“Is that a Lululemon shirt” Ben Towill asks, me thinking he is asking because I’m well dressed and I pridefully respond with “It is” to which he then frowns and responds “Oh, this is a Wall Street Journal photo shoot I thought.” Again to which I respond with “It is.” He pauses and says “What company are you showing off? Sweaty tits?! Where is your Levels shirt mate?” Oof good point I thought.
This is an example of the relationship in which the Dreamboats team operates, after working closely with the blokes for over a year now, it feels like Ben, Charlie and Joey are all just my older brothers who happen to take strength and conditioning advice from me. Which makes training together extremely fun. In the beginning they both struggled to do one measly chin-up and if you saw them today you wouldn’t believe it is the same two Brits. A ton has happened in the year of training together. I got bit by a dog, Charlie got hit by a car, Ben threw up, Joey got a ridiculous amount of haircuts and a ton of progress was made.
It is a commonplace for the boys during the workout to look up after their set of deadlifts and flip me the bird or jokingly say “fuck you, Jacko'” but by the end they will both give me a hug and a “love you mate” before they both head out for their incredibly busy professional lives. This is where I must give credit to them, it is easy for me to come up with the training program and calculate the weekly meters and intervals and rowing pyramids they must complete but they are the ones that put in the work. Charlie keeps dropping weight and pulls like an Olympic oarsman, Benny Boy is giving David Beckham a run for his money for most handsome Briton abroad and can string together strict pullups and high volume sets like someone in their early twenties. It is with these physical gains that helped them come off a 160 mile training row from the Florida coast back up to Charleston, with the help from ocean row coach Duncan Roy.
Another benefit from working closely alongside the Dreamboats is I’ve seen the tremendous amount of work they are doing on the side as well as the training. Whether it be Katy Nastro making sure they get to the start line and setting up meeting after meeting with sponsors, the PR team landing the story in major publications, Joey Welling building out an insane gym for the boys to train, including when they wanted Concept2 rowers he ordered Concept2 rowers right away. Seeing it behind the scenes it is a full fledged organism. I used to dub them a marketing team with a rowing problem, now they are a rowing team with a marketing problem. Even after long sessions in the weight room or the water they are on the campaign trail again, locking down sponsors and fulfilling their promises to the charities represented.
So, what is it like training the Dreamboats? A challenge that has ended up teaching me way more than just ocean rowing. It has taught me marketing, relationships, playing the game, mental toughness, sucking at something before you get better, business, opportunity, humility and learning to laugh at yourself a little bit. Till next time.