Father's Day 2023: Celebrating Dads
Coaches, rowers, coxswains, dad of a rower - there are many roles that dads can play in the rowing community. Each role is important and we'd like to give a big THANK YOU to all the dads out there! In honor of Father's Day, we are highlighting two of our Team JL Ambassadors who are dads. Read about how they are involved in rowing, how they balance family life with training/racing, and what they are most proud of as dads.
JL Racing: Tell us a little bit about yourself. When did you start rowing and when did you become a father?
Larry Kurzner: I began rowing at Clark University in 1979 and have kept rowing and competing ever since. I became a father in 1995 & 1996 my children are Max & Dana
Timothy Moores: I started rowing as a junior at school in about 1980 but largely stopped in 1984 when I left the school. I tried to pick it up again at University in 1989, but the rest of the crew never turned up. Tried again with a work colleague in 1998 but faltered again. I became a father for the first time in 2000, and again in 2003. I rediscovered rowing, first on the Erg in 2021 during lockdown when I was receiving alerts from my watch that my heart rate was hitting 100bpm whilst sat watching TV and then on the water 12 months later when I had dropped 3 stone (42lbs, 19Kgs) and become a lot fitter.
JL: What was your life as an athlete before you became a parent, and how has it evolved since?
Larry: Before I became a parent rowing was competitive, fun, and travel and regatta weekends were much less complicated!
Timothy: I have never been particularly active since giving up rowing at school beyond enjoying walking and hiking. After I hit my mid 30s, keeping weight off became more of an issue which I tackled to a greater or lesser degree with dieting and not much exercise, this was also pretty much the case throughout most of my children's lives until relatively recently.
JL: Did you have to adapt your training/racing since becoming a father?
Larry: Absolutely, Rowing and competing in regattas are still fun and have more meaning, as races and results are shared with my kids.
Timothy: Having children that are now in their late teens and early 20s means that they are much more independent and my new re-found love of rowing does not really impact on their lives very much, it potentially impacts more on my wife, although since I work from home I am pretty sure she is glad to have me out of the house.
JL: Has fatherhood taught you anything that translates well to rowing?
Larry: Focus on your passions and take that focus and be present with what you are doing. With practices and races, focus on the water. When at home, focus on the family.
JL: How has being a rower/cox/coach helped/changed you as dad?
Larry: It has given me a ton of perspective and I've realized that having a sport and passion is wonderful, but it is a part of a life and not the thing that defines you. Family and your friends will do that for you.
Timothy: Having been an unfit and inactive individual, I have missed out on much of the more active play I could have had with my children, being much lighter and fitter now means that I am in a better place to engage and hopefully inspire them to be more active.
JL: If your children row, were you part of the inspiration behind their own journey into the sport?
Larry: My son rowed and it was fun to go to his regattas and sometimes race in the same regatta. We also were able to do a Masters Father and Son event a few times and I really relish those races even today.
Timothy: Unfortunately despite my best efforts neither of my children have shown any interest in rowing.
JL: What currently motivates you to get out and train or race? What are your current training/racing ambitions for the upcoming months?
Larry: Training for a few regattas and aiming for US Master Nationals this Summer, and of course Head of The Charles (With JL!) in the Fall.
Timothy: To be the best version of myself that I can be. Training for regattas and to keep improving my technique and fitness levels. Although age wise I am a masters rower these days, I have proven myself enough to race with the open club crew in our boat house and hoping to qualify to race at Henley Royal Regatta.
JL: How do you balance family/work demands with your training/racing goals?
Larry: Pragmatically! Some years you can't be all you want to as an athlete because family, work and other parts of life take over. However the boats, the water, the coaches, and the competition are all still there when you can make that more of a focus.
Timothy: I mainly train before work, whilst everyone else in the household is still asleep, although I also tend to be out for much of each day on the weekend. I need to ensure that I still make time to sort things around the house, mowing the lawn, any DIY tasks, etc as well as finding time to interact with my family, I am lucky in that having older children means they are largely self sufficient.
JL: What are you most proud of, as a father, and as an athlete?
Larry: My two healthy, happy children who are making their own successful lives now. As an athlete, the consistency of being part of the rowing community for all these years and making lifelong friends all over the world.
Timothy: Being mainly inactive during my children's formative years meant that I was always there for them which has resulted in a pair of lovely well rounded individuals that I am very proud of. In turn they are now very supportive of me now that I have re-found my passion in rowing and I am continuing to improve myself so that hopefully I will be around for much more of their lives than I might otherwise have been.
JL: Do you have any tips or advice for other dads balancing training/competition with children/family time?
Larry: Be realistic as to the goals you have during the time of life for your family. Certain years you will not be able to skip out in the early morning to make a practice, so those rowing years take a back seat.
Timothy: Be there for your children when they need you, but also be sure to find time for yourself, don't be selfish, but at the same time don't be completely selfless or you will come to resent your children and only see them as a bind. Work with your partner and plan in compromises where necessary such that everyone wins some of the time.
JL: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Timothy: Enjoy your life, you only go around once, make the most of it before it's too late, I am playing catchup on what could have been a more active middle section of my life, but trying to ensure I enjoy and make the most as many of my remaining years as I can from both a personal and family point of view.