Behind the Wheel with Sam, uberX driver-partner

Sam grew up in a beach town outside of Atlantic City in New Jersey. Every summer he’d spend his days at the beach, becoming quite the entrepreneur renting out beach chairs to tourists. Water had always been important to Sam—but it wasn’t until high school when he joined his high school crew team that it truly got a starring role in his life.

Today, Sam lives in Princeton, NJ, and is a coxswain for the US rowing team. At this point, he’s been rowing for 11 years total, 2.5 with the US team. He’s on the water nearly every day, practicing with his teammates.

Before he landed a spot on the US team, Sam was a coxswain on both the University of Washington and Cambridge University teams (both known to have very competitive rowing programs). At Cambridge, Sam got his Masters in Business and also scored the chance to compete in the high stakes Oxford vs. Cambridge race (he lost, but says it was still a great experience). After grad school, Sam joined the US rowing team.

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Sam and his team practice on Lake Carnegie, built by Andrew Carnegie for the Princeton University rowing team. Though Sam doesn’t suggest swimming in the water, he says it’s perfect for training.

With the team, he’s travelled the world, from Italy to France to China. In the winters, they escape to San Diego to practice in warmer weather. “We move around quite a bit. That’s why this Uber gig is great for me.”

“When I go to these competitions, I’m gone for 1-2 weeks. With Uber I don’t need to tell anyone—I can just go. I don’t think I could have a boss who tells me when I have to come into work—especially since I never know when practices are scheduled until the last minute.”

Sam’s favorite trip to date was his visit to China which was sponsored by the Chinese government for UW alumni. “Usually I don’t get to be a tourist when I travel. It’s all about rowing. But on this trip, we were treated as guests and got to explore.”

Not only is Sam traveling all the time, but his day-to-day regimen can be quite demanding. “Being a part of the team is basically the same as working a full-time job. It ends up being about 8 hours/day. So driving is an easy way to make extra money on my own schedule.” And it’s not just Sam driving on nights and weekends—2 others on his team also drive with Uber.

“Everyday my teammates [who also drive with Uber] and I talk about our recent Uber experiences and share stories about all the characters we meet. When you’re together and focused on rowing all the time, it’s nice to be able to break up the conversation.”

When we met with Sam a few weeks back, he was in the middle of his “slow-down’ period—less intense workouts and training, more time relaxing and resting. This is part of the typical training cycle leading up to a big race.

Though there are multiple World Championships over the course of the year, the biggest one only comes around every 4 years—the Olympics. Sam looks forward to hopefully competing in “the big one” in Rio de Janeiro. We wish him and his team all the best!

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Know a great Uber driver-partner we should meet and profile for Behind the Wheel With…? Let us know by sending a note to support@uber.com or reaching out on Twitter

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