"About me" - a place to introduce yourself

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Thomas W-P
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"About me" - a place to introduce yourself

Post by Thomas W-P »

Note from admin: This thread is for introductions/bios only. Please can we not reply to people's posts in this forum - lets just all have one entry that we can edit as we see fit or it could get a little messy. Replies will be exterminated with prejudice!

Thomas W-P

I am currently a science (physics) teacher in a girls comprehensive school. A job I love - lots of challenges, but good ones. I worked as an IT management consultant with PWC/IBM for 9 years (where I was considered techy!), but it did not nourish my soul. I live in rural Essex, UK. If you ever fly from Stansted, give me a call. I often provide taxi/parking services for friends and we are only 15 minutes from the airport. I'm 6' 3", with three daughters (6yrs, 4yrs and 8 months) and a wonderful wife who is also a Free Spirit who has lost more body weight percentage than me since joining! I'm keen on cricket though getting madder on rowing every day (though I have had a model C since April 1999). I was recruited to Free Spirits by Gregor as the 20th member and had not been in an on-line team before.

I row mainly for weight loss and fitness, though a certain Mr Channin seems to have persuaded me on to the racing circuit. I do that as a chance to meet fellow Free Spirits and other racers as much as a shot at glory. (Glory is two stone and a lot of training away, and I am not sure glory is even possible - one aim is to give Mr Shuker a good race at Newark 2008 though.).

For my sins it was my idea to set up this web site and I maintain the server, keep the defences up against spam, sort out the newsletter and also contribute to the content of the site and the newsletter. Any offers to help with these would be gratefully accepted.

Last edited by Thomas W-P on Mon Nov 27, 2006 11:08 pm, edited 4 times in total.
51 yrs - A cyclist these days
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Post by mash »

Mark Marshall (Mash)

I'm an Analysts\Programmer working predominantly on designing\building Windows Services.

I'm married to Andrea and have one daughter, Elizabeth, who is 3 in November. Andrea is pretty much a rowing widow as I purchased a model D Aug 2005 which has pride of place in the garage.

I row because I'm fat and I need the fitness to keep up with my daughter!!! But it's starting to come off and I'm probably the fittest I've been in 10 years.

My only other interests are Aikido which I try and attend at least twice a week, usually after a row which doesn't help with suppleness in the joints!!

Like Thomas I'm attending BIRC this year and hoping\praying I don't come last!!

38yrs 110kgs 5'8"

Season PBs:
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Post by plummy »

David Plumb (Plummy)

43 yrs Old, Sales Manager for a power supply (electronics) company.

I live in Sale, Cheshire, UK (it's not famous for much but has a decent Rugby team and it's 6 miles south of Old Trafford where Manchester United play (for any none UK Spirits)

I've always lived around Manchester with the exception of a year in New Jersey (USA) when my wife (Janet) got a contract on Broadway in Manhattan.

I have a daughter (Hayley) who is 13 (going on 18+) and also posts metres occasionally for Free Spirits

I'm keen on DIY, sport of most sorts (F1, football, cricket, athletics) and took up plane spotting this year again after a 20 year sabatical.
I used to play badminton, squash, 5-a-side football and at one point ran for Manchester in the National Cross Country finals - but that was all a loongg time ago. More recently I joined a gym and went up to my heaviest weight 12st 6lb by using weights and cardio equipment (my first intro to a C2).

I got into Free Spirits after being contacted by Gregor Andrews and really enjoy the feeling of community amongst us. I bought my own erg and quit the gym so I'm now down to 11st. 9lbs.

Bought the new Model E in November 2006 and it's thoroughly run in now I think

1M metres achieved was one of my seasons targets with in hinsight was a soft target so I'm going for 2MM now
- I now want to do a sub 3hr marathon (having just failed again by 5 mins) and also manage 15k in 60 minutes (achieved this on 6th Feb 2007 with a 15072 and have improved since)
Last edited by plummy on Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
60 yrs old, 76kg, 5' 10"
43Mm metres rowed. Re-setting the bar much lower now. Getting too old for this malarky
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Post by Mike Channin »

Mike Channin (aka Marathon Mike)

IT Consultant specialising in intranets and Microsoft .net development.

Indoor Rowing Race History

Am on my second 'wave' of competitions on the Concept 2 (first wave having been ended by a mountain bike accident).

First wave of competition started with me making a concerted effort to get fit in the summer of 2004, and ended up with me racing the indoor racing season that year, mainly for the C2 Grand Prix Series. Results were:

Newark (Sep 26th) 2004: 30+ Hwt mile: 5:23.0 (PB) - 12th, 30+ Hwt 500m: 1:29.6 (PB) - 3rd

Cambridge (Oct 9th) 2004: 30+ Hwt 2k: 6:48.4 (10th), Open Hwt 5k: 18:09.6 (12th) (had done a 6:48.1 (PB) and sub 18min 5k in training so a little disappointed.

