Sean Maloney’s Rowing Recovery

I met Sean Maloney in Beijing in 2008 during the Olympics. A fellow rower, he had just returned from a row down the course at Shunyi, something I was insanely jealous of as my colleague Alice Li hooked him up with a boat and permission. I didn’t get a chance to row in China, but the expression on Sean’s face as the conversation changed from business to rowing made up for it as he described the awesome feeling of rowing down the lanes where the world’s best would compete in a few days.

Viewed as one of the top talents in Intel’s executive ranks and the likely successor for the top job, Sean suffered a stroke in 2010. The doctors said he wouldn’t row again, so he got in a boat and proved them wrong, competing in the 2010 Head of the Charles.

This video is him telling the tale of rowing and his recovery. I have to say, one year later, he sculls better than I do and has a great finish.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

2 thoughts on “Sean Maloney’s Rowing Recovery”

  1. David,
    thanks for posting this video. As someone who had a stroke, I was put off by medical and journo professionals who were quick to write me off.
    My stroke meft me unable to write with my dominant left hand and with a serious case of left-side deficit, which causes me to trip a lot.
    But, like Sean, most of all my stroke left me intolerant of the words” He’ll never do (fill in the blank) again.
    My ass I won’t do this or that again. I still fish and I can still hike the nine miles up to my natal trout stream. AndI do it because I need to remain connected to things I enjoy and perceive to be essential to my core being.
    Sean Maloney’s story is something every doctor with stroke patients should see as part of their requisite Continuing Education requirements.Moreover, anyone who’s had a stroke should watch this video and understand that learning to live with after effects is huige part of stroke recovery.
    Mr. Maloney, you are a hero to me.
    Dave, thank you very much for posting this. It gave me hope and bolstered my confidence.
    Tight lines and big tunas!
    jim Forbes

  2. As a fellow Sean Maloney (not the Intel VP), and a former collegiate rower, I was particularly moved by Mr. Maloney’s story. I had always found rowing to be therapeutic as it is an endevor where you can choose to glide nearly effortlessy across calm water, or push yourself with great intensity all the way to your personal limit. All the while, you are alone with your thoughts and innermost feelings. Mustering every fiber of your being to work in concert with the oars, the boat and the water seems to provide me with the platform from which I’ve been inspired to strive to strengthen and heal the body, mind and soul.

    I’ve been away from the oars for a few years, but I can well understand how he was able to incorporate rowing into his recovery regimen. Having faced my own health issue with kidney failure not long ago, I can see where getting out on the water would help to motivate one to work past the negativity promoted by too many physicians on the prospect for full recovery. Thank you for posting this video and thank you to Mr. Maloney for sharing his words that I find so encouraging.

    Sean Maloney

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