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

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sculling on Steroids: The Octet Brings in the New Year!

When I showed up for the club-wide row on New Year's Day, Barb asked me, "Wanna row in the octet?"

OMG - Wanna row in the octet? Wanna keep breathing air? You bet!

The octet is an eight - but rigged like a sculling boat. Each rower rows with two oars. With eight people rowing and sixteen oars, you can really move!

The LWRC New Year's Day Octet heads from Lake Washington
towards the Montlake Bridge.

Other rowers on Lake Union paused to take in this visual oddity: even with a stroke rate in the low twenties, we were at "ramming speed!"

One of the rowers said that it was like sculling on steroids. We certainly had more power, though nobody wanted to test our urine.

Rowers Bev, Margaret, Nelson, John, Jim, Don, Linda and Barb pose at a break.
Photos by Coxswain/LWRC Captain Howard Lee
What a great day: calm water, no rain, no wind. Last year's New Year's Day Row had us crunching through ice in the water near the UW boathouse.

Back at the LWRC Boathouse, Bev led us in singing "Happy Birthday." It is, after all, our "rowing birthday" with each of us advancing a year on every January lst.

Happy New Year to all!
Take care,
Linda Gromko, MD

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