At EBRC, we have several rowing families. Don Asher, (Men’s Competitive Team) is a regular fixture at the club with his wife Susie and son, Miles. Don and his family not only row together; Don and Susie run a company together–remember those awesome looking programs at our 2017 fundraiser? Find out Don’s favorite erg piece, power snack, and about clashing oars with Marin.
When did you start and why?
I started in June of 2015 at the National Learn to Row day. My 2 older kids had rowed (1 at Marin and 1 at University of Puget Sound), so I was inspired to give it a try. At that time I had lost one of my best friends in an auto accident and was in a depression about that and my work life, as well. Rowing and getting fit has changed my life!
What’s the best thing you’ve learned from a coach (so far)?
Coach Gulliver has taught me that commitment and hard work pays off. The results of the Men’s team in the past year speaks volumes to that. We’ve had the best results in EBRC history and we’re only getting better!
What’s your favorite EBRC story?
It has to be the last Head of the Lagoon race in the Men’s 8. We started third and passed River City with ease, then as we came upon Marin they would not yield to us even though Brian (aka Mario Andretti) was yelling at them to move over. We clashed oars (I was in 2 seat and personally loved clashing oars with them myself) as we passed them. A college team in an earlier race (Chico State, I think) actually pulled over to the curb and waited for us to pass. We completed our pass to the outside, sprinted to the finish, and won the Gold!
What do you do when you’re not rowing?
First, I try my best to be a good father to and husband to my family. I own a printing company (over 80 years here in Oakland!) and spend a lot of time running my company along with my wife, Susie. We make a great team! I also love to read, hike in the woods and watch the Golden State Warriors!
What has changed most in your life since you started rowing?
Well, I’ve lost about 40 pounds, so I feel good about that. I love having that competitive spirit back I hadn’t felt since high school sports and I work hard toward getting better every day. My stress level has dropped noticeably having the focus and hard work every morning.
How old are you right now?
Port or starboard?
Sprint or Head Racing?
Favorite or least painful workout on the erg?
I like long pieces with varying rates, like a pyramid piece – the time just flies by with the varying rates
What’s your rowing snack/food of choice?
Susie’s power smoothies!
Why do you row?
3 reasons come to mind – fitness, stress reduction and, most importantly, the people – especially my teammates.
Suggest a question to include in future profile stories
What’s the hardest non-rowing thing you’ve ever done? (For me it was climbing Mt. Whitney both directions in 1 day)