boom running. The honor recognizes the top overall athlete which is something I am always striving for. Besides, it was awesome to win a new STIHL chain saw! I was using it 3 days later to buck fire wood at the cabin and loving every minute of it.
On Sunday I had fun riding on the STIHL truck in the parade with 75,000 people lining the streets of Stillwater. Fans freaked out for the beef jerky, posters, and foam axes!! The Stihl Series boom run finals are always close and each and every girl gives it 110%. I am so proud of each competitor! It is a head-to-head format with the top 8 competitors. I was seeded 2nd. I won my first race, and then lost by 0.05 seconds to Lizzie (who eventually was the champion) in the semi finals. I took home the bronze medal by defeating Tanya in the final race. Another successful podium finish! If you were there to see Aruba (our black lab) run the boom, you definitely got a special treat! She just learned how 2 weeks ago and seemed to be the hit of the day!! Our celebration dinner was at Idaho Chucks.....Ymmmmm!! Thanks to STIHL Inc., Dave Eckberg with St. Croix Events/Lumberjack Days, and the International Log Rolling Association for hosting this world-class tournament!
I will let you know when the air dates are out for the Stihl Series on ESPN2 in Nov. & Dec. Thanks again to my incredible sponsors for supporting me in my best season yet.....25 years in the sport and still winning!!
2007 World Champion
July 3rd, 2007
Top of the morning fans!
We just drove in from finishing the first stop in the 2007 STIHL Timbersports Series in Decatur, AL and it was AWESOME! It is always so fun to walk into a new season and a big venue! I was ready to run!! The drive down was great with an overnight visit with my brother, Jack, in Chicago and then a stop at Wood-Mizer's World Headquarters in Indianapolis. Friday was a media day with 2 news interviews and 1 radio in studio. It was fun to watch a news reporter run the boom. He had some very worthy falls on his 3 attempts!! We hit the golf course in the afternoon which is always a good time and makes me happy I am a log roller and boom runner!
Anyway, my qualifying time was fine, making it into the top 8. I had a good quarter final run against Tanya Fischer and then defeated Lizzie Hoeschler in the semi-finals. YEAH! The finals were against Mandy Erdmann and it wasn't my best run. Unfortunately, my start wasn't as quick as usual and I went around the wrong side of the barrel at the turn around. RRRRrrrrrr! I guess some days are not meant to be. I must have some connection to 2nd place here.....I had the same result last year! I really want to win a STIHL Series boom this season and I was hoping to get the job done in Alabama. It is time to get back in the training pond. I'll be ready for the finals in Stillwater!! The crowds in Decatur were fantastic as usual. They endured the heat and rain and never left an empty seat in the whole venue. THANK YOU! I always love having time to talk to fans and sign autographs.
Happy 4th of July.....thank a vet.....be proud to be an American!
April 26, 2007
I hope you are all healthy and happy! 2007 is already flying by and some exciting things have been happening for us that I wanted to share with you. First we bought our brand new LT40 sawmill. My husband, Niel, and I are very excited about owning our very own Wood-Mizer! We always enjoy milling lumber together......it seems like more fun than work! It is great to be outside working with wood! Right after we brought the mill home we had an exhibition day on March 15th with 150 3rd graders and high school wood shop students at the Environmental Learning Center in Stillwater, MN. Some aspen trees needed to be cleared. It was a fun-filled day of new experiences and learning. The kids LOVED the Wood-Mizer and they were talking about it for days! Niel did a fantastic job with the presentation and they were mesmerized as board after board came off the mill. The 3rd graders screamed and cheered when I started operating the mill…..Girls Rock!! They were so excited to get the Wood-Mizer coloring books......it went along with our emphasis of following your dreams. I know they will always remember that day!
A month later I had an opportunity to be on a feature segment of a reality TV show called the Ultimate Road Trip. East Coast fans......tune into the YES Network! It was a really fun day! I loved meeting the cast of 6 die hard Yankees fans (Eddie, Dougy, Brenda, Justin, Indio, and Shelli) who are competing for 6 months to win as many tickets as they can to all the Yankees baseball games (160 total!) both home and away. They all live together in an apartment in NYC, but compete fiercely to win challenges for game tickets. They had a "Lumberjack Size Challenge" when they came to play the Minnesota Twins.....which meant learning to crosscut saw, axe throw, and log roll from a world champion! Niel built a fantastic set and I had the pleasure of teaching new people something I'm passionate about. They had no idea what they were going to do for the challenge (to win tickets for the Oakland and Cleveland series) until they drove around the corner and I was rippin' through wood with a STIHL chain saw! Of course they were told to bring a swimsuit with for the day! They loved the experience and it all filmed great! The TV show won an Emmy last season, and this episode had a huge spike in ratings! It will be aired 13 times. The producers, film crew, and "Road Trippers" had a great day in the life of Paul Bunyan! I enjoyed the whole experience. Here is a link to the web-site so you can read more about The Ultimate Road Trip:
A huge THANKS to the North East STIHL dealers, YES Network, Wood-Mizer, Oberto Beef Jerky, Starfish Point, Idaho Chucks, and the Hudson YMCA for supporting me in this event!
