Weekly Winners

James Steiger

I recently turned 68. I was a competitive rower in my youth, and rowed in heavyweight 8-oared crews that reached the finals of the SRAA National Championships in 1960 (finishing second to Washington-Lee High School of Arlington, Virginia), 1961, and 1962. We won the New Jersey State High School Championships in 1961, and finished second in the Eastern Sprints rowing for the Cornell Freshmen in 1963.

I’m now a professor in the Department of Psychology and Human Development in Peabody College at Vanderbilt University. I’m a statistician who has over 6000 scientific citations, and I’ve won several major academic awards for my work in multivariate statistics. Peabody College has been ranked the top College of Education in the United States for three years running.

I got back into rowing when John Neufeldt, a fellow rower, told me about RowPro, the superb software that not only logs your every stroke and heartbeat, but also allows you to go online and train (and compete!) with fellow rowers in real time. RowPro made a huge difference in my training. By the summer of 2009, I’d rowed a half marathon in under 1:30.

The past year was a challenging one. I awakened on June 17, 2011, planning to go for a personal best in the Half Marathon, and instead discovered I’d lost part of the vision in my left eye, due to a macular hole. Three harrowing operations followed over the next year, resulting in partial recovery of vision. Several doctors commented on the shape I was in due to my rowing, and how it helped me during the recovery period. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to row (or do much else) during this period. So now I’m starting all over, ever mindful that any day spent with love, good health, 20-20 vision, and the ability to cruise on your Concept2 Indoor Rower is a day to be cherished!