Peak Performer

By Hannah Wallace Photography by Ted Mase May 31, 2011

Oar Hound

Why rowing? When I was in ninth grade, this guy just came up to me and said, “You’re a big guy. Why don’t you try rowing?” The feeling when you’re out on a boat is pretty cool. I did it through high school, then went to the University of Miami and rowed there as well. Unfortunately I took a long sabbatical, but when I moved to Sarasota three years ago, I saw a flyer for an upcoming regatta. I called to volunteer and they sucked me back into the sport. Now I row with the Sarasota Masters.

How do you train? This fall was pretty serious because we decided to do a series of races, so I was rowing four or five days a week. Lately I started a new job within my company that has me traveling pretty heavily, so it’s harder. I’m on the water maybe a day or two a week, which is a shame. I’ve got a rowing machine at the house for when I can’t make it down to the water. The rowing machine is a torture device; if you wimp out, it tells you pretty quickly.

Benefits? Rowing is low-impact, and it really uses your whole body—mainly your legs, then your back and your arms.

How do you feel after a workout? Invigorated. I love starting the morning out on the water. Something about the repetitive motion gives you time to reflect. It’s peaceful but still vigorous.

When I get to work, I feel energized and ready to start the day. When the alarm goes off at 5 in the morning, you wish you could hit snooze. But then you meet people down there, and everyone’s in the same boat, so to speak.

Advice for interested professionals? Sarasota Masters offers “Learn to Row” classes where we give novices the opportunity to get on the water, no charge. Then there’s the Portal Program: It’s $250 and includes coaching for eight sessions and club dues for your first six months. Go to and click on “new member info.”

Filed under
Show Comments