'Rolling' in the New Year

Looking for a little more balance in 2015? Channel your inner lumberjack.

Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation offers a fun and unique way to get your family fit: Logrolling! Happening this winter at Mack Indoor Pool (it moves outside in summer), the program is inspired by an old sport celebrating the logging industries of Wisconsin, Minnesota and upper Michigan, says Gayle Hurn, the pool’s recreation supervisor.

It started when Key Log Rolling, the company that makes the logs, did a free workshop with the pool’s swim team. “It was such a hit that we bought the log on the spot,” Hurn says.

Shake off any notions of flannel shirts and splinters. These logs are hollow and made of the same material as kayaks. Once filled with water, each weighs around 400 pounds – about the same as a real log used in traditional logrolling.

Participants are first taught to fall off of the log properly (by stepping off). Then, they learn how to stay on: Look at the opposite end of the log from where you’re standing, focus on the log instead of your feet – and move feet quickly.

“It is both cardio and core strengthening, which is what a lot of people talk about today,” Hurn says. “Your thighs will burn after you climb up a few times, and you will fall off, but you will keep getting up because you want to beat your time.”

Logrolling in Tree Town

Times: Tuesdays and Thursdays: 6-6:45 p.m./youth, 7-7:45 p.m./adults (now-May 14)
Costs: $6.25/pre-register, $10/drop-in (limit eight per class, so call ahead)
Where: Mack Indoor Pool, 715 Brooks St., Ann Arbor
Contact: 734-794-6237, a2gov.org

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