Meet Jose Vergara, Club Team. Jose is a regular at erg practices so he’s in the boathouse nearly everyday of the week. Originally from Brazil, Jose is known for his commitment to rowing and the team while running a successful immigration law practice. Read on to find out more about him.
When did you start rowing and why?
I took the oar for the very first time in 1998 while at Temple University. I started rowing for Temple Crew because one of my dreams in high school was to play sports at a Division I school. I was too short to play basketball, and even though I am Brazilian, my skills as a soccer player are pretty embarrassing.
So, pretty much, I was walking on campus and saw this nice reddish boat in the middle of the courtyard with some rowers giving away signup forms for the men’s novice team. On the next day, about 50-60 men showed up for our very first practice. By the end of the year, we were down to about 6-8. The sport was tough, but I had the time of my life. I made good friends and the discipline in the sport really helped me in life. After my first year, I had to quit the team due to the need to keep up my grades in school.
After I graduated from college, I had to live the “adult” experience of getting a job and later going to law school. But one thought I always had in my mind was that I missed rowing. So after I graduated from law school in 2007, I started rowing again at a different rowing club in Oakland. But due to my work schedule, I was forced to stop rowing. Finally, on July 2016, a few years after setting up my law practice, the urge to row returned. I found out about EBRC and joined the club. One of the best decisions of my life.
What is our favorite EBRC story?
That would be during winter break, when Dylan led us into our very first yoga class. A very interesting experience.
What is the best thing you have learned from a coach (so far)?
Coach Sarah showing me the best position in which to set the foot stretcher in the erg machine. I was able to see great improvements in my erg times after that.
What do you do when you are not rowing?
Working at my law office; erging; going to the movies (once a week); erging; being a coffee snob; hanging out at Peerless with my teammates after practice; and did I mention erging?
How old are you right now?
Port or starboard?
Why do you row?
I just love the sport.