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Our Mission at Rowfficient

It’s been almost exactly a year since my retirement as a professional rower, and what a whirlwind those 365 days have been. Mike and I purposefully left almost no gap in our transition from full-time training into full-time “life,” in an attempt to leap past the post-Olympic blues that came after London, and avoid the idle time that leads to the inevitable question of “What’s next?” I plunged head first into a full-time sports marketing position and Mike began business school at Boston University. We also launched Rowfficient as a way to give back to the sport we both love and to stay in touch with the rowing community at large.

What I didn’t realize was what a transformative year this would be for myself as an individual, as an athlete, and as a coach. I had no idea how much of a positive impact Rowfficient would have on my retirement process, and how our community and mission would evolve over that time. We are now deeply entrenched in both the Rowing and CrossFit communities, and are lucky to be working with a range of athletes spanning from juniors to masters, beginners to professionals, and National Teamers to CrossFit Games athletes. We’re coaching rowing specific group classes, running 1-on-1s both on the water and in the gym, and offering novel products that don’t exist anywhere else, like Rowing Video Analysis and Endurance Seminars coached by Olympians.

As we’ve fallen deeper in love with both of these communities, we’ve realized there are holes in the current systems, and we have the opportunity to try and fill some of these gaps. When we think about our big picture goals, everything we’re trying to do is in an effort to better one of these four areas.

 

HEALTH – We’ve seen far too many rowers sit on the bike for weeks at a time while they “let an injury heal.” Quite frankly, I’m really tired of injury being looked at as a byproduct of training and a necessary evil in the journey toward success. We’re trying to take our experience and knowledge of strength training, mobility, and recovery to help athletes use their bodies how they are meant to be used, and tap into their fullest potential without breaking in the process.

EDUCATION – We want to arm our athletes with the highest quality information and the tools they need to succeed. We also want our athletes to ask “why?” Understanding the “why” and the “how” behind movement and physiology improves an athlete’s ability to make and retain change, but it also sets them up to be better humans in life. We want to develop life-long learners who are inquisitive and develop well-informed opinions, regardless of the subject being discussed.

EMPOWERMENT – The parts of my career I will treasure forever are the times I took control of my own destiny. I stopped letting the “system” decide what my path would look like, I created my own set of training priorities, and I found what worked best for me. We want to help athletes realize there is no “one size fits all” plan, there are other options available, and that knowledge is power.

SUPPORT – This one lives closest to our hearts. One of the struggles of training at the elite level was figuring out how to fund the journey. We continue to see this struggle with current aspiring National Teamers, but also with aspiring elite CrossFit athletes. We’re still in the process of figuring out all of these details, but our plans include sponsoring a few select athletes with a percentage of our profits in an effort to alleviate some of the monetary strain that comes with these lofty goals.

 

Last June, there was a deep aching in my heart for more competition and the high that only comes from competing at the highest level. I felt like this craving would never dissipate and I’d have to learn to live just a little less happy. But what I’ve been surprised by is how the accumulation of small life joys are erasing that ache, and that being on the coaching end of Rowfficient is far more fulfilling than I could have imagined. So, thank you to our community for all that you do for us!

 

– Sara