ANYBODY CAN ROW
BY CHELSEA PYNE
Whether your dream is to win a gold medal, lose some weight, or find a community that encourages you to better yourself, Triad Indoor Rowing and Fitness is the place to start. This rowing gym, now owned by Jess Clark, is designed to help people of all ages and skill levels find a suitable workout. Rowing, also known as Crew, dates back to Ancient Egyptian times. Through Jess’ revamp of the gym, we are expecting it to be on the rise once again.
When she first moved to Kernersville four years ago, Jess had a chance encounter that changed her life. “I was walking downtown and ran into the previous owner of this gym. When I saw it was a rowing-specific gym I got excited. I always enjoyed workouts that included the rowing machine when I used to do CrossFit. I was their very first member and I soon became one of their first instructors.”
Jess’ love of the sport grew so much that another opportunity presented itself two years later. She was able to go full-time and take over ownership of the gym in December 2018. “Professionally, my background is Finance and Accounting. As the owner of the gym now, I finally feel that I am in my element. I recently came across an old resume I put together for a high school class. My objective was to be in a field where I could help people. Somehow, I fell into corporate America. I don’t feel my education is a waste because I have learned a good deal. However, reviewing my resume from high school, I see that I am living my youth’s dream. My passion is to help people –whether by motivating members, helping them lose weight and gain strength, or providing a community where people feel safe to workout and gain new friends.”
Indeed, the community around rowing has been gaining momentum in Kernersville. For those familiar with The Boys in the Boat, you may have the idea that rowing is a dreadfully exhaustive sport. As quoted from the book, “Physiologists, in fact, have calculated that rowing a two-thousand-meter race – the Olympic standard – takes the same physiological toll as playing two basketball games back-to-back. And it exacts that toll in about six minutes.”
This is true when competing in the Crew boat at an Olympic level. However, Jess’ rowing instruction provides a great workout that accommodates all body types, especially those who cannot do hardcore exercises. Jess explained, “Members come to us because they want a low-impact workout that helps them lose weight. We have several members who have lost 30-50 pounds during their training. Many members say it hasn’t been until they found rowing that they have been able to stick with a workout routine they actually enjoy. I used to have lower back pain until I started rowing more regularly, then the pain left.” Rowing is a full-body workout that will leave each person feeling satisfied; yet it is gentle enough on the body that you can return to the machine every day. Rower Darcy B. added, “This is a great place to workout with a dedicated team, varied workouts, individual pace, and team challenges. Low impact with positive results.”
In fact, rowing is mainly a leg workout, although it works about 86% of your body’s muscles. So you may think you are pulling, but the drive is a push utilizing your leg muscles. The intensity depends on how hard you drive with your legs and that will determine how many meters you push with each stroke. On average, Jess accumulates around 6-8 thousand meters per session. For someone with a slower cruise pace, the average meters would be less. Regardless of each rower’s fitness level or pace, everyone works at the same intensity.
To keep workouts interesting, each session varies from the last group-rowing class. Some rowers get so into the workouts and music that they break out “roweroke.” Who said exercise couldn’t be fun? Jess explained, “I have gained so much from rowing with Triad Indoor Rowing and Fitness – I don’t even know where to begin. I have met some of the best people and the community we have here is amazing. We are all each other’s cheerleader. It feels more like a family than a gym. I am so proud of every one of my members for their accomplishments. Group rowing can be very therapeutic for the mind, body, and soul. I can’t describe how it makes me feel when I hear some of our members talk to each other and what this place means to them. Let’s face it, making yourself commit to working out – when there are so many other things in life to do – is difficult. Triad Indoor Rowing and Fitness is changing that.”
Margaret S., an active member at Triad Indoor Rowing and Fitness shared, “I set up an orientation appointment and after trying it I knew it was for me. It is a great exercise my husband and I can do together. My 12-year-old son rows with us once a week too. The instructors are knowledgeable and very supportive and have become friends. Over the past year I have lost weight and I am feeling better than I have in a long time. It’s a great stress reliever too. It has definitely improved my quality of life all-around and will be something I can enjoy for years to come.”
Triad Indoor Rowing and Fitness is located on 114 S. Main Street in Kernersville. For more information or a full list of the class schedules visit TriadIndoorRowing.com or call 336.310.4710. Classes range from a beginner course to advanced rowing coupled with other fitness aspects. Stop by and speak to Jess about her current rowing packages at a special price.