As a curious 9 year old, I attended Stillwater’s Lumberjack Days log rolling tournament to watch a family friend named George compete. I was captivated by the fancy footwork, splashing water, spinning log, and HUGE smiles on all the kids faces! Adults even did it, and WOW could they REALLY ROLL! I desperately wanted to try it! The following summer, I registered for log rolling lesson with my brother and other family friends at a muddy little pond near the Stillwater Golf Course. I instantly knew it was the sport for me and soon encouraged other friends to try it. We had a dedicated coach, named Bonnie, who drove an hour each way to our practices. We rolled almost every day! When the commute became too much for a mother of 4, the program was folding and I wanted to continue rolling more than ever. My parents lived on 5 acres and I pleaded to dig a “pit” in the horse pasture. My parents said they would buy me a log, if I dug the pit. The very next morning, I had a shovel in hand and was ready to start digging. I met my dad at his van when he got home from work a couple days later and was ready for the water hose. In the early 80s, logs were not readily available…… my parents were shocked I wanted to do it that bad! My dad helped me enhance the pit and we made a call to Bell Pole to track down a cedar telephone pole. It wasn’t lathe turned or perfectly round, but I was floating high and rolling again. I practiced every day and won my 1st world championship title one year later. The year was 1983. The rest is history……Since then I’ve won an additional 5 world titles, competed throughout the U.S., taught lessons during college in Madison, WI at the YMCA, directed the youth program in Hayward, WI for four summers during college, and started the North Shore Rollers team in Grand Marais, MN. I’ve also raised nearly $5000 for charities by donating log rolling lessons with a world champion. I’ve been on TV numerous times, as well as hundreds of newspaper, magazine, and internet articles. Log rolling is a fascinating sport at any age!
The 1st time I ever saw a boom was at an event in La Crosse, WI called Log Boom. The year was 1991. The boom was about 6 logs long and was used in the lagoon where the log rolling competition was held. It was attached to a dock in the middle of the lagoon and connected to a dock near the shore. The boom was there to prevent waves and keep the water calm for log rolling. At the end of the competition, the announcement over the loud speaker was asking for anyone interested in running the boom. There was a $100 check and a really cool medal for the winner. It was open to all men and women. I was a gymnast and sprinter all my life and I thought, ‘HEY……this might be FUN……I’ll do it!’ The crowd LOVED it…..sprinting across floating balance beams and flying into the water with a big splash! I won the 1st ever boom run and a new competitive sport was born in the timbersports world. The following year it was an event at the Lumberjack World Championships held every July in Hayward, WI. It once again was a crowd favorite! I was the only woman who entered against a strong field of competitive men. Being light, quick, & nimble, I held my own and always ended up on the podium. I was given the nickname “Boom Queen” and it has stuck ever since. I continued to encourage other women to try it and over the next couple of years the sport was building. In 1995, we officially had our own division, I won my 1st world boom running title and the rest is history. I LOVE the sport and have been competing ever since! I currently have 2 awesome booms, with 23 logs for training. I’ve taught 100s of people how to boom run and it delights me every time someone hits the first log! Women’s boom running has grown significantly and the caliber of competitors in outstanding.