David Lund grew up in Minnesota- attending St. Olaf College there before heading to Yale for graduate school in religious studies, which led to him serve as a hospital and military Chaplain, Pastor and Professor for 20 years. His internship was in (what was then still West) Berlin in 1987-1988, where he met his future wife Elizabeth from Seattle, and the two have been married for 30 years. They are both German and Norwegian speakers, after living in those countries for 9 years. He sings in a choir, and for 6 years was the President of Columbia Choirs. For the last 14 years he has been a registered representative and Wealth Advisor. Fast-forward to 2008 and their son, Alex, began rowing at Sammamish Rowing Association (SRA).
Alex was a sophomore whose soccer team had disbanded before his mother, who had rowed at Green Lake Crew in high school, suggested he give rowing a try. It was an amazing fit from day one. Lund recalled chaperoning the SRA junior rowers at the Brentwood Regatta. As he looked out at his son and his teammates, he couldn’t help but be amazed by the discipline and teamwork these teenagers demonstrated. A few weeks before the Brentwood Regatta, Lund received some news from his doctor that had stuck with him. He said, “I had been to the doctor and he had told me, ‘if your blood pressure doesn’t go down towards normal in six months you’re going to have to take medication.’ I had always been healthy previously in my life. I played rugby in college, cycled a lot around south Germany and Switzerland, and cross-country skied in Norway. I was sitting on the hillside of the Brentwood regatta, watching these kids do what they do at regattas, and I was blown away.”
Seeing the guidance provided by Sammamish coaches, Lund joined the evening team with Lee Henderson as coach. In 2010, he transitioned to the 5am team with Tom Woodman, as it simplified his schedule. When asked why he has stuck with SRA ever since Lund explained, “well I needed it. I didn’t see another option. I didn’t want to hire a personal trainer for years, and I wasn’t doing it on my own. I needed the structure, the discipline, and the accountability. I just needed it or I was going to be sick and die-- or at least that's how I felt. And I have always loved boats!”
In 2009-10, his first year of rowing, he lost 20 pounds, solely due to the increased activity. “The initial weight loss and health gain just came,” he said. In 2016, Lund was informed of continued heavy snoring, so he had a sleep test. The test revealed that he had moderately severe sleep apnea. He had another “Come to Jesus” moment when he talked to his sleep doctor. With 5 to 6 workouts a week, why was this happening? His doctor told him simply that since he was now in his 50’s, his metabolism had slowed, and even if he worked out 10 times a week, he wouldn’t lose another pound. The next issue to tackle was food.
Following this visit with the sleep doctor, Lund got serious about food. He started researching and found a nutrition coach. Lund is the kind of person who likes to get deeply invested and educated about the events, interests, and issues in his life. His new mission to have better nutrition was no exception. “Just being told to do something doesn’t work for me. I have to know why. Once I understand why, I’m like, ‘I’m in’,” he said. Nutrition coaching again brought up the themes of having teaching, discipline, and accountability. He also did his own study and read several books that changed his outlook on food. Some of his favorites are The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, Food Rules by Michael Pollan, Folks, This Ain’t Normal by Joel Salatin (watch Salatin's talks on YouTube), and Younger Next Year by Crowley and Lodge. For Lund, education is essential, and he wanted to understand more about how food works, where it comes from, and how it gets to his plate. These teachers that got Lund fired up cover topics from the physiology of aging, the disaster of modern food and farming practices, one man’s journey to make a complete dinner for guests with food locally sourced within 25 miles of his home, and simple, memorable food rules passed on down the generations from families and friends.
“From June 2016 to Thanksgiving, I shed 20% of my body weight,” Lund said. He had accomplished what he set out to do by understanding himself better and what he needed in order to be successful. For him that was a rowing coach to hold him accountable for workouts, a nutrition coach to guide him on making life-long changes, and personal study to back it all up.
David Lund has been a member of the SRA community for 11 years now. At first, structure and accountability brought him back to the boathouse, but now he finds that fun, community, and friends bring him back as well. He said, “Any voluntary organization has to have the right balance of challenge and fun. Of effort and community. Of competition and friendship. If it’s not challenging enough over time, you’ll quit. You’ll get bored. If it isn’t fun enough, it isn’t sustainable. SRA does a good job of maintaining these balances.”
His journey on and off the water helped transform his life. He added, “The world is so beautiful and amazing if you just turn off the TV and stop listening to the sensationalist media. So much cool stuff is going on in the world, but you won't find it if you don’t poke your head outside the door and get involved with your neighbors." Whether or not you are currently part of the SRA community, take Lund’s advice and poke your head out the door. You never know what beautiful and amazing things you’ll find or learn. Lastly, be sure to get a sleep test!