“Why Rowing?” Is a question I keep coming back to, day after day, month after month, year after year. Why after studying engineering, getting a bachelor’s in engineering, getting a master’s in engineering, and working as an engineer for four years did I end up here? It definitely wasn’t the money or the benefits, at least not yet. But the not yet is the exciting part.
In 2011 I took a sabbatical from my engineering job. I moved to Boston, a rowing mecca to many, and I started a year-long fellowship at the Institute for Rowing Leadership. My goal was to become an ambassador for the Sport of Rowing and a Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Fast forward to now and Rowing is taking the world by storm.
On a daily basis I have the privilege of working with high school athletes, college athletes, young professionals, lawyers, doctors, students, moms and dads, sisters and brothers, and everyone in between. Why Rowing? It’s because of all of these people. Rowing provides an opportunity for any athlete, tall or small, young or old, fit or not, experienced or not, healthy or injured to make an improvement and better not just ones self, but the community as a whole. Rowing is a way to escape the deadlines and put a pause to the hoop jumping whether it’s in the office, at home, or in school. It’s a chance to focus on yourself as an individual while at the same time becoming part of a team. Rowing is a chance to see your effort, hard work, and determination pay off as part of something bigger. When you get right down to it, at all ends of the rowing spectrum, novice to elite, Rowing is Fun. Just go watch a 3-year-old sit on an erg for the first time and give them the handle. You’ll see what I mean.
So Why Now? Rowing has been around forever. It’s one of the most important functional movements. It’s how we got here. It’s how we’ve gotten from point A to point B over the water for hundreds of years. Rowing is one of the first Olympic sports. The reason now is the time to get into Rowing is because it’s become more accessible to everyone.
In England almost all kids learn to row in grade school. Instead of cutting gym class all together, kids are able to compete and have fun sliding back and forth on the Concept2 Ergometer. It’s part of the culture there and in many countries around the world. Here in the United States, college scholarships are up for grabs and world-renowned competitions like the Head of the Charles Regatta and CRASH-B Indoor World Rowing Championships (both held right here in Boston) have been getting major coverage and drawing crowds from all over.
Do a quick search for Rowing in any major city in the U.S., like New York, Philly, LA, Boston, Chicago, Houston. I guarantee you’ll find multiple options to jump in and row both on and off the water. Waterways in the U.S. are more accessible to the general public then ever before. Local boat clubs would love nothing more to get you in a boat and on the water. You’ll also find Rowing Gyms that will kick your butt in a 30-60min class that will leave you sweating in a puddle on the floor and asking for more. Bottom line is the opportunity exists to Row Now. Rowing is a life long sport that will whip you into shape and give you a community of friends that will keep you functioning at the highest level as we experience this journey together.
So what’s stopping you? Why not try Rowing? What’s holding you back from getting in the best shape of your life, meeting some awesome new people, and having some fun while you’re at it? Do you think it’s to hard to learn? Are you not in shape enough to start? Do you not have the time or money?
Whatever you’re thinking, my answer to you is do it. Give Rowing a shot! Rowing will change your life as it has changed mine. When I first started coaching this sport I never dreamed it would become my profession or I’d be posting my 1,000th blog post as I am today. I still have a lot to learn, as we all do, but I’m inspired by the fact that the possibilities for the sport of rowing are endless and it truly is a sport for everyone. There are plenty of great coaches out there who can teach you how to row. You don’t have to be in the best shape to start and join in. You can find the time and the money, because it’s an investment in you and your community, two things that matter a lot! Rowing is a way to health. If you’re in doubt, just come by the gym and I’ll show you. I’d be happy to work with you and help you change your life forever!
If you or someone you know could benefit from rowing. Please get in touch.
Every Monday at 8am I will release the Renegade Rowing Training Plan. That way all of you Renegades out there can keep crushing it at home or in your local gym. If you ever need help or have questions with anything relating to Rowing and Strength Training, please don’t hesitate to ask in the comments or shoot me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep working hard and I hope to see you on the river or in the gym soon!