At Key Log Rolling, we're confident that the technological advancement of the portable Key Log® will open up opportunities and allow people to dream bigger about what the sport could be including an Olympic sport.
Sarah Beron, a middle school math teacher from Minnesota, has just confirmed our belief by starting the first private log rolling school using Key Logs. Blue Ox Log Rolling, LLC is located in Victoria, Minnesota, near Minneapolis. Here's her inspirational story!
How did you get involved in log rolling?
Log rolling first piqued my interest in college when I met Mandy Erdmann, an elite level competitor from Wisconsin. I didn’t know that someone could actually be a world champion log roller. The fact that she looked nothing like the stereotype of a flannel-wearing, bearded, lumberjack-type made me think harder about the sport. I started planning my annual state fair visits around the log rolling demos held there. When my youngest daughter, Elsa, was just beginning to walk, she had amazing balance and we began to joke about her impending career as a log roller. Then, two years ago, we bought our dream home on a little lake and it was perfect for log rolling. I started researching logs and found the Key Log. Then a friend forwarded me the link to the Key Log Rolling family demo at the Blaisdell YMCA. I was so excited to finally try it but nervous that maybe I had overplayed how much I would love it. But I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. It was everything I’d been dreaming it would be for years. It was fun and challenging, provided fitness and competition, both against myself and a friend.
What is it about log rolling that has captured your imagination?
Log rolling combines everything good and nothing bad. It’s like yoga meets kickboxing… on water! It’s new and different and a little bad ass. It’s fun and something that people want to do naturally, even my ten month old daugher! It’s great exercise, but with no injuries. I love that It rewards hard work quickly and is great MENTAL exercise (I really LOVE the mental focus of the sport). Finally, it's got great history! As a teacher, I love this. Kids can also learn about their Minnesota roots.
You started a log rolling club at a your middle school. How did that come about?
I teach math at Minnetonka Middle School West. My school students were expressing huge enthusiasm for my new hobby and convinced me to start a log rolling club for them. The school decided to also invest in this cool activity and the first middle school log rolling club was born! This spread to the Minnetonka Community Education department and adults joined us. This past school year, I taught 80 middle school students and adults to log roll. Those two hours were the highlight of my working life (I’ve been teaching for 11 years and needed something fun and new at work).
How did you decide to start your own log rolling business?
As summer approached, I wanted to continue offering log rolling classes outdoors but wasn't able to do it through the school. So I created an LLC, bought insurance and Blue Ox Log Rolling was born!
What is Blue Ox Log Rolling? A school, a club?
It’s both! A lot of my students have “outgrown” me in the sense that I don’t have any more knowledge about log rolling than they do. They just want a place to log roll over the summer so I will provide that. But I want to continue inviting new people into the sport and I love teaching so I will continue to provide classes and opportunities for new log rollers. And I think all levels of students benefit from log rolling at the same time in the same place.
How did you decide on the uniquely Minnesota name, Blue Ox? Why not Paul Bunyan?
My husband, Nolan, suggested “Loon Log Rolling” and my mom suggested “Blue Ox Log Rolling”. I loved them both and couldn’t decide so I put it on Facebook and the popular vote was overwhelmingly “Blue Ox Log Rolling”. I bought the domain and sent in the paperwork that night. A logo will be fun!
What are your hours of business and fees?
We just rolled out the summer class schedule and registration information. There are numerous options for people to start rolling!
What do your friends say about your new endeavor?
Everyone loves it and they are so excited! Even my husband gets asked about it at work and from his friends all the time. A friend told me, “I’m just so impressed that you just DID this. You didn’t ask anyone to hire you for this job. You made it happen.” I’m living out my dream and my passion for teaching and sports. I’m learning so much about creating a business, making a website, designing a logo, marketing, teaching adults, choosing insurance, and more. I can be purely passionate because there has never been something that I’ve been so sure about. Not once have I had any second thoughts about my log rolling endeavor. I don’t really know how to explain it except that there hasn’t seemed to be any downside at all. I’m leveraging where I live (on a perfect log rolling beach), I have the summers off and need something to focus on other than my children, I need to get back in shape, I love the idea of watching my kids practice their sport with their friends at home, I love introducing my friends and family to a new “game” at parties at our home, maybe I’ll make a little money eventually, I’m introducing people to something that will enrich their lives and I’m having tons of fun. Every single part of it has been fun so far. It’ll be fun to see where it goes.
Please share any anecdotes about your experience, thus far.
It was toward the end of the very first log rolling session at Minnetonka Middle School that I brought 4 or 5 boys to the Minneapolis Log Rolling Club’s tournament at the Eden Prairie Community Center. I knew it was going to be an all day event so I brought a huge stack of math tests to grade. But I couldn’t sit down. Not once! All day! It was so exciting to see my students compete. I was so proud and amazed at how well they were doing! I sat next to the parents on the bleachers that day in Eden Prairie while they cheered on their sons at this new sporting event. It was a powerful moment. It’s been exciting to see the joy log rolling is bringing to these families.
"The goal of these tournaments is to grow the sport of log rolling. The first step has been introducing it recreationally to new rollers. We're now introducing the sport to rollers in a competitive environment that is comparable to other collegiate sports," said Ward.