”Learning how to row on the water after two years on the erg is an experience that has been the epicenter of my mid-life transformation. Life is a series of choices and I chose to embrace a sport that I knew would take patience, focus, endurance and many years to reach a level of proficiency. Iva is the impetus for my midlife addiction to rowing. Iva's expertise in coaching has convinced me that she has eyes in the back of her head and can see in the darkness as well. I am fortunate that Iva has believed in me and enabled me to believe in the possibilities that lie within. To be her student is a gift as she helps me on days where my muscle memory cooperates and also on days where my body and the boat are not harmonious. In all situations Iva is a talented coach and as I say to her frequently, 'Who knew?' but the answer is Iva. Iva can steer your journey to reach your goals. I am hoping to row into my 80s ( 30 years from now) and hope that Iva will be there to help me with her excellence in coaching skills and friendship. As a physical therapist, I can assure anyone that correct technique and form and injury prevention are key aspects of her coaching skills. Treat yourself to a series of private lessons with Iva and you will never regret the experience!!!!Dr. Lori Annes
”I am an extremely fortunate neophyte rower because I found Iva, the quintessential rowing coach. There is a very caring, patient, creative, accommodating, methodical method to her instruction. Although I have only had a few lessons all of which have been by Skype I am progressing rapidly. I believe this is due to Iva’s insistence on paying close attention to every detail. In turn you do as well. Proper form, technique, strategy and use of the rowing machines computer capabilities are part of every lesson. The lessons/workouts have proven to be mentally and physically exhilarating.M.D. Widelock, ESQ
”I learned how to sweep row, scull and cox with Iva as my coach. Her years of experience as a World champion rower and collegiate athlete are at the core of her skillful coaching and training methodology. Iva has a keen eye for technique; she sees every critical detail of the rowing stroke both on the water and on the erg (rowing machine). She is able to cater the training to each individual's needs and fitness level. By developing a training regimen which is appropriate for each person, she moves her athletes from novice to elite rowers along a path which minimizes injuries and focuses on superior rowing technique. On top of it all, she is always encouraging and values each person's efforts, supporting them on their way toward better rowing.Liz Greenberger
”Iva's coaching is exceptional on many levels but the overall most significant factor in my mind is Iva's contagious belief in people and their abilities. Iva believes you can do it and so you do; success comes from that strong belief and Iva’s strong coaching. Iva knows rowing and competition and has a talent for communicating her knowledge and instructing her rowers with her own personal blend of both toughness and caring.Pamela A. Abraham
”I’m a 50-year old who rowed all through high school and college, and slowly let the passion for rowing and fitness dissipate as life got in the way. Through iRow Fitness I’ve finally found a way to reconnect to the sport I love and get healthy once again. I came across iRow through an internet search, was intimidated to join, but after quick e-mail exchanges with Iva (iRow founder and queen!), and a few classes, realized I’d found the right spot. Iva’s a big part of my renewed sense of engagement. She’s laid back but tough, provides great style pointers and insights, but gives us all room and time to explore the right path to rowing better. Workouts are fun and change up every time…some days I leave the Studio exhausted, others I leaving anticipating the next great session a few days later. Finally, the group of folks that come to row in Iva’s studio are terrific…architects, dancers, teachers, math geeks and corporate types all motivated by nothing more than a desire to get some great exercise and stay fit. It’s a casual, fun but energizing environment.
Iva also got lots of us hooked on competing at the Long Beach Crash B satellite race or other rowing events. She pushes competitions for no other reason than to let us explore our limits, and is there for us every step of the way as we prepare. Her work outs and coaching leading up to the recent Beach Sprints competition in Long Beach were great…we all came well-prepared to do our best. Close to race date she sent e-mails and worked with us to define the right race strategy and most of all, to calm us down. During the race, Iva coached me through the grueling 2000 meter ordeal. Unlike the others surrounding us, who were screaming and creating a commotion that was really distracting (except for my iRow teammates…their support was great), Iva sat cool and collected and provided just the right commentary to keep me focused. I listened to what she was saying, and how she was saying it...it calmed me down and got me in the zone, enough so that I rowed my best time (under 7 minutes!!!), won my age group and have set targets on further improvement down the road. I’m also going to start sculling with Iva this spring; ergs are fun, but nothing beats the feeling of powering through calm water (assuming I can keep the scull from flipping).Ed Chuchla
”I have been working on the water with Garry Smoot - rowing coach for iROW fitness Los Angeles - for about 6 months now. Prior to that I took indoor rowing lessons with Iva for about a year and developed a good rowing foundation. Needless to say, any of Iva’s rowing coaches has a high level of integrity and a strong eye for precision when it comes to rowing. Gary’s ability to evaluate and “dissect” my stroke into its strengths and weaknesses has developed me into a good and confident rower.
But technical proficiency is not the only thing that makes Gary such an extraordinary coach. It is his excitement about teaching and my accomplishments that is inspiring; it always brings me to do the best I can; effortlessly. There are times when Gary is truly more excited about my rowing than I am myself. His coaching philosophy is one that makes you feel safe. As with anything, learning something new comes with excitement, a sense of accomplishment and tons of frustration. It is during those less glamorous moments that Gary’s sublime coaching skills expose themselves. He has always held me with kindness during moments of frustration, madness, and when frustration has brought me to the edge of tears.
Whatever you experience is as a student, Gary is in tune with it delicately. It is the cocktail of his ability to allow a student to go through all the ups and downs, the safety he provides and the technical expertise he possesses that allows me to confidently recommend him to anybody who wishes to learn rowing.Marleen Wens