Southampton (Oct 24th) 2004: 30+ Hwt: 6:56.3 (15th and last by 0.1s), Open Hwt : 6:55.7 (7th) (just over cold after Cambridge race)

Abergavenny (Nov 14th) 2004: 30+ Hwt: 6:44.8 (PB and still is) (2nd)

BIRC (Nov 21st) 2004: 30-34 Hwt: 6:46.3 (27th)

Cardiff (Dec 5th) 2004: 30+ Hwt: 6:46.0 (9th), Open Hwt: 6:46.7 (14th)

Croydon (Feb 6th) 2005: 30+ Hwt: 6:57.2 (training poor after Cardiff, trying to get back onto form)

Manchester (Feb 13th) 2005: 30+ Hwt: 6:51.6 (11th), Open Hwt: 6:53.2 (14th)

British GP Series 2004-5: Open Hwt - 7th (21pts), 30+ Hwt - 8th (25pts)

BA Hurricanes Tsunami Row (Mar 5th) 2005: just under 29k contributed

Got on form particularly for distances by end of rowing 'year' and set several PBs in April 2005 - 6k (21:38.6), HM (1:20:36.3), 10k (36:59.1), FM (2:49:27.9)

Unfortunately the FM finished me off, and I struggled with form and illnesses until July 2005 when I started training properly again.

2 months of good training got me back approaching good form, then had the big MTB crash which put me out for months.

Got training again at very end of Jan 2006. At that point I was overweight and seriously unfit. Fought my way back, with good steady training (apart from 4 weeks out Mid May to Mid June with that horrible cold that went around!)

Ended up doing the mad week in July (during that heatwave) - 7 x 50k - 28 hours total

Returned to competition Sept 2006

Reading Rowathlon (Sep 9th) 2006: 30+ Hwt 2.5k (stand-alone race): 8:31.0 (PB)

Newark (Oct 21st) 2006: 30+ Hwt mile: 5:16.3 (PB) - 6th, Open Hwt mile: 5:21.5 - 8th (and last!), 30+ Hwt 500m: 1:27.3 (PB) - 1st!

Great South Run (Ocr 22nd) 2006: First run in 2 years - 10 miles 1:43 (was running with a friend for first 9 miles)

Paul Sims Charity Marathon (Oct 28th) 2006: FM: 2:53:40.5, 50k 3:27:15.3

Am currently acting Race Team Captain for Free Spirits, so if you want to know anything about racing, let me know!

Will write some more here when I get time...
5'11", 50 - older, slower, greyer...
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Post by webberg »

Graham Webber (Webberg)

Age 49 (for a few more days), married to Fiona who is also a FS. We have 3 kids aged 6, 9 and 12. Also have a couple of older boys from a previous life. One is 21 and at Uni, the other is 18 and not at Uni.

Live in the rolling Hampshire countryside near Alton and work in London. Presently working for a major High St bank as a tax based product designer. Mainly looking to buy/sell "big ticket" assets so if you want to buy/sell a plane, ship, train, power station, office building then I can help. NO? I'll move on.

Was very sporty from early teens onwards. Have tried many sports but especially football (Come on you Saints) and cycling. Knee problems and age have reduced the active participation in most now although as the kids grow up more things are opening up.

Started indoor rowing about 10 years ago but stopped after 12 months or so. Started again about 2 years ago and now hooked. have my own mod D in the garage. Try to do 4 sets a week and target 40k. Some weeks I do this and some I don't.

Outside rowing and the family I'm a keen (not good) clay pigeon shooter.

Very keen on promoting the ethos of FS as this is a positive source of motivation and friendly competition. Happy to talk rowing nonsense with anyone.

Picture being prepared (with the help of slimming software).
Uphill to the finish

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Post by JanetS »


Age 39, 5ft2 weight unknown :D
Married to Chris - who keeps threatening to start erging but somehow never manages..... Two boys aged 18months & 5yrs

Head of Chemistry at a large independent boys boarding school to the West of London, also rowing coach to J15s at same school. Started teaching partly because I was enjoying coaching rowing to other students at uni – took the coaching seriously enough to get fully qualified once I reached my current school.

Started rowing at uni, bought my Concept C when I could afford it (about 8 yrs ago now) - used on & off, especially to get back into shape after first kid. Had a long time off during 2nd pregnancy & after (major problems with ligaments etc.) so got very out of fitness & shape - now slowly getting both back. Never really looked at erging in it's own right (as opposed to supporting OTW) until I joined 'Free Spirits' - now hooked :D

Frustrated by term time (although I stay fit by sculling while coaching), ergo much more in the holidays. I'm intending to try to do the Thanksgiving to Christmas 200k challenge again this year - managed it last about 3yrs ago.

