Hi! For those who don’t know me, I’m Taya. I am one of the Fall 2013 coaches for the WBC juniors program. I somehow convinced J.D. to give me access to the blog section of the new website, shhhh! Don’t tell him I might actually USE said power 😉

Anyway, I figure this is as good of a place as any to give everyone a quick “bio” & let you know a bit more about me. I have coached quite a few of the WBC juniors over the past few years which makes this old news to some, but I know we also have a LOT of “new” faces joining us (some who rowed out of WBC last spring, some who rowed over the summer, some who are joining WBC for the first time but have rowed for other programs in the past). Here goes nothing…

I guess I should start with what is probably your most pressing question- how long have I coached (aka- why am I qualified to take you/ your child out on the Schuylkill in teeny tiny boats)? I began coaching novices at Germantown Academy in the winter of 2007. This fall will also mark my 7th season coaching for WBC. Since my rookie season I have learned a TON- how to confidently coach sculling, how to start launches (FYI- yelling often helps), how to corral 40+ high schoolers & get them to be quiet enough to listen to announcements (again, yelling), how to get freshmen girls out of the locker room in under 15 minutes (hmmm, come to think of it? it’s once again YELLING!). But most importantly? I have come to love the sport even more than I did before, which I never thought possible. Watching novices go from knowing absolutely nothing about rowing, & being completely unsure about the whole “rowing world”, to being passionate about it, is a true joy. It is a sport that can, & often does, become a lifestyle. The people in the rowing world are amazing; most of my best friends in life (my husband included) I have met through rowing. Being able to introduce people into this tight knit community makes me smile. And you will surely come to learn that my “smile” isn’t always easy to come by!

Another question that will inevitably come up- why am I *always* yelling? Well, I blame that on my almost 20 years of coxing. I first joined this crazy world of rowing my junior year in high school. I needed athletic credits to graduate &, well, at 5’2″ & maybe 105 pounds I wasn’t very ATHLETIC! My math teacher was the crew coach & asked me if I wanted to give coxing a try. Her exact words: “You should try coxing. You’re little & loud.” I wasn’t super enthused. I had never even heard of rowing as a sport; I grew up in Alaska, for Pete’s sake! Then she said the magic words, the words that to this day are responsible for my ENTIRE rowing career- “You get to be in charge.” Sign. Me. Up. After our first practice on the ergs, where I was responsible for helping the coach keep track of scores, I was liking this whole “coxing” thing. After the first practice on the water???? I was hooked. There was no turning back, & now I have been doing it for over half of my life. The seat has somehow gotten smaller (because I am QUITE sure I haven’t gained weight, nope, not me, hasn’t happened…) but I still get the same feeling of “place” every time I jump in a boat. Whether I am coxing novice high schoolers in practice, or racing with a well tuned masters crew, it just feels like home. Cheesy? Yep. But 100% true.

So that’s me.

Oh wait! I’m a wife & a mom. My son (5 in September) will definitely show up to a few practices throughout the season, probably dressed as a superhero, or a jedi (depends on his mood). And you may even meet my husband at a race. He is currently training for his first Ironman (did I mention rowers are a BIT crazy?) but once that is behind him he will have some free time & as an ex-rower he finds himself drawn to regattas, even when he doesn’t *have* to be there. I’m telling you- there is something about this sport that permeates your life. If I can get one or two people/ season to LOVE rowing? I think my job as a coach is done.