http://www.usrowing.org/News_Media/Athl ... sopko.aspx
Jimmy is currently stroking the light men's eight in NZ
WOLF- Mobjack rowing has made its presence among the USA lightweights recently , what going on down there in the middle of "no where Virginia" ? How many USA guys have come thru there and who else can we see making the scene in the future?
Honestly, there’s not much going on down in Mathews, or no where VA and I think that is what drove us to row in high school. There are only 9500 people in the entire county and 400 in the public high school so we had limited option to occupy time. Our coach, Tim Ulsaker has a knack for selling ideas to people and he’s an excellent teacher so we just kind of stuck with the rowing thing.
There have been 3 USA lightweights that have come through Mobjack. Jeff Forrester, Matt Muffelman and myself. Muff and I rowed together in high school at Mathews and we both rowed with Jeff in a lightweight 4 for Mobjack in 2000. As for future rowers scaling the ranks from Mobjack to the NT, there are none on the radar. But who knows, no one knew of Jeff, Muff or I when we were there.
WOLF- Your in NZ now stroking the light eight, what the hell is going thru your mind as you wait to race? Other will have raced 2- 3 times , the anticaption to lay into it must be building , how are you coping watching the others racing ?
Be aggressive and bring the pain. It’s my job to get us going at top speed as quickly as possible, establish a rhythm and wind up and go in the last 500. After the rhythm is established I let the engine room go to work. On the other hand, I try to remove myself from rowing and the race while I’m not at the course. The wait will drive you nuts and it’s hard to keep the adrenaline levels up that high for 2 weeks. There are tons of great movies in NZ like Deuce Bigalow Male Jigalow, Mean Girls and The Hot Chick that help pass time.
Watching others race before we do is helpful. I get to see what other crews are doing well and not so well, hopefully learning a few things. It’s also enjoyable to watch the other USA guys I’ve trained with race and root them on.
WOLF- Your a navy man , and you are listed as a Naval Surface Warfare Officer , what exactly the hell is that and how can you bring those skills to your everyday life and rowing life ?
I recently got out of the Navy after my commitment, but a Surface Warfare Officer (SWO in navy speak) is basically a ship driver. I learned how to drive a naval warship and manage people. There are a wide variety of jobs you can do on the ship. I had the opportunity to be in charge of communications for 2 years and then act as navigator for my last 18 months.
Big picture thinking is a concept most young people find hard to handle. On the ship we would plan months or sometimes years out. This has helped me the most with rowing. If you have a bad day or a bad stroke you have to remember that each is a small subset of the big picture and you can not get too worked up about either.
WOLF- A racing question its 500 meters to go in the eight final, 3-6 boats across , what going on in your head and what going on in your body ?
In my head I’m thinking it’s go time and my responsibility as stroke to lead with power and then rate as the race closes. Once we start the sprint I start thinking legs legs legs and sit up. I’m probably yelling profanities at the other boats in my head as well, possibly out loud. My body is SCREAMING at me to stop because of the lactic acid buildup, but as you know we just push through.
WOLF - Who in the eight lies about their weight the most?
Obviously Julian Bowling, Michael Kerrigan and myself do not know how to lie. We were raised in the high integrity system of the US Naval Academy and if we lie then King Neptune finds us in our dreams and beats us with his trident.
Matt Kochem lies about his weight quite a bit. He is getting his PhD in nutrition from Rutgers and his head weighs 20 lbs. When asked about his weight he spouts off about amino acids and fennel groups and we all go cross eyed.
Kenny McMahon on the other hand went to Wisconsin. All Wisconsin kids are in denial about their weight and their patriotism. They think that wearing American flag stuff makes them cooler than other Americans. Remember, it’s not called the University of the United States, Madison.
We are littered with MIT kids this year. Since one is our coxswain, Steven Young, and most coxswains are sneaky little devils, he lies about his weight all the time. The other MIT kid is our bow seat, Skipper Dise. Skip has fun with lying. He finds the statistical outlier and divides it by his goal weight. Then he lies about it to the third decimal place.
Bob Duff went to Columbia and all of those kids are always at weight, having no reason t lie.
Matt Muffelman is by far the worst. He is actually getting smaller due to his old age so he generally tells us he’s heavier then actually is. I think he’s getting lighter because his bones are deteriorating.
5.5 WOLF - How old is Matt Muffleman ?
No one really knows. Legend has it that he helped found Riverside Boat Club. The grey whiskers in his mustache don’t lie.
extra One -
WOLF The 2012 Olympics are only a year and half away when you get back , there is really no down time when you get back to the States. How do you plan to train and attack the 2011 and 2012 seasons ? And what is your first meal you want after you return ?
One day at a time. But seriously, since this year’s worlds are so late there is not really any time for relaxing. I’m going to do two weeks of solid stead state and the back in to a hard training plan. I need to get faster and the only way to do that is work.
My first meal is going to hopefully be a home cooked meal from my wife, Shaunnah. She makes a mean chicken fettuccini alfredo and the best chocolate lava cake I’ve ever had.