About Texas Women's Highland Games

Our Purpose:

To increase awareness and involvement of women in the sport of the Highland Games. Promoting a fun, active, family friendly and competitive sport by providing information and resources to all those interested in joining us in our continuing adventures!

Please see our FAQ page for all those burning questions you have about how you participate, what to do, who to talk to and where to go!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


With all the kindness of a typical 400lb gorilla, several of my training partners informed me that I needed a break. It may have been implied that if I didn't take one they might just have to give me one, though the choice was mine on which arm. Thus, there was a deload. That particular word remains something of a mystery to me, since it seems to imply something different to everyone. My take? A pause in all training for a brief period.

Day to day I changed my mind on how I felt about it. Started my "Deload" on Saturday the 17th. It was odd trying to find out what to do with all my time, until my body decided for me. Sleep was the answer, lots of sleep and right now, if you please. Falling asleep at the merest mention of a soft surface was a new experience that lasted for the first 3-4 days. Between sleep and naps (one particularly memorable unplanned nap in the tub) I was clocking about 10-11 hours of sleep a day.  Clearly the gorillas had been right, and I needed some rest.

What else was I to do with all this spare time once the narcolepsy passed? Oh, let's see if I still like trashy food. Pizza? Nope. Enchiladas? Nope. Queso? Nope. Frou-frou coffee? Nope. Found myself longing for salad and fish, perhaps a grapefruit. Huh, odd, you mean to say that my brain has been lying to me all this time telling me how much I miss this trashy stuff, but now it tastes awful, or worse bland?  Sheesh, the gorillas were right again!

Follow that up with a Thanksgiving full of family, friends, feasting and folderol.  By the weekend I was chomping at the bit for something to do, so decided to try a few lifts with some of the kids from Full Throttle who were prepping for a strong man. Having not gone heavy in the gym since the summer off season, I was sure this would be more of a laughable hang out session than a true work session.  A sudden onset of giggles while under the yoke was the only laughable situation all day. As it turns out that I matched my PRs in a few lifts for reps, and still rode my bike home. You guessed it, gorillas 3, short-stack 0.

Lesson learned! No chest thumping necessary, my gorillas, deloads will become a regular part of the program. It seems that all-go-no-quit made for a very cranky and mostly useless me. This break offered me the clarity and rest to reset some goals and expectations, and start afresh. Now, to go get my calluses back!




Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Austin, there is no place like home...

 If I clicked my ruby slippers (or cleats) three times and hopefully whispered the phrase, there is no place like home, the winds of Oz would send me right back to central Texas. Growing up just down the highway from Austin, this festival always feels a bit like going home again, and not just because it is the most likely event for my family to attend. The music, the people and the over all feel of Austin Celtic Festival reminds me of all the small town festivals attended in my youth.


This year the fest expanded to include a few other Celtic athletic events, Gaelic Football and Hurling, in addition to Highland Games and dance. Who in their great and powerful wisdom decided that more flying monkeys were needed for this show, I don't know, but I certainly approve. It was nice to get a quick chance to support the other styles of athletics out there.

This show offers plenty of vendors and historical displays, complete with a viking camp, or as I like to call it, Munchkin Land. Food is second to none with more than a dozen different shops to chose from. Guinness, Strongbow, Fireman's 4, Smithwick's, Shakespeare Stout and at least a handful of others can be found on tap at the two large bar areas. Don't miss out on the kettle corn and the fresh squeezed lemonade!

The highland games field is fairly close to the main music stage, so we are provided with an all day ebb and flow of music. The true highlight is when the Wizard behind the curtain of this show, Mike Baab, picks up a mic and starts riffing on all the throwers.

Saturday saw 27 throwers on the field, Open Class, Women's Class and Masters. Sunday would see the same setup with different faces. With so many throwers and limited space, it is only a six event day; weights, stones, cabers and wob. All six of the women that threw on Saturday had a strong showing, from our fresh faced newbie Blare to the champ of the day Liv. Spencer Tyler laid out a personal best with LWFD at something along the lines of 89 feet. Baab always has a herd of newbies, and they bring a lot of enthusiasm to the game.

Yours truly had a fair-to-middling game throwing right about par. The highlight of the day was getting to wrangle with a 17 foot 90lb caber. Qualifier moved me on to the women's caber, which then moved me onto this gnarly beast. A springy cedar caber that had a wicked roll, first attempt ended up in a bail, second attempt ended up in about a 20 degree throw off just four fingers, and the final attempt was a nice easy pick with only a final 60 degree. *sigh* I will face off against it again this weekend in Salado!