The Axe Women are making a name for themselves in the world of competitive wood chopping, and these “lumberjills” are taking the traditionally male-dominated sport by storm.
The group was founded five years ago by Alissa Harper, from Maine, after she worked for a lumberjack show near her home, according to the Daily Mail. Consisting of a Zumba dance instructor, a massage therapist, and a grandmother of two, the Axe Women compete in shows across America. The group engages in traditional lumberjack events, throwing axes, rolling logs, and sawing through 19-inch sections of pine.
“People think lumberjacks are just big, burly men – but they’re surprised when we get out of the truck and all my girls are beautiful and feminine,” Harper noted. “All my ladies compete at the World Championships, and that’s where I choose my members from.”
The response to her lumberjill team has been overwhelming, according to Harper, despite the different backgrounds of her Axe Women.
“I just bought all the equipment and the truck and got some sponsors – now I have more work than I know what to do with,” she said.
Axe Women member Tracie Henning, a 34-year-old from New York, works as a dance instructor when she isn’t fostering her lumberjill side, and recently broke a world record, sawing through a section of pine wood in just 21.99 seconds.
“I’m a zumba dance instructor, but being a member of Axe Women is my alter ego – I can walk around and be a bada** with an axe, and then I can go and get my nails done and tan,” she related.
— Runbrave (@runbrave) December 17, 2014
Chelsey Black, a 24-year-old massage therapist, was first exposed to timbersports as a college student, and though she doesn’t fit the traditional image of a lumberjill, she notes that her experience with the Axe Women makes her more down-to-earth in the eyes of male clients.
As Barcroft TV reports, Andrea Robarge, a grandmother of two from New York, pointed out that lumberjacking is a family event for her.
“My husband and children do it – we are the lumberjack family,” the 45-year-old said. “Not many people can say they’re a lumberjack grandma at my age – but it’s when we spend our family time together.”
— Barcroft TV (@Barcroft_TV) December 17, 2014
Though timbersports have traditionally been the domain of men, as the Inquisitr previously reported, the Axe Women hope that their example will inspire more lumberjills to enter the sport.
[Image: Ruaridh Connellan/ Barcroft USA via the Daily Mail]