New Rochelle resident Roger Kahn is not the elegiac sportswriter who penned “The Boys of Summer,” though when he graduated from college and moved to New York City, he did get phone calls from ballplayers looking to reconnect with the author.
This Roger Kahn is also a baseball fan (New York Yankees) and enjoys watching college hoops and lacrosse.
But his real connection to sports is swimming, something he’s been doing since age 3 and which he continues to do in the U.S. Masters Swimming program for adults 21 and over. Kahn was named an All-American after earning the No. 1 ranking in the 200-meter short course medley relay for men ages 50 to 60. He also holds the No. 3 national and international ranking in the 200-meter long course medley relay for men ages 60 to 70. And he’s now preparing for the U.S. Masters Swimming Summer National Championship, a long course event that takes place Aug. 13 through 17 at the University of Maryland in College Park.
That’s Kahn’s avocation. By day, he runs Champion Office Suites in Garden City on Long Island, where he’s from. It’s a virtual office with six employees who answer the phones for various companies that contract with Kahn. He also rents space and provides office services to people like trial lawyers who have need of an occasional workplace. Kahn’s corporate clients include Westchester, New York City and Long Island businesses as well as European companies that want an American presence.
Prior to that, he was in commercial real estate in Manhattan and commercial insurance.
“I think the smaller-scale, entrepreneurial bug was always there,” he says at the JCC of Mid-Westchester in New Rochelle, where he swims and is on the board. “I was always interested in having my own thing.”
Kahn’s had his own thing now for 10½ years. He describes his company’s progress as “decent, steady growth.”
The same might describe his swimming, which he did competitively throughout his education (University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School). A summer at an Olympic training camp led to a shoulder injury. Kahn, a modest, honest man, says that although he might’ve had a shot at the Olympic Trials, he would have never made the Olympic team.
“It’s a totally different level,” he says. “And you have to put a lot on the line to accomplish that dream.”
To meet his own goals – his specialty is the 50-meter butterfly and 50-meter freestyle – Kahn swims four one-hour sessions a week at the JCC. He also does a 1/2-hour dryland workout, which includes using a Vasa trainer, an inclined bench with pulleys that enables you to mimic swimming strokes; jumping rope; and doing push-ups and calisthenics. Kahn also trains with TRX Suspension cables, developed by the Navy SEALs, for greater strength, flexibility, balance and core stability.
He sees a definite correlation between business and swimming.
“You have to stay focused and have the ability to balance and juggle your priorities.” Both business and sports, he adds, also require you to make a commitment, adapt to change, cope with stress, be self-confident, listen to others and value teamwork.
In other ways, however, swimming (physical, experiential) is not the business world (sedentary and increasingly virtual).
“I enjoy what I do for a living,” Kahn says, “and so it’s easy to keep working without a break. Swimming clears your mind and gives you balance. I get in the pool and I find it takes me to a whole other world.”
For more on Champion Office Suites, visit virtualofficeny.com.