Good Sports: Fresno woman gains international recognition with indoor rowing

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- About 10 years ago, Morgan McGrath took a closer look at her life. She had been slowly gaining weight since high school and was living an unhealthy lifestyle

"At my highest recorded weight, I was 425," she said. "I very well could've been higher than that at one point."

After years of dealing with health issues brought on by her gradual weight gain, Morgan decided to take action and signed up for bariatric surgery.

"Losing weight for the first two years actually came off easy," she said.

Following the weight-loss surgery, Morgan quickly shed 200 pounds but she still needed something to stay motivated and to keep the weight off.

That's when she discovered the indoor rowing machine.

"Rowing is one of the best cardio workouts you can have," she said. "It utilizes about 86% of the muscles in your body."

Not only did Morgan learn how effective indoor rowing is for a full-body exercise, she soon discovered she was good at it. In fact, she was world-class.

"Towards the end of 2016, my trainer said, 'Hey, your numbers are really good. Let's put them on this website against other people around the country and around the world.' I put my numbers in and I was world ranked. I was something like 10th or 13th in the world, so that just really sparked my interest," she said.

Morgan soon began rowing competitively while making a name for herself on the international circuit -- taking home countless medals and even some world records

"I did the World Games in 2017 in Poland and I did World Urban Games in 2019 in Budapest," she said.

Morgan is in the gym seven days a week -- sometimes twice a day.

Her trainer, Paul Watson, calls Morgan an inspiration.

"She's definitely trained, excelled and worked hard," he said. "When you have consistency and strong work ethic, great things happen. If you have great training with it, she's done extraordinary."

Morgan continues to put the time in but credits the weight-loss surgery for "pulling" her into a healthy lifestyle.

"Maybe it's not the right solution for everybody, but I definitely want to see people change their mindset about it because it just is an incredibly powerful tool," she said.

Just as Morgan hopes rowing will always be a part of her life, she currently holds ten world records in the SkiErg machine.
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