Alissa Wetherbee is the first person to cross the Mississippi and still holds the world record.
To win and hold that title, Wetherbee had to stand on a log and roll the log with great strength, balance, and footwork across the breadth of the Mississippi at the distance of Port Byron, IL to LeClaire, IA. Talk about serious core muscles, balance, general body strength, and a strong mind! Oh yeah, the founder of AX Women Loggers of Maine is pretty good at ax throwing too.
Although she has had asthma her entire life, this wood sports athlete remains in constant physical condition year round and continues to advocate the wood sports while entertaining people across the United States.
The making of an ax woman
Raised on an island in Maine, Alissa Wetherbee's family heated their home entirely with wood for several years, which made chopping wood a large part of their childhood. When Wetherbee was a teenager she knew how to use a chainsaw and could easily split logs with a hammer. She says she should actually chop her own wood manually instead of standing a gas-powered splitter all day.
Fast forward to the start of an amazing career in Timbersports for Wetherbee when she took her first job as the only woman on a lumberjack show at the age of 20. That meant she chopped wood with her father all day while participating in lumberjack demonstrations at night.
Wetherbee realized that at events like ax throwing, underhand chopping, and log rolling, she was a natural at throwing the ax.
Since then, Alissa Wetherbee has started her own company, The Ax Women Loggers of Maine, which consists of a team of professional female athletes who travel across rth America to compete and perform at various venues. entertain people of all ages. And that's not all: the women who make up their team consist of world champions, world record holders and university champions! Needless to say, Wetherbee's accomplishments are impressive, and while she is a natural, her daily discipline keeps her sharp as an ax.
Courtesy Alissa Wetherbee
The training consistency of a champion
After 20 years of consistent training, at the age of 41, Wetherbee feels that she needs to train a little harder today to stay in shape than she did years ago. Despite the extra training, she stays true to her sport, stays fit and strong, and inspires women across the country.
Most of Wetherbee's training comes from the actual event as she was able to turn her passion for timber ports into a full-time business. “During our busy season, I chop a trunk 12 inches in diameter four times a day, and usually against someone half my age! Being competitive definitely helps me stay in shape, ”she says.
Wetherbee says she trains the hardest for the hoe events. That might sound simple, but it's just the opposite. To take a closer look, in "underhand chopping," a participant stands on a horizontal log and chops the log in half with an ax between their feet Saw through the wood pushes and pulls) as the log rolls (balancing on a floating log in the water to repel an opponent). Needless to say, doing such a workout doesn't require you to have a gym membership. “At all of these events, almost every single muscle in your body is used. They require balance, strength and endurance, ”says Wetherbee.
It's easy to see why log rolling is a full body workout. "It takes strength (especially core strength), quick footwork, agility, balance, focus, and trains every muscle in your body," explains Wetherbee.
But outside of her events, she lives a fitness lifestyle and remains consistent in her routine, which consists of daily ax throwing with her husband in the garden after dinner and a few runs a week. “Even if it's only a mile or two a day, it's an important part of my routine,” she adds. And on non-running days, Wetherbee sweats on a stationary bike.
Wetherbee has struggled with asthma her whole life and doesn't let herself be stopped from living out her passion for the sport of logging. “I make sure to work on my breathing with every exercise I do; Running and cycling are the most helpful for my lungs, ”says Wetherbee.
Eliminate a lot of their diet
In addition to training hard and teaching others the sport of logging, Alissa Wetherbee found the time to create her own hot sauce, ax-kickin 'sauces, condiments and blenders.
All multitasking training comes from a clean and disciplined diet, and a high protein diet works best for Alissa Wetherbee. She and her husband eat a lot of eggs, beans, spinach, avocados, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. After every running or cycling session, there is a nutrient-rich smoothie made from almond milk, protein powder with banana or berries.
She also pays great attention to her water intake, trying to drink at least 80 ounces of water a day in addition to other liquids like sports and protein drinks. "I find that I feel much better when I drink a lot of water, and if I lag behind on my water intake for a day, I will feel it as soon as I wake up the next morning."
Wetherbee also keeps track of their activity every day by tracking their sleep patterns, heart rate, and water intake from wearing a Fitbit. "It encourages me to keep moving, and as a competitive person, I love the fact that you can use the app with your friends to complete challenges," says Wetherbee. Your daily habits will either help or prevent you from achieving your goal, and Wetherbee is living proof of that.
Alissa Wetherbee's tips for beginners to get started with the sport of logging
- Find a trusted coach or coach who competes professionally in the sport; or used to. (Visiting a lumberjack sports show can be a great place to find a trusted source.)
- If you have local competitions around, take a look at the competitors and talk to them. Most of us love to talk about our sport and attract new athletes.
- Remember, logging sports are extremely safe – as long as you properly learn the techniques of each event from the start. "I've seen very few injuries in my 20-year career," she says. "And apart from the occasional twisted ankle from rolling logs, I only had one serious injury myself."
Alissa Wetherbee has taught hundreds of children how to roll wood. And just last year, she and her husband founded Woods and Warriors – a division of Ax Women that offers veteran groups and organizations ax throwing courses that are completely free to veterinarians.