IncNow Technology Director Will Purman has been working with us since 2011, while also training often twice a day as an elite rower at Malta Boat Club in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Will recently traveled to southern France to train for the Spring and Summer racing seasons, with the ultimate goal being the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. IncNow is proud to have Will as a part of our crew and we are pleased to share his training journal on our blog.
Saludos and Bonjour from France! I am writing this post today from my remote apartment office near the Place de Comédie in Montpellier. Since my arrival a few weeks ago, I have been training to qualify for a spot on Puerto Rico’s Olympic Rowing Team. First on my schedule of qualification regattas will be the upcoming Latin American Qualifiers this March, where I will compete in the Men’s 1x (single scull).
This time last year, I had taken a hiatus from the sport of rowing. During the fall of 2014, I was training primarily by myself in preparation for the SilverSkiff regatta, a long distance endurance regatta in Torino, Italy. This was my first international regatta, so I was satisfied with my 7th place finish in my age category. Despite my strong finish, I continued to lose interest in high-level racing without a specific goal in mind. By January, I had stopped training all together.
I received an email in May from the Puerto Rican Rowing Federation inviting me to compete in their annual Copa Olimpica Regatta. I contacted the Federation awhile back because I had interest in competing for Puerto Rico in the Pan American games in Toronto, Canada. Because of my Puerto Rican heritage, I am eligible to compete for the island. With encouragement and support from www.incnow.com president John Williams, I traveled to compete in the Puerto Rican trials. John Williams was also an assistant rowing coach at the University of Delaware, where I competed in college. He even organized a four-day company vacation for all staff of IncNow to visit Puerto in June of 2015.Without much training to condition for the race, I was fortunate to win the regatta and earn a spot on the Puerto Rican team. As a result, I was offered the opportunity to compete for Puerto Rico at the World Championships held in France. I was reluctant at first, as I was not in the greatest shape at the time, but figured I would give it a go.
With about eight weeks of training, I was able to place 20th out of 36 countries in the Men’s Lightweight Single. IncNow sponsored my boat rental fee of $2,500 for this race because I posted an IncNow sticker on the side of my boat. You can see this on the IncNow Twitter background image.
My results also caught the eyes of a few coaches. One in particular, Stephane Durand, a Frenchman, expressed interest in coaching me. Stephane has worked with several different countries in the past, most notably Argentina, whose single he coached to a fourth place finish in the 2004 Athens Olympics and a fourth place finish in the 2012 London Olympics.
Fast forward a few months and here I am, training like a professional athlete in the canals of southern France under the watchful eye of an Olympic-level coach. Stephane has many connections and friends in Montpellier, including a chef that prepares all my meals and an osteopath for recovery massages after training. I also rented a Cannondale road bike and have logged a few kilometers exploring the nearby mountain trails. Today for my afternoon workout, I set out with a group of ex-professional cyclists who took me up to a small village in the mountains called the Pic Saint-Loup.
I am half way through my second week here in France and making some significant improvements in both endurance and technique. I will be training in France until February 10th before I head down to Banyoles, Spain for a race. I will keep everyone updated as my trip progresses. I appreciate the opportunity to train abroad afforded by IncNow, where I am working half days while training abroad. I am looking forward to my next race in the Latin American Olympic Qualifying Regatta in Chile.
For now, au revoir!