Top notch

Kam­ryn Find­lay ex­celling on the Tim­ber­sports cir­cuit

The Amherst News - - FRONT PAGE - BY DAVE MATHIESON

Kam­ryn Find­lay is proud to be a lum­ber­jack, and a busy one too.

When en­vi­sion­ing a lum­ber­jack, you prob­a­bly don’t think of Kam­ryn Find­lay, but you should.

“Peo­ple say to me, ‘you do lum­ber­jack­ing?’” said Find­lay. “They pic­ture big burly men do­ing it.”

The 24-year-old Springhiller com­petes on the Stihl Tim­ber­sports Se­ries and, also, on the Mar­itime Lum­ber­jack As­so­ci­a­tion cir­cuit.

She says a lot more women are com­pet­ing in tim­ber sports now.

“The women di­vi­sions are grow­ing, and a lot of them are com­ing out of col­lege and univer­sity.”

Find­lay is study­ing for her Mas­ter of Sci­ence de­gree at the Dal­housie Fac­ulty of Agri­cul­ture in Bi­ble Hill.

“I com­peted for five years on the var­sity univer­sity team and I just fin­ished my third sea­son at the pro-level.”

Since turn­ing pro, Find­lay trav­els to 10 to 15 com­pe­ti­tions a sea­son, which runs from May to Oc­to­ber. The fi­nal com­pe­ti­tion this sea­son was in Frye­burg, Maine.

“There were 150 com­peti­tors there, both men and women, and I came home with two or three rib­bons” said Find­lay. “It was a re­ally good sea­son. We ac­cu­mu­late points for plac­ing, and I usu­ally end up in the top four or six.”

She com­petes in sev­eral dis­ci­plines, in­clud­ing the un­der­hand chop, the stand­ing block chop, the bow saw, the sin­gle buck saw, and the axe throw.

Axe throw­ing is also a sport unto it­self.

“I throw an axe at tar­gets all year round,” said Find­lay. “I went to the Cana­dian Axe Throw­ing Na­tional Cham­pi­onships and I placed in the top six in that com­pe­ti­tion.” Tech­ni­cal skill is at least as im­por­tant as strength and en­durance.

“You need to take the time to fine tune your saw­ing tech­niques and chop­ping an­gles but also to have en­durance,” said Find­lay. “Some events are like do­ing a sprint, where you com­plete a chop in less than 30 sec­onds, so you need strength, en­durance, and the tech­nique be­hind it.”

At univer­sity, Find­lay stud­ies aquatic life and their habitat.

“I’m re­ally look­ing for­ward to do­ing more re­search at the PHD level and hope­fully be able to work with the depart­ment of fisheries and oceans,” said Find­lay.

She brings the same pas­sion, ex­per­tise and fo­cus to tim­ber sports that she brings to her stud­ies.

“I com­pete in a lot of dif­fer­ent events, so you can al­ways fine tune and im­prove your saw­ing skills, your chop­ping, and your ac­cu­racy,” said Find­lay. “So, in both my re­search and in my sport, there’s al­ways new chal­lenges, there’s al­ways some­thing new to learn.”

Find­lay’s sched­ule is packed. Along with her stud­ies and her busy com­pe­ti­tion sched­ule, she’s the stu­dent re­cruit­ment co-or­di­na­tor at the Dal­housie Fac­ulty of Agri­cul­ture, a Roe-Win-Lea dairy leader, a woods­man coach with the TNR 4-H Club in Colch­ester County, and she also has four part-time jobs.

She says prac­tic­ing tim­ber sports is a good stress re­liever.

“Run­ning a chain saw, throw­ing an axe and be­ing able to chop some wood is a to­tal body work­out,” said Find­lay.

She at­tributes her time-man­age­ment skills to her fam­ily and to grow­ing up in Springhill.

“When I was in high school I was in­volved in Girl Guides, horse­back rid­ing, 4-H, and I showed cat­tle. I was al­ways in­volved in com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties,” said Find­lay. “And my fam­ily is very com­mu­nity driven, do­ing fundrais­ers and be­ing in­volved in the com­mu­nity.”

And how long does she plan to keep com­pet­ing in tim­ber sports?

“I com­pete along­side men and women that are in their 70s, so I hope that when I’m in my 50s I’m still com­pet­ing.”

SUB­MIT­TED

Need some wood chopped? Kam­ryn Find­lay can help you. Be­sides study­ing and do­ing re­search at Dal­housie Univer­sity, Find­lay spends her springs and sum­mers com­pet­ing on the Stihl Tim­ber­sports Se­ries and, also, on the Mar­itime Lum­ber­jack As­so­ci­a­tion cir­cuit.

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