The Bangor YMCA is finding new and creative ways to get people who once avoided the pool the motivation they need to dive into aquatic fitness like never before. Just last month, the staff began teaching log rolling to adults and kids, under the direction of Tina Scheer, better known as ‘Timber Tina’ from the Great Maine Lumberjack Show in Trenton.

“Log rolling is great for your core. You learn balance and coordination,” said Scheer. “And Maine is the birthplace of logging in America, so this is where it all started. I’m just taking what I know and passing it on.”

Back in Scheer’s home state of Wisconsin, log rolling at the local YMCA pool is a common occurrence.

“The town I grew up in is the home of the world log rolling championships. They have tons of log rollers and most roll in the Y during the winter. My goal is to someday send a team from Maine to the world championships,” explained Scheer.

Aquatics Director Matt Cook jumped at the chance to bring such a unique class to YMCA members and guests.

“The kids have all said I want to do it. But the adults have either said, ‘I’m absolutely going to do it’ or ‘I’m never going to do that.’ I think once the adults see it and we get it going, it’ll really take off and they will be our die-hards,” he explained.

Cook is also excited to start offering scuba diving lessons to those in and around Bangor.

“Our scuba classes will really be open to anyone and everyone. Many people will probably come in to get their basic scuba certification so that they can go scuba diving on vacations,” he said. “We will be running additional classes in the future which will further advance their certifications and allow them to specialize in job specific diving such as search and rescue, videography, photography and salvage.”

Water polo, which is offered on Wednesday nights, is also attracting people back into the YMCA’s pools.

“I’ve been at this Y my entire life and there has never been a better time to be part of the Y,” said Cook.

Shannon Bryan recently stopped by the facility, located on Second Street in Bangor, to give log rolling a try.

“This is the kind of thing that’s fun and gets your body moving,” she said. “How often do you get the opportunity to go log rolling?”

Area yoga instructor Holly Twining also took a turn at it.

“I could tell it was all in your core, but I’m not saying mine was engaged at the time,” said Twinning.

Timber Tina hopes more folks will test the waters and take advantage of the opportunity to try something new this spring.

“If you look at pictures of log rollers online, they’re all really fit and it’s a ton of fun,” she said. “A lot of these kids [and adults] are just starting and they’re on and falling off but after one week of log rolling lessons I’ll have them staying on longer. Then they’ll be like I want to beat my swim mate, or my girlfriend or my boyfriend and then that’s when it starts clicking in. It’s just a lot of fun and a great sport.”

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