Competed for the first time in single sculls very recently - not yet got up the nerve to do the same on the ergo (next year?) - wouldn't ever have even thought of it without 'Free Spirits'.

Current ambition - to get back to pre-pregnancy times for 2k & 10k - former is in reach, latter a bit harder, and to get PM3 for my erg :wink: (would love a model D after trying one at PSim's place of erg - but think the monitor is all I can get past hubby.....)
48yo, weight... let's just say heavyweight & leave it at that.
Targets: start erging again & lose weight
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Post by johnglynn »

John Glynn

I'm 26 yrs old, 6'6" , just under 20 stone weight . I work as an Analyst Programmer . I live in Letterkenny, Co Donegal, in the north west of Ireland . I was recruited to Free Spirits by Gregor as around the 50th member and had not been in an on-line team before.

I started rowing Feb 2004 .
Around Feb 2005 I decided to try for the (Irish) IIRC, and did my first 2K test at 6:58.5 (been 6'6" has it's advantages)
During the IIRC in Dec 2005 I rowed a small PB at 6:32.6
During the BIRC in Nov 2006 I rowed a weak for me 6:24.1 (PB 6:20.4 @ time)
During the IIRC in Dec 2006 I found what a true weak performance was and rowed a 6:28.0(PB 6:20.4 @ time)
The reason for my weak 06 IRC results was that I was moving house at the time and not getting enough rest

For 2007 I plan to really up the meters which will hopefully give me a big boost endurance , and loose a bit of the flab at the same time . Hoping to be about the 6:10 area by the 2007 IRC's
Last edited by johnglynn on Tue Jan 23, 2007 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
28, 6'6", 18 Stone - ELM - CTC
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Post by jainser »

Pete Jain (Jainser/Fat Boy/Spud/Nugget/Gay Sailor/Telly Tubbie/Thang/Pie Eater (please PM for full list!!!!!))

6' 1", about 17 & a half stone, 36yrs

Married (just over 10 yrs) 3 spuds, 2 girls, 8 and 9 ("nearly 10 daddy") and 'the boy' who has recently turned 5 (who spends 80% of the day on his own planet and the remaining 20% asleep!) :roll:

I live in Ware (no jokes, I've heard them all!!!) Hertfordshire

Started rowing in 2000 when I worked for a large phamacuetical company at there gym. Loved it. Completed the 2001 Red Nose 1,000,000 metres. Then changed jobs to work for a friend as a Audio Visual Tech. First couple of years was up and down the country a lot, no exercise and loads on motorway service food saw me 'blossum' to just over 20 stone.

Brought my C2 in March, got an email from Michele telling me about Free Spirits. Love it!!

Well and truely addicted.

Since March I have made a point of not changing my diet but just exercising a lot more. There is no point in kidding myself - Have always / Am / and will always be a fat-boy. I love good food and good beer and good Barcardi and good chocolate etc etc. :wink:

So I am never going to be thin (belly is all brought and paid for - no HP on that puppy!) but as long as I can be healthly and kick a ball round with my boy I am well happy.

My biggest challenger on the metre board is myself. Always setting myself challenges to do. Having to get to 3 million (life time) metres before my holiday which led into getting to 2 million season metres before my holiday. Then Mr Sims done the September Ends challenge. Then I see that 4 million (life time) metres is getting close so I have set out to complete that before the end of the year which again will incorporate reaching 3 million (season) metres as well. Then there is my own weekly / monthly challenges - The list goes on and on!!!! :roll:

...and I really want Free spirits to get to the moon. What an achievement.

I do honestly love Free Spirits, there is no pressure to do any thing, the forum is excellent and I have made 'virtual friends' on both sides of the pond. Although hope to change that this Christmas and meet up with a few names and sink a few (Show you boys how gay, pie eating telly tubbie sailors knock 'em back!!!) :D

Engineered for Eating, Designed for Drinking
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Post by BigWaveDave »

David Taylor

Live in Walton on Thames in Surrey, married with an 11 year old son. 42 years young, 6' tall and currently at 14st 4lbs though falling.

Work for a dairy company as a Project/Support Manager focusing on procurement and financial systems.

Have always enjoyed sports, despite the weight and have tried squash, badminton, football and rugby in the past. Basketball though is my main sport - just started my 20th season but can't see it continuing for much longer.

For years now I have struggled with getting weight off - no problem in putting it on :wink: Bought my own C2 after reading an article in one of the Sunday supplements nearly 4 years ago and used it on and off during that time but nothing ever serious.