I look forward to meeting many of your at the Wood-Mizer 25th Anniversary Celebration in Indianapolis in October! Until then, I will be runnin' and rollin' logs with a smile on my face!
July 25, 2006
Family & Friends,
THANK YOU SO MUCH for coming down to Stillwater to support me during the World Championships and STIHL Timbersports Series Boom Run Finals! I know some of you made it for every minute, some for one day, and some were there in spirit! I still felt it. I appreciate it more than words can express! I know how busy everyone is. After 23 years, it was a dream come true to compete here and show all of you and the rest of Stillwater/Minnesota how great this unique sport
truly is. I was overwhelmed with all the support and encouragement via emails, calls, signs, hugs, and awesome LOUD cheering! I cherished every bit of it and will never forget it!
Here is a recap of how the weekend ended up for me:
I won the bronze medal in both the log rolling and boom running for the World Championships. Of course I wanted to win, but I am proud of a podium finish. I was very excited to become the World Champion in the overall (combining points in both events). It was one of my goals this season and it was really special to stand on top of the podium with the STIHL chain saw in my hand! I ended up in 4th in the STIHL Timbersports Boom Run Finals. This was not my ideal outcome, but the competition is fierce and I gave it 110%. A victory was not in
the cards that day. I still walked away smiling and proud of my efforts.
I hope you all had a fun time watching and learning more about timbersports. I tried to get to each one of you in the stands, but sometimes my schedule didn't allow a lot of "down time". I know the heat chased many away as soon as I was done. After one day of rest, I was back in the practice pond today getting ready to compete again this weekend.
* 3:10pm on Wednesday 7/26 a radio interview on the "Lori & Julia Show" (107FM)
* Competing at the Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward July 28-30th
* August 3rd, NBC TODAY SHOW live in Manhattan, NY
* A radio interview tomorrow for "Weekend America" (160 stations nation-wide). I don't know when it will be aired.
* Hospital visits with cancer kids at Children's Hopsital to hand out posters, books, foam axes, and beef jerky with my cousin Charlie sometime in August.
* STIHL Timbersports Series to begin airing on ESPN2 on December 17th.
THANKS again for your support!! It made my day.
Have a great day!
August 10, 2006
Log Rolling on live TV for NBC's TODAY Show in the heart of Manhattan at Rockefeller Plaza was an experience I'll certainly never forget! It was different than anything I've ever done in the sport in the past 23 years. I kept telling myself Wow, I am actually rolling between two HUGE skyscrapers and MILLIONS of people will see it! It was really fun to meet the TODAY co-hosts and show them our unique sport. I only wish Matt, Campbell, David, or Al would have tried log rolling! I know the viewers would have loved it. Hopefully, we will be able to boom run in the same spot next year! As always, it was a great experience working with STIHL on another cool project.
August 1, 2006
Hello friends, family, and fans!
NBC is very excited about log rolling these days. Tune in to NBC's The TODAY Show (7am-10am CST) this Thursday, Aug. 3rd, to watch me and Tyler Fischer rockin' and rollin' (on logs of course!) in the heart of downtown Manhattan, NY on the plaza. Hopefully one of the co-hosts will be brave enough to try it! Niel and I are really looking forward to a fun day or 2 in NYC, especially after a 20-hour drive!
I had a fantastic weekend of competing and even more fun with my family at my parents cabin! It was so awesome to have all 7 of us there! I won the log rolling defeating Shana Martin (3-2) in an awesome match (5 falls on the 4 log) in the semi-finals...it was a lot of fun out on the log, but certainly a nail biter for my family! Then I beat Mandy Erdmann 3-1 in the finals to defend my title in Hayward at the Lumberjack World Championships. It is a great feeling to win at Lumberjack Bowl. I've competed there for 23 years in a row! Jack, Joe, and Sally were super with taking pictures and video for me. The whole family helped me hand out foam axes, frisbees, key chains, beef jerky, coloring books, posters, etc. from my sponsors.
In the boom run, I had the fastest time Friday, 2nd fastest Saturday, and in the finals on Sunday I took the bronze. Mandy and I had a photo finish (which she won), and Abby Hoeschler beat us by 0.01 to win the title! It was unbelievably close!
Have a great rest of summer everyone! I hope our paths cross soon.?
Today Show 2006