As the temperatures cool, and holiday season sets in, it seems appropriate to hang up the oars, and settle inside by the fireplace with a hot mug of cocoa. Just kidding - we're rowers, after all, we're hardcore! Not only that, but we have work to do to finish off 2020, including launching our Year-End Appeal Campaign.
We sat down with our Development Coordinator, Ben Hagen, to ask about his role at the GPRF, which includes coaching at the PRC, and helping with regatta coordination (in non-Covid-19 times).
How long have you been part of the GPRF?
I started with the GPRF & PRC in the summer of 2017, and worked in various roles with both ever since.
How does your position impact the GPRF?
As a non-profit, the GPRF relies on building relationships with the people and organizations invested in our mission. Being the connection between them and our work promotes our mission, and helps us bring rowing to more youth in the northwest, and across the country.
Where and when did you start rowing?
I started rowing as a freshman in college at the University of Puget Sound.
What is your favourite memory of rowing?
As a collegiate athlete; my senior year was a testament to the work we had done building our team and ourselves. We saw our investment in the process pay us dividends through our team culture, and a conference championship. As a coach; seeing the team’s journey through a season is awesome, and seeing the work come through at Regional and National regattas is powerful and motivating for the athletes and the coaches.
Who inspires you the most in the sport?
My fellow coaches – everyone I have coached with is truly invested in rowing, and brings their own knowledge, ideas, and expertise to the boathouse. There are always new ideas floating around about bringing people together and how to stay engaged on the water, learning from them has been an awesome experience.
What about in life?
Anyone who works hard to master their craft, and make the world a little bit better.
How has your rowing experience changed during COVID-19?
Training only in singles, without the prospect of an upcoming race can be a tough mental transition. Being able to motivate yourself to get better and have fun doing it is powerful in rowing, and that mental model can be applied to most walks of life.
What advice would you give to someone considering rowing for the first time?
Do it! Maybe rowing is somewhat familiar to you and maybe it’s not. Either way, trying something new and different is always worth the investment. Developing that new skill is very rewarding and each new level of proficiency can feel like a big achievement.
Do you have a favourite workout?
Any workout on the erg that alternates between steady state and high rates is great because it showcases your abilities and fitness across the spectrum, not just in one place.