Then in June this year as I fast approched the 18st mark decided I need to get fit and loose weight. Went back to the erg and started posting my metres on the C2 site. Was invited to join FS in July and this has changed everything.

Started with the aim to complete the 1m metres for the season but the enthusiasm, motivation and support for FS have seen that go out of the window as I have covered over 1.3m metres since joining.

The weight has dropped by 3st 7lbs and I still eat what I want. The wife is happy with the results even though she thinks it somewhat odd what with the recording times and postings etc. Even so, she is almost close to tipping her toe into the water and giving it a go.

Happy rowing
52 yrs, 6' 14st 11lb
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Post by big dave k »

Dave Kempsell

19 years old, 6' 8" and about 15 stone. born in north shields ooop north, but have lived in bedford since i was 5 before moving to uni.

have only been rowing a year, started when i came to university and one of the guys persuaded me to give it a bash. didnt give much thought to the erg until about 3/4 months ago when i went back home over the summer and joined a club there who do a fair bit of training on them. since then i found the C2 forum as a good way of passing the time when bored at 1am. recently became a free spirit as i was invited and was looking to join an online team for motivation and because it seemed like the natural thing to do after being on the forum for a while.

in my spare time i'm a 2nd year student at Brunel university in uxbridge, West London. doing a BSc in Sports Science, which i enjoy and don't enjoy in phases, usually depending on what time of day ive had to get out of bed for a lecture. am also the men's captain of the rowing club here at brunel, which has a fair bit of responsibility, but is good fun with it. im trying to train hard as much as i can, but can be limited as we have no coach and have to teach the new people to row ourselves, meaning training sessions dont always have much use to myself and other, more serious, rowers in the club.

eventually my aim is to make the GB squad and row in the olympics. and if that was to happen, chances are they'd be in london, and that would be most awesome. seeing the erg as a great way to measure my progress as far as fitness and strength is concerned, now ive just got to learn to scull.

i also play a bit of football now and again. bagged myself 7 in 14 in the inter halls league last year, and started this season with 2 goals yesterday (missed about 4 in the first half tho, but im putting it down to rustyness). also like to 'socialise' in the SU bar and nightclub. (some call it binge drinking, i call it interval training for the liver). if ive got any other free time, i usually sleep. i think that's about it for me. if you want to know more, ask me, im a friendly kinda guy.

19, 6'8", 93kg

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Post by paulgould »

Paul Gould

I'm 41 and a Business Intelligence consultant in the IT industry.
Been married 11 years to Sally and we have a 4 year old daughter.
I was born in the UK and lived in Liverpool and Ware(Herts) before emigrating to South Africa at the age of 7.Returned to the UK in 1999 living in Walton On Thames, where my daughter was born, and returned to South Africa last year, settling in Johannesburg.

I am a bit of a sports fanatic and at various stages in my life have played soccer,rugby,squash,golf and run 35 or so marathons and ultra-marathons.Also competed in loads of cycle races and triathlons a while back.

While in the UK I discovered the C2 and after a year of rowing at the local gym decided to buy my own machine.Stopped when my daughter was born and on returning to South Africa ran into some health problems when 20years of heavy smoking,bad diet and decadent lifestyle caught up with me.

Thus began my second (and current ) stint on the C2.
The day after I came out of hospital I tentatively got back on the C2 and have been rowing since.I stopped smoking and even though there isn't too much oxygen at Johannesburg's altitude at least it does not have to compete for space in my lungs with the nicotine!
Joining FS has really got me motivated and has helped me no end in striving to get fit and strong again - as well as unearthing my competitive streak again.

Happy Rowing

Paul G
56, 1.74m , Sep '20 - 114 kg , currently - 98 kg
200m - 30.8
300m - 47.7
30r20 - 7754m
12 hr - 139300m
100 mile - 14:10.12
200km - 18:28.30
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Post by Mark Evans »

I am Mark Evans, 49 years old, 6ft 6" tall and now down to 105kg 16.5stones). I live in Higher Bebington on the Wirral with my 2 kids Adam 17 and Laura 16. I have a girlfriend Linda who doesn't live with me which means I can watch sky sports all the time... :D I work for Unilever (Was called lever bros) on Port Sunlight village where the Unilever business first started. I work on the Sulphonation Plant as an operator/engineer and only work 140 days a year so lots of time for erging. I started erging on the 1st Feb this year and am now addicted. I was invited by Paul Sims to join free spirits and for that I must thank him. The motivation that the team gives to me is fantastic and a day doesnt go by where I don't have a row. I played badminton as a young man reaching county level representing Cheshire but dislocated my left patella 6 times playing it which was operated on in 1985. On the 14th dec 2001 I slipped on some frozen chemicals at work and believe it or not dislocated my right patella!!.....End of weight bearing sports for me. I did nothing until I started rowing this year and ballooned to 22st 4lb(139kg). Because of the erg I am probably now fitter and stronger than when I was in my 20s and I feel great. Taken off my blood pressure medication and my cholesterol is down from 8.7 to 4.9. What can I say the erg and free spirits has changed my life...Thanks to everyone on this website.....
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Post by Stan »

