Several years ago, my friend Elizabeth Burke and I rowed twice a week through the Seattle winter. We ventured out without fail as dawn was breaking - rowing two single shells or a double. We'd row from the Fremont Bridge to the Chittenden Locks and back, or maybe across Lake Union and on to Lake Washington. Sometimes we'd come back to our home at the Lake Washington Rowing Club and wipe the ice off our boats. But we always came back with an irrefutable sense of moral superiority! We'd done it again!

Rowing - particularly Rowing Through the Winter - provides a richness of metaphors...instructive in my life as a Family Physician and the Home Dialysis CarePartner for my profoundly ill husband, Steve Williams. Now that Steve is gone, rowing reminds me of consistency and focus - so critical during grieving. Rowing requires balance, as does my life.

Row with me this winter. Linda Gromko, MD

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Winter Rowing's Best Kept Secret: The Weather Window

For those of us who are doing Winter Rowing - on the water, there's an amazing phenomenon we notice on a regular basis:

Even when it's pouring on the way to the boathouse, there is a predictable window of good, calm weather between about 7 and 9 a.m.

The water is still, and the Republican Wind Gods are sleeping!

I don't know how many times we've noticed it, but it's predictable enough that it's definitely worth making the drive from Lake Forest Park - even when the rain is pelting down.

I know there are exceptions - like that Saturday before Christmas when gale force winds blew torrents of water over the dock, forcing everyone onto ergs.

But it's uncanny how often those of us do go out - neon green high-visibility wear, blow-up vests and all - are rewarded with some of the nicest conditions we get all year long.
This morning, for example, Kim and I took out the Hecate. Catherine, Elizabeth, and Sue each took singles. It was amazing. We all felt heartily rewarded for our efforts!

But don't tell, though. It's a secret.

Take care,
Linda Gromko, MD

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