Name: Lizzie Horvitz
World Rank: #3
Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Horvitz(left) competes with her sister Abby Hoeschler in Minneapolis.(Contributed photo)
USLRA: First off, congratulations to you and your husband Greg on the birth of your second son, Oliver (who was born on Christmas Eve). After having won your third World Championship in 2014, you took last year off while pregnant with Oliver. How confident are you that you will return in 2016 and possibly go for another World Title?
Horvitz: I’m looking forward to rolling again for sure. I gave birth four weeks ago so it’s hard to say but I’m definitely feeling excited to get back in shape. Right now I feel pretty motivated. In the next month I’m excited to at least get back to my base level of fitness and then as the spring approaches I’m looking forward to getting back on the log and competing again this summer. To be honest a lot of it is that log rolling is fun for me. It’s been a pretty big part of my identity since before I can even remember. I have a lot of fun doing it but I’m also a very competitive person, so I’m probably not going to go out there and do it just for fun. I plan on competing and making it to as many tournaments as possible.
USLRA: You and Shana Verstegen have won a combined seven World Titles. You’ve also both given birth to baby boys over the past year. Have you had a chance to talk with Shana about motherhood and the challenges of continuing to try and compete at a high level?
Horvitz: Yeah, we did chat a little bit last summer at LWC. We had a good laugh after the tournament. Now that she’s a mom we can definitely relate a little more. We sat there talking and she was holding her baby after having just competed. We talked about the sleep deprivation and how your priorities shift and how much harder it is. But she’s such a competitor. I was so impressed that she competed last summer. She seemed to have fun with it and was still able to win some matches. It’s been interesting after having competed with most of these women my entire life, you look at Jenny (Atkinson) or Shana, I think the moms in the group can definitely relate to the struggles of training and motherhood, and trying to sleep. So it’s been nice for me to be part of that mom group now.
USLRA: You’re part of one of the most impressive family trees in the World of Timber Sports. Your Mom Judy was a seven time World Champion, you have three siblings who have had success rolling professionally – and several extended family members who have competed professionally as well. What is that dynamic like and how has it evolved and changed over the years?
Horvitz: When I was younger clearly my mom’s role was coaching all of us. My sister Katie and I were the closest in age and we overlapped in competition. It’s always a struggle to have to compete against your sibling, especially in Log Rolling because it’s a sparring sport. Then my first year as a pro I actually drew my mom, who was still competing, which for me was a little bit intimidating. It was a strange dynamic rolling my mom. My mom was always my coach and my cheerleader, not to mention that she was a seven-time World Champion. In some ways I think she had an even harder time with it than I did. And then the next year the same exact thing happened and I drew her again. And my mom actually retired later that year. The first year was okay but the second time she just felt like she did not want to get in the way of her daughter winning.
USLRA: How did you roll against your mom?
Horvitz: She beat me the first year pretty easily. I was pretty intimidated. I may have gotten one fall against her. The second year I won, but she joked that at that point she was already preparing her retirement speech.
USLRA: How about competing with your youngest sister Abby?
Horvitz: With Abby it’s a different dynamic because she’s four years younger than me. She would probably dispute this but I feel like she’s the most competitive out of all of us. But it’s interesting because she’s the youngest one and we’ve taught her through the years. And all of sudden, now she’s competing at the pro level and wanting to beat me as much as anyone else. I think for the most part we do a pretty good job with it. At some point you just have to let it go because you’re going to get dinner with that person and not going to hold a grudge. It’s your family and you love them.