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Snoqualmie's lady lumberjack slicing up the competition
By Judy Halone
U.S. Women’s Timber Sports member Annette Moses competed last month in the 2009 Royal Adelaide Show in Australia. She returned two weeks later a cut above the rest by earning fourth place in the Jill Single Handed Sawing Championship Invitation — a world title.
That’s not all — she also took second place with her winning time of 22 seconds in the same event Sept. 26 in the annual “Ode to All Things Lumberjack” competition in Port Gamble, Wash.
And if that’s not enough to earn bragging rights, consider this: She just received word that the first place 2009 American Lumberjack Association’s Women’s Single Buck Championship belongs to her.
Not a bad feat for the 47-year-old Snoqualmie resident, who just seven years ago knew nothing at all about the sport of sawing and chopping wood with lightning speed.
“When I started, at the age of 40, I thought I was too old,” Moses said. “Most women who do this are in their 20s. But then I went to an endurance competition at Disney World in Florida. The winner was 51 years old and she gave me the inspiration to try the sport; going from a single buck to an under-hand saw was extremely exhausting — and I knew I could do this for sure.”
Faster than one can say Paul Bunyan, Moses picked up the sport after one particularly frustrating day at work.
“I grabbed a six-foot practice saw and started sawing just to get my aggression out,” she said with a laugh.
Both her husband Dave and his father, Dave, Sr. — also timber sports competitors — looked on in amazement.
“They watched me and thought I might be pretty good at it,” she said.
The rest is history.
Backed up with the encouragement of her entire family — her 14 year-old son Billy Beach also competes — Moses needed only two things to succeed: determination and muscle power.
“After that, I just started training with them,” she said. “Like every day after work, we’d train for a couple hours during the season. We start in the gym and work out from one to six hours a day. I’ll do aerobics and running three days a week and the other three days are legs and running. Working out is definitely vital to the competition.”
Those competitions add up to more than a dozen a year and each carries its benefits among its participants.
“It’s very family-oriented,” Moses said. “We’re like a big family. We help each other a lot, even though we compete. I don’t think any of us could do this sport without the help of the other guy.”
Once the clock starts, she’s 100 percent focused.
“As far as the physical aspect, I just love that adrenaline rush when I’m competing,” she said. “It takes over and you feel no pain — you just go for it.”
Still, she occasionally hits a proverbial snag.
“The hardest part is training with all your heart and when you compete it doesn’t always turn out the way you want it to,” she said. “Usually, if I train really hard and I make a mistake during the competition, it will bring me to tears.”
But those mistakes only seem to sharpen Moses’ times, skills, and efficiency.
“You just shake it off, train just as hard and go back again,” she explained. “The next time, it turns out better than expected and makes it all worthwhile.”
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