SHELTON, Wash. — Log rolling is one of the great American sports. Now making a splash at the Shelton Family YMCA.
"It is no joke," the Y's Katy Toohey said. "Getting up on that log. That's probably the hardest part. It's kind of like getting on a horse, but once you get on there, it's all about stability and balance. And the goal is to get two people on opposing ends of the log and to try to spin each other off."
There are celebrity log rollers. Like Abby Hoeschler a six-time champion who co-founded Key Log Rolling a Minnesota company that makes synthetic logs for the sport. University of Washington students compete using these logs.
"People are always surprised to find out that I'm a log roller," Hoeschler said in a promotional video. "I think when they see the sport and actually pay attention to it and try it, realize that it's actually a very intensely athletic sport that requires a lot of agility and balance and footwork and core strength."
The nation's top log rollers come from the upper Midwest. To beat them, our Northwest talent will have to start young, like Zekai Budge.
"It's really fun but it's really challenging," Budge said.
To help Budge unleash his inner lumberjack, his instructors offer encouragement and advice.
"I tell them to act like it's hot pavement in the summertime," Dorian Wood-Miller said. "You just want to keep bouncing your feet."
It would only make sense that the next log rolling champion comes from a place with such a historic connection to the timber industry. Shelton has held an annual Timber Days Festival since the 1940's.
"It just fits the community and it's a really fun way for the kids to get active and stay connected," Toohey said.
A fun way to get on a roll.
"We kind of joke with the staff that if there's ever a conflict, take it to the log and we will solve it that way," Toohey laughed.