Why I Row - Bruce Cooper

Dear TRRA Community,

As part of the 2020 Annual Appeal, we are excited to continue the Why I Row/Paddle Series to amplify the voices of our TRRA community. This week, please take a moment to read the story below of TRRA Member Bruce Cooper, who shares the story of how rowing at TRRA has impacted his life. This Thanksgiving, please know that everyone at TRRA is incredibly thankful for our athletes and programs, our coaches and staff, our Board and supporters, and for the opportunity to provide rowing and paddling programs and experiences to our Pittsburgh community throughout the year!

We hope that each and every one of you has a safe and healthy holiday. Happy Thanksgiving! Matt Logue Executive Director

Why I Row - Bruce Cooper, Mid Morning Masters

The t-shirts shout ‘We Kick Boat’, and my team did, indeed, kick boat in October 1999 as we won gold in the Novice Corporate Mixed 8+. I had formed a team at Alcoa, where I worked for 38 years; and the members of the team represented a cross-section of the company that day.

That’s what is wonderful about the sport of rowing – it can bring together people from all walks of life who share a love of exercise, teamwork, and camaraderie in an experience that is almost spiritual. And it doesn’t beat up one’s body (too much) as other ‘lifetime sports’ can. I was 56 years old when I first climbed into a racing shell; and I’m still finding it a wonderful way to be with people who share my goals of staying fit, having a good time together, and occasionally winning a medal or two.

Two years ago, the four oldest members of the Mid-Morning Masters, the team I row with now, entered the Head of the Ohio Regatta in a 4+. I was the ‘baby’ at age 75. A few boats passed us on the way down the course, but we finished the race and lived to tell about it.

If you are someone who would enjoy a team sport where there must not be a single hero but one where everyone must pull together to be the best, I encourage you to try rowing. And, by the way, it’s a beautiful way to see our city.

-Bruce Cooper

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