Row How

Sara Stimac, co-owner of Firebrand Sports (500 NW 14th Ave, 503-715-5573), was so determined to open the first rowing studio in Portland that she created a crowdfunding campaign to fulfill the dream. She even rowed 10,000 meters per day on a water-resistance-based stationary rower in the Firebrand lobby to help grow her campaign from $7,000 to $10,000. Using that kind of muscle, she met her goal in two days. Come mid-December, Firebrand Sports will soft-launch its new rowing studio with a two-week event called “Row Ho Ho,” during which clients can try classes for free. On January 1, the studio— which is equipped with eight rowing machines—will open fully. The rowing workout adds a little more spice to Firebrand’s already spirited class offerings, which include Pyrolates, Bike+Barre, and FireBarre. “Rowing classes are intervalbased,” says Stimac. “As soon as you think you’re going to die on the rower, you switch to mat work. Participants get a full-body, low-impact workout that’s very effective.” —Ellee Thalheimer / Photo courtesy of Firebrand