There Aren’t Many Women In Her Sport, So She Had To Compete With — And Win Against — Men Instead

"Keep fighting until you get it."

Erin LaVoie knows the dance between ax and wood that creates champions.

"The ax has to enter the wood at a certain angle, or you're going to slice your toe off," she says in her feature from 60 Second Docs.  

Although she's been, at times, the only woman competing (or maybe one of two) in the male-dominated sport of competitive lumberjacks, it's never swayed her from doing what she loves.

"We just entered the men's events to compete and we proved we could do it," the Spokane, Wash., native says.  



There are so few female Lumberjack pros that it's difficult to find statistics outlining the male-to-female ratio in the sport. Still, LaVoie has excelled during competitions with male opponents. She's also won the Underhand Chop for the last three years at the Lumberjack World Championships.

But to be the best, she sacrifices a lot, such as days at the lakes, and spending time with friends and family.

"It's where my heart is. Right on top of the log, smashing through it," LaVoie said about her beloved sport.

Not only is she an inspiration for other women and girls interested in becoming a competitive lumberjack — or "lumberjills" — but she's a role model for women making their mark in male-dominated sports in general.

"If you want something, train your ass off," she advises. "Girls, we need to keep stepping it up. Keep fighting until you get it."

Check out LaVoie's 60 Second Docs feature below:

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