Andrew Stanway (Stan)
43 years old, 5 ft 6 and down to 99kg, although there has been little or no weight change this year and I need to address that issue.
I am a microbiologist qualified to PhD level and I work for a small agricultural biotechnology company. We make bacterial silage additives for farmers, sell biological waste treatment products and sell calcified seaweed as a food supplement.
I finally got back on a rowing machine 2 years ago (did not discover the concept2 website until Feb 05) when I realised I was slowly killing myself having reached nearly 19 stone with no exercise being done. Got off the machine 10 minutes later exhausted but elated and have not looked back since.
I was originally in WISE but jumped ship with Michelle and a few others and am proud to be one of the original members of Free Spirits. I never cease to be amazed at the way this club has grown and am grateful for the support, motivation and friendship offered by everyone.
Proudest rowing achievement - the recent Paul Sims charity marathon.
Future aims - a sub 3 hour marathon and to enter some rowing competitions.
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Post by cliffhales »

Cliff Hales
28 years old. 5'10" and hit 200lbs (14 stone, 4lb) the day my model D arrived (Sept 06). I'm a computer programmer for a small transit software company that lets us work out of our homes. I've been edging upwards ever since I was married 2 years ago. I blame my wife's excellent cooking. :-) We have 1 girl, just turned 1, and found out yesterday that we're having another girl next March! A couple of years ago I was a river rafting guide, and was never in better shape, I've wanted to get a rower ever since. Hitting 200lbs was the last straw. I'm slowly edging back down, about 5lb so far, hoping to keep at least some semblance of progress through the coming holidays.
I found free spirits because I was looking for exercise advice and stumbled here via google. I don't post much, but I definitely appreciate all the good advice I've found.

Thanks FS!
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Post by MaxDev »

Maxim Devereaux
30 years, single, 6'1'', 110kg

Full name's Maximillian, but I never use it. Not bothered whether people call me Maxim or Max - generally I use Maxim on official stuff, and my friends call me Max. Been MaxDev online in various places for years and years. First name is just down to imaginative parents, surname's originally French, but dates back to 12th century or so (late Norman at any rate). Born and bred in England, and have lived in Hereford for most of my life.

Freelance IT consultant running my own one-man company, though intending to expand and develop into a software house in the fullness of time. Wide IT background - C, C++, Java, basic web-tech (HTML, JavaScript and JSPs), but my main specialization is Oracle databases and tools.

Learnt to row (fours) at school, gave it up after a year, then did some more (eights) at university (Oxford 1994-8, studied Physics) and then just about gave up all physical exercise apart from walking for ages. Took up erging again as part of a gym regime in late 2002 after I'd ballooned to nearly 18 stone, and got down to sub 15-stone within 6 months. Decided to concentrate on erging and got my model D in Aug 2003, but then found work interfering with it too much (was permie at the time, and working insane hours), pretty much stopped exercising, and started putting the weight on again.

Seem to have stabilised at 17st 4lb, but would still like to shed at least a couple of stone, so took up serious erging again in Oct 2006 while taking some time off from contracting, and started logging my distances on C2. Have always loved food and drink, and hate dieting, so I know the only way I'm going to shed the weight is by being an insane endurance erger!

Joined Free Spirits because I wanted to join a virtual rowing club to keep myself focussed and it seemed that out of the possible options I would fit in best with FS because a lot of the guys here seem to have the same kind of motivations and goals as I do.

Outside of erging, my main passion in life is chess. Currently ranked in the top 50 players in England, captain of a team in the top division of the UK league and have completed three of the four requirements of the International Master title.

Erging ambitions are to beat my lifetime 2K PB and get sub 6:40, but more importantly to start putting in some serious distances. Aiming for my first million metres by the end of Jan 2007 (though with the Free Spirits effect, I might make it before the New Year at the present rate of progress!), and 2 million before the end of the season. Might one day get back on the water as well...

Happy erging everyone!
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Post by Nick Shuker »

Hi to everyone who reads this message,

I am 45 years old and live near Mansfield Notts. Married with 5 kids,2 of which step sons, ages 20, 18, 14, 14 and 11.

Sporting background,

County Hockey squad at school age, and Mansfield town HC first team centre forward for 12 years. In between, Army Hockey squad at junior and senior levels.

