Hometown: Stillwater, MN
OCCUPATION: 3rd grade teacher (Lake Elmo Elementary)
SPOUSE: Niel Atkinson
CHILDREN: Berendt (nickname “Bear”) born 4/10/09
School: Undergraduate: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Master's Degree: St. Mary's University
SPONSORS: Central Boiler, Wood-Mizer, Brick Alley Massage Studio, Starfish Point, Sanctuary Condominiums
HOBBIES: traveling, biking, reading, snowmobiling, gardening, skiing, kayaking, hiking, fishing, movies, being outside, family time.
YEARS AS COMPETITOR: 27
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED:
I watched a log rolling tournament as a spectator and it looked like a blast! I signed up for lessons the following summer and have been hooked ever since.
WHERE DID YOU LEARN?
Bonnie Wells was my first coach. We rolled in a pond near the Stillwater golf course. When she quit, I dug a pit in our yard and my parents bought my first log.
WHERE DO YOU TRAIN?
When I am in Stillwater, I train with local competitors. I also do a lot of cross training on my own. I spend a lot of time at our cabin on the Gunflint Trail in northern MN. I have a full training arena on-site with 2 full booms (30 logs) and many different spike and traction logs for log rolling.
HOW DO YOU PREPARE OR TRAIN:
Hard!!.....I boom run everyday on a 150 foot boom……I do a lot of log rolling, biking, and weight lifting. I prepare by reading sport psychology books, extensive sport journaling, and video analysis.
I learn a lot from professional athletes in other sports.
MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN THE SPORT:
19 World Championship medals
6 ESPN Great Outdoor Games medals
6 podium finishes at The STIHL Timbersports Series
3 Time Boom Running World Champion (1995, 1996, 2007)
2005 Log Rolling World Champion
2005, 2006, & 2007 Log Rolling Champion at the Lumberjack World Championships
2006 & 2007 Overall World Champion
#1 World Rank four different times
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT LOG ROLLING/BOOM RUNNING?
It is a thrilling, fun, life-long sport. I always have fun practicing and competing.
I love staying in shape! I really like the people I have met through the sport and enjoy working with great endorsement companies like Wood-Mizer & Central Boiler.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE LEAST ABOUT LOG ROLLING?
Training outside when it is in the 50’s or 60’s. Brrrrr! I don’t like falling in the water on a cold, miserable day.
DESCRIBE YOUR ATTITUDE WHEN YOU COMPETE:
I am serious & focused, but I like to keep it fun! I have things in perspective and dig deep for desire. Determination is one of my strong points!
Everyone with a foot on the log! I love competing against the best. It is fun to have aggressive matches with a lot of action! Boom running against the fastest competitors always pushes me.
MOST MEMORABLE LUMBERJACK MOMENT:
Winning the 2005 World Championships and LWC, earning the #1 world rank in log rolling; winning 6 GOG medals in 3 different events, competing in the boom run against all men in the early 1990’s.
THE NIGHT BEFORE A COMPETITION YOU SHOULD.....
make sure your equipment bag is ready, read through your training journal, eat a good meal, do something fun, and get good sleep.
ANY OTHER INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT YOU:
I’d LOVE to be on The Amazing Race or Survivor!!!!!! I was on the TODAY Show in New York City log rolling live on Rockefeller Plaza. I also did a segment on the Yankees YES Network and The 700 Club. Moose roam around in our boom pond and watch me practice. I love working in the woods and using our Wood-Mizer portable mill. I am hooked on the TV show 24. Being a mom is the most exciting & rewarding part of my life!
DESCRIBE THE SPORT IN 3 WORDS: Exhilarating, Challenging, Full-On!