We’re taking a closer look at some of the ways in which our people choose health in their daily lives. August Wherry is a Paid Search Associate and competitive rower. Here he discusses his current training in hopes of making the US 2020 Olympic team and how he balances his career with the pursuit of his passion.
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Training for the Olympics is a pretty impressive stat. Tell me about the journey that brought you to this point.
I started rowing in 2010, my sophomore year of high school. I was recruited by Hobart College and rowed all four years there in the varsity boat. After college, I took some time off and started my marketing career with my job at PHM in New York.
All through college I had a fantastic relationship with my team and coach, and after a year or so I reconnected with my coach. He brought up a conversation he had with the Olympic coach from Rio about getting a group together in Boston to begin training for Tokyo. The conversation went well and left me feeling nostalgic about my rowing career that I felt I abruptly left. I gave it a few weeks of thought, but ultimately felt it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.
So you moved to Boston…
Yeah, if I really wanted to be serious about training, I needed to relocate. Boston is the hub of east coast rowing and offers some of the best coaching and training environments. So, I approached my manager and HR, and honestly they were so supportive from the start. Together we set up a plan that would allow me to work remotely from Boston and train simultaneously.
Tell me more about that, because it seems like a lot to manage. How have you been able to balance work with your training?
It can be a lot, but I’ve learned that it’s definitely doable. My days have to be very structured. I work out from 5:30 to 8:30 every morning, then start work after that. My workdays run from 9 to 3, after which I train from about 4 to 8 PM.
When it came down to it, I realized that I needed to cut the noise and get serious about managing my time. Once I really started to evaluate it, I found that there is a lot of opportunity for wasting time. Of course we all need a little down-time throughout the day, but being aware of how often I spend that kind of time is critical to being able to do my job effectively while also pursuing this goal.
How does rowing push you to “choose health?”
I’d say there are two main ways. One is through my diet, which, like my time, I also find the need to regulate. Because of the amount of work I am putting in, I can consume 6,000+ calories a day and still maintain my weight. But not all calories are created equal, and I pay a lot of attention to the types of food I eat. Food is fuel, and when I got serious about this opportunity I really started to care about the fuel I was using.
I also have gotten really into fitness trackers and gadgets. Things like heart rate trackers, fitness trackers. I love collecting and analyzing the data to see my growth. I’m a bit of a data nerd, which shouldn’t come as too much of a shock seeing that I work in paid search.
What about rowing do you find inspires you most?
Well, for one I am a very competitive person, and training allows me to challenge myself every day. And I love rowing, so for me it’s like, why not try to be the very best you can be in a sport that you love?
I also find that I get more satisfaction out of life in other areas, such as my job, ultimately because of the fulfillment I get from training. For me, the feeling that I feel after a great workout or some quality time on the water can’t really be achieved outside of the sport.
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