During service in the Army did a lot of medium distance running and took up weight training and Swimming.

Spent 11 years as a Musician in the Army stationed in Germany. Travelled all over europe, Canada, Belize, played at the Royal Tournament, Berlin Tattoo, Wembley Pageant.
Played Tuba and Keyboards for the Queen mother, Prince Charles, Princess Anne.

Left the Army and joined Nottingham Fire and Rescue Service in 1989.

Now, still an operational Firefighter at Ashfield Fire Station Nottingham. Watch based phyisical trainer, accident rescue instructor, first responder first aid, and swift water rescue technician.


I play principle BB flat Tuba with thoresby Colliery brass band ,who are ranked 64th brass band in the world . This takes up loads of my spare time, 2-3 rehearsals a week and about 25 concerts and competitions a year.


took up indoor rowing January 2005 to lose weight and regain fitness. Completed 5 Million meters this month and still loving it.

Really proud to be a Free Spirit
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Post by Mikey »


I’m Mike Lawrenson, I’m 45 years young and been married to Janet for the best 21 of them.

I originally trained in Hotel Management but found the hours and pay were not to my liking so changed careers and have been a serving Police Officer for the past 22 years.
The first seven ‘on the beat’ in Slough, then spent seven years as a dog handler in Reading ( Public order by day and a grown-up game of hide and seek with the burglars and car thieves by night – great fun!). I then transferred to our firearms teams and for the past eight years I have been on our Close Protection Unit.

Sportswise, between the ages of 11 – 18, I swam for Hertfordshire and played school firsts rugby. Like many others my sports dropped off completely in my twenties and early thirties until one day I got on the scales at 17.5 stone – eek! Best part of 3st. over normal. I took up mountain biking, dusted off my golf clubs and most importantly joined a gym. Over the next few years the weight fell off again and I’m now back at 15st. Happy with that but if I lose any more so be it.

3 years ago I moved house and decided that after many years of expensive gym memberships I would convert my garage. So it is now painted and carpeted throughout, has a decent stereo and Sky TV feed (can’t miss any Chelsea games). Kit-wise there is a multi-gym, a cross-trainer, a cycle and in pride of place is an old model C that they were getting rid of at work! Janet uses the kit but try as I might she won’t use the C2!

I only started using the rower as my main exercise about 18 months ago and use the rest for variation / warm-up etc.

As for joining Free Spirits – interesting and motivational – best thing I’ve done in years. Thank-you all.

Mike L
Last edited by Mikey on Fri Nov 16, 2007 4:53 pm, edited 2 times in total.
48, 6'1 15st.
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Post by Wolfmiester »

Hi all,
my name is Steve Smith, known as 'Wolfie', after Citizen Smith, since the first week of college back in 1980.
Living in Kings Norton, a south suberb of Birmingham (City fan) & married to Linzi, with 3 kids (18, 16 & 9).

I work for a large US Communications company (AT&T for our friends across the pond) and am based in Redditch. Although current set up means I can work from home 3 days a week, which is perfect for regular use of the erg. I hope it stays that way!

A keen rugby player until I was 35, when a compound fracture of tib & fib told me it was time to give up (or rather the wife told me).
Since then I've kept fit (?) by using gyms, running (not much for a couple of years) and playing golf a couple of times a week.
I've used an indoor rower on and off for a few years as part of the gym routines but nothing substantial.
This summer Linzi complained she didn't have time to visit gyms and wanted something at home to exercise on. l managed to convince her that a C2 would be a great idea and I (sorrry We) haven't looked back since.

Finding Free Spirits has been great for motivation, ideas, and general banter. I look forward to meeting some of you at next years BIRC in Brum, if not before.

Cheers, Wolfie :)

Age 59 Height 6'4" Weight 93k
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Post by Jessica-Red »

My name is Carole Sergeant but many of my friends call me
Jessica-Red / JR or Jess- a joke involving my reddish hair and Jessica Rabbits red dress -which I intend to fit into when all this rowing pays off and I lose more weight!LOL


I am married to Pete who is in the oil exploration industry and we have 2 sons aged 25 and 21-the younger can polish off 500 m in 1.24 when he tries!!!!

I became addicted to the erg in Jan 2006 when my gym held a competition to row a collective million meters by boat race day-I entered -loved it- kept increasing my distances- discovered a competitive spirit (which had lain dormant for ever as I had been a clumsy clot at sports at school) -I won that challenge amazing both myself and my family-then someone told me of the Concept Millionaires Clubs so I just kept rowing!!!

Highlight recently for me was a trip to BIRC as a spectator-it was AMAZING and inspirational!!

