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Erging to Live Healthy.

posted Feb 21, 2010, 7:15 AM by GT Crew Alumni   [ updated Nov 14, 2010, 8:55 AM ]
The GTCA had the pleasure of watching alum Charles Anderson erg himself to 3rd place this past month at the Atlanta Erg Sprints. But what we found more inspiring was his story of how he got there. Read below for the whole story written by Charles.

BEFORE
 AFTER

How my weight loss journey brought me back to the erg.

In the fall of 2001 I rowed on the Men's Novice team and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Unfortunately time constraints meant I only rowed the single fall season.  While at Georgia Tech I would occasionally get on an erg to workout, but once I graduated I eventually left the erg behind.

Last summer I reached a new high that I never wanted to meet.  I was 250 pounds.  I was in the worst shape of my life, by far.  I didn't realize how bad it had gotten until I was looking at pictures from my vacation to Las Vegas (see Before picture).  It was then that my wife and I decided we had to make a drastic change in our lives.

At the end of August our offices were both hosting "Biggest Loser" style contests and we each entered.  At the beginning I made a lot of diet changes and only added a little more physical activity, but by September, I wanted to do more.  We joined our local gym and I found my saving grace: a pair of Concept2 Model D ergs.  After getting on the erg and realizing how out of shape I still was, I decided to get a LogCard from Concept2 to track my progress and help me set and keep goals.  I also decided then that I was going to compete in the Atlanta Erg Sprints.

In the beginning I could only hold a miserable 2:10 split and only then for short distances.  But I kept working at it.  Along with continuing my diet changes, strength training twice a week with a personal trainer and some swimming and running mixed in, I kept rowing.  I started rowing more and the pounds kept coming off.  At 1000 calories per hour, it was hard to beat the cardio and caloric burn of the erg.  As of now I weigh under 190 pounds (see After picture) with only a few more pounds to go to be in the best shape of my life.

Since starting to record my workouts back in October, I have rowed a little over half a million meters.  The training also paid off with a 3rd place finish in the Men's Novice class at the 2010 Atlanta Erg Sprints rowing a personal best 6:49.8.  I am currently training to participate in the Concept2 Global Marathon Challenge in April, which has me rowing about 75km per week.

Congratulations on your achievements Charles. The GTCA is proud to be a part of your journey and we look forward to racing with you at this year's Pi Mile 5k on campus!

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