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Manna Rowing: Holistic health training comes to the South Bay

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by Alexa Stevens

Tyler Reutgen and Jay Dee Morgan brought rowing to the South Bay earlier this year with the creation of the Hermosa Beach location of Manna Rowing.

Reutgen and Morgan share a passion for rowing, and their friendship was brought about by a rowing machine. Reutgen was looking for a rowing machine — or “erg,” as rowers call it — when he found Morgan’s erg listing on Craigslist. Reutgen contacted Morgan for the erg, and they began talking about Reutgen becoming a Manna coach. He became certified and infatuated with the sport. Both are confident that the program they have created will instill this same lasting love for the sport in their clients.

Reutgen, who helped Morgan bring about the South Bay location and is now an instructor and Youth Program Director, said he hopes “to get more kids to realize the opportunities that rowing can provide.”

Youth program member Joe Hempelmann is a senior at Angeles Workshop School in Culver City.. Hempelmann likes rowing, he said, because rowers are less likely to “break something, hurt something, or be unable to [row] as [they] get older” than other athletes, due to the low-impact nature of the sport.

Youths like Hempelmann who try Manna seem to share with their instructors a passion for rowing. The challenge lies in getting people to take a class. Reutgen has been visiting PE classes at local schools. He believes that young rowers can receive college scholarships through a successful rowing career, and he hopes Manna can initiate such careers.

As for the adult side of the program, Morgan hopes clients will “have an overall holistic health about everything, and make it their lifestyle to live a healthy, happy life.”

He plans to achieve this goal by creating an environment encouraging rowers to show up on time and to push each other to their unknowns.

Reutgen and Morgan hope the program will someday have a home on the water, either through affiliation with a preexisting on-the-water club, or the foundation of a permanent harbor-adjacent location.

Manna Rowing classes are offered at the Hermosa Beach Community Center, 720 Pier Ave., Hermosa Beach. For more information visit MannaRowing.com.

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