Have just been awarded Member of the Year at my gym and feature on their website and in the local paper - so I hope that will inspire others to take up rowing-

I need now to be with like minded rowers and learn how to improve my technique and times/get involved with more challenges /have fun/keep commited/make friends and GET US TO THE MOON !!!

Im now rowing from Dublin Bay to New York Harbour- 5, 100, 000 meters-done 3,120,000 so far -"virtually speaking" of course! :D
Last edited by Jessica-Red on Thu Jan 18, 2007 8:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Carole Sergeant
15 million meters achieved Dec 30th 2009
4.5 stone weight lost since mid Jan 2009
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Post by ptruz »

Alias: PTRUZ

Real name: Peter Trusio

46, born 4/12/60, Jersey City, NJ


Wife: Donna

Children: Christine (17) and Patrick (15-almost)

Insurance Agent (Life, Health, Property & Casualty & Title)

I finally made this post because I feel people are as tired of referring to me as PTRUZ as I am of being referred to as PTRUZ.

Donna and I have been married for 23 years and we live in a lake community in NJ (Lake Mohawk).

We did not know anything about the sport of rowing until my daughter left to attend a prep school in Watertown, CT (The Taft School) and needed to replace her regular Spring sport (until High School most soccer players play both fall and spring here in the US). She gave Crew a try and both loved it and excelled in it.

She has now lead the way for my son, Patrick who has completed a couple of summer programs at The Passaic River Rowing Association and looks forward to rowing at Taft this spring.

I grew up playing Soccer, and running Track in the Winter and Spring. I was drawn towards the longer distances and post some ok times in the mile and two mile.

After college I DID ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ATHLETIC until I began coaching my kids. We had our ups and downs but I still have three season athletic kids in high school.....my job is done....we all bear the scars.

Today I am hold up in a bad motel in Connecticut waiting for the second round of my daughter's basketball tournament. She is struggling with a big change in her game switching from a power forward to a guard. The poor girl did not grow an inch since 6th grade.....she's 5'9"...which made her huge a couple of years ago....now she is short. The good news is that she is a starting varsity player and she is doing fine.

We have a dog.....Shaquille Von Munchausen the 34th....anyone get the Basketball reference? He is a miniature, black dachchund and is a little terror. THIEF! And he yaps all day long. He does not like the erg.....it takes attention away from him.

Once my daughter began to enjoy crew I started studying the sport. I found it to be great exercise......but I also found that the spotsmanship was superior between the competators. That's a great advantage for kids.

There was a peculiar thing with rowing......ERG SCORES ARE NEARLY EVERYTHING when being evaluated by a college crew coach. It's like evaluating basketball players simply on how well they shoot foul shots. I thought I would take advantage of this peculiarity by buying a C2 model D and getting my daughters erg score in the "go zone."

Well.....she is no longer coachable (not by me anyway) and both my kids won't even look at the erg......

Now....I am a cheap guy and I wasn't going to waste $900.00 so I started rowing and six months later I am down 50 lbs. First work I've done......since.....well....college.

Free Spirits has been a great help. I don't think I would be sticking with this program without it.
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Paul Victory
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Post by Paul Victory »

Paul Victory

53, born 21/03/53 Dublin

Married (to the lovely Jennifer) with 3 children (daughter Elaine aged 21, two sons Mark 19 and Jonathan 16) and a golden Labrador (Molly, aged 4).

Actuary, working in the group pensions area.

Really (no, I mean really) bad soccer player in my youth.

Took up jogging in my late 20s and ran the Dublin City marathon three times (PB 3:37) along with several 10Ks, half marathons etc.

Put on lots of weight in my 30s and 40s and joined a gym to try to get fit. Varying degrees of success over the years, including a brief flirtation with the erg in the early 1990s.

Got back into erging as part of a major weight loss campaign last year and dropped from 124k to 92k. Lost impetus earlier this year (more on the diet than on the exercise front) and currently back up to around 105k, which is not shifting despite ever increasing erging. Hoping to purchase my own erg next year (after we organise somewhere to put it).

Outside the gym, I have flirted with chess, bridge and backgammon with varying degrees of success and I also played 10 pin bowling for a while in my 20s. I also enjoy reading (mainly crime fiction these days, lots of SF/fantasy when I was younger) and the dog likes me taking her for a walk (she's looking beseechingly at me as I type).

M 68 6'1" 124kg (May05), 92kg (Feb06), 122kg (Aug10), 95kg (Sep11), 117kg (Jun13), now 98kg

Post by TJohnson »

Hi all --

Terry Johnson
Chemical/Environmental Engineer
Atlanta, GA (USA)

Interests include biking, photography, travel, sci-fi, and astronomy

I'm 42 and am trying to lose weight and get back in shape. I am relatively new to erging, although I occasionally used the model B ergs in my college gym back in the day. I recently bought a very slightly used Model C from a friend (in addition to a bike) -- just in time to participate in C2's 2006 Holiday Challenge, which I finished on Dec 24 with about 8 hours to spare.

