Lumberjill Log Rolling

Updated: 07/31/2013 11:52 PM
Created: 07/30/2013 8:04 PM
By: Laura Kennedy

The best of the best compete in the Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward every summer, drawing thousands to watch the unique events.

"This is a logging area, so I think a lot of people have history in logging," said Sam Hadley, a Hayward native. "They get how hard it is and they truly enjoy watching the sport."

But how do the lumberjacks and jills get here? Some of the youngest pros are still teenagers, like Sam's sister Sarah Hadley.

"Not a lot of people do this," Sarah said. "The fact that I'm in it, I'm a part of it, so many people come to this area to see this, so it's pretty sweet."

But don't let her age fool you. Sarah and Sam have been logrolling since kindergarten.

"It's a lot of practice, but it's all in our heads too," Sam said. "It's a big mental game out there, a lot of us are just like, calm yourself and you can do this."

And unlike most mainstream sports, crosstraining for this event is almost impossible.

"I haven't found much outside of logrolling that gets you in shape for logrolling because it's such a unique sport," Sam said. "It uses almost every muscle. I do a lot of weight training, arms and legs obviously are key, and your core."

Luckily for Sarah, growing up in Hayward means easy access to logs and a lake.

"There's open rolling and then there's lessons everyday in the summer, so whenever I have a chance I'm down here doing it," Sarah said.

Sam lives in Colorado and has to practice in a pool. She also competes in the Jack and Jill sawing event, which also requires some creative training.

"We have recently purchased some good saw stands," Sam said. "You go and you buy some good wood and you set them up in your driveway and you train because that's all you can do."

The Hadley sisters usually compete in a half dozen pro events to prepare for the world championships. It makes for a busy summer, but the thrill of this particular event is worth the effort.

"I mean, the excitement around it and all the training that goes into it, its just this big buildup and then the weekend is just amazing," Sam said. "It's always so much fun."

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