Now I am already a quarter of the way to my first million meters in just over a month, and I've lost ten pounds!

I discovered the Free Spirits team while exploring the C2 website, and thought it would be fun and motivating to join. I am very impressed with the sense of community here and the encouragement that everyone extends to each other. Plus, being an astronomy buff I really want to help with the moon shot effort!
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Post by Gooner Neil »

Neil Turner aka Gooner Neil

35 years, married to Vicky (lovely Vicky) and have a nine year old daughter named Chloe who thinks she is 14 :(

Live just outside London near to Birds of Feather country (for those who have seen the unique BBC comedy that was the first to feature no jokes!)

Hav a model D in the bedoroom along with a gym nearby and a C and B at work. The drag factor on the B is 300+.

Came to rowing approx 4 years ago. Hugely addictive with equal measure of numb ar$se thrown in.

Wasted my education and now work on the Flying Squad in the Met Police (armed robbery unit). Times have changed no whisky for breakfast, we save that for tea now!

Have entered my first cyber community and met some great people who can do some scary things with ergos!!!!!! FS helps as most of my friends look at me with incredulity re indoor rowing. They just don't get it.

Enjoy independent label music, binge drinking (sorry if anyone is a doctor) and food of all sorts.

Am wiling to be adopted by any rich FSers.
Neil 40 LWT (in both senses) 74k 5'08" former British record holder 100km 35-39lwt
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Post by krisplus5 »

Hi all,

I'm Kris Jones, 43 yrs, (too big, not tall enough)

I've been erging for a little over 6 years on and off. Found my first erg class at our local rec-center, run by a guy who coached crew at a local high-school. Loved the class, so kept on erging.

I rowed in the Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints back in 2001, which was a little intimidating--my coach made me sit in the front row with the guys, and my time was pretty sucky at 8:20 (which would damn near kill me now). I rowed one season on water in 2001, sculling, doubles mostly (some singles). I'd like to get back on the water, maybe go to Craftsbury this summer?

I use rowing as supplement to the bootcamp-style program I'm in 5 days a week. I've found that it is a great active stretch in addition to the workout. My knees hurt much less since I got back into rowing. My times are slow, but I want to shoot for 2mm in 2007 (1.28mm now). Got a good start with the C2 HC this year, got my first 100K in. My first month back rowing since injury last spring.

A friend gave me her model-B some years ago, which I use less than the model-C at my gym. So this Christmas I gave the erg an update: new handle, new flex-feet, new PM3. Now it totally rocks! No excuse to not row.

In my non-rowing life, I'm an application developer, working for a company with a web-based accounting application. I spend a lot of time (I mean a whole lot) with my butt in a chair at the computer. I avoid the news like the plague (both written and televised), and have a passion for coffee. Strangely, my degree is in fine-art. I still paint a bit. I love Andy Goldsworthy's stuff, and most process-based art. I've been married 16 years, no kids, too many cats (must stay married to avoid crazy-cat-lady moniker).

Looking forward to helping with the moon-shot. I think this FS group will help keep me pulling.

Post by Riggadoo »

Hello Folks,

Riggadoo here (Steve Rigg in real life) I am 31, 6ft and currently 17.2 stone. Married with a 1.5 year old son. We live in a tiny village near Cowbridge in South Wales, UK (Although I come from the North East originally)

I started Erging in May 2006 on a concept 2 model D which sits in my office at home. Not sure why we bought a rowing machine as I always hated rowing in the gym as it seemed so diffucult! Not looked back though since getting the concept 2 and I have the bug now well and truely.

I have only racked up 250k meters in the months since I bought it (despite doing over 100k in July) as I have had a few little injuries which have kept me away from anything too regular.

There is a bit of a theme on this thread of people coming from an IT background. I too served time in the industry as a service delivery manager in IBM, but managed to escape the clutches of big blue and I now run a small business with my wife (we design and make jewellery here in wales http://www.carrieelspeth.com )

I found out about FS the same day I logged my first meters on the Concept 2 site, by seing a Free Spirits member (they had the name of the team in their address) a few places above me and so I looked into it. I am monumentally impressed by the community here and wanted to be a part of it. My aims are to loose weight, (anything under 16 stone should do it), to row about 80-150k a month, and being quite competitive I will try to improve on times and personal bests etc. (I am probably a middle distance rower I think, but would like to go sub 7 in 2k for example)

Anyway, I will not bore you any longer, so hello again, see you around the boards!! :D
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