Good Stuff. Mostly.
Rowing (up to 357.4 hr, 7.6 hr to go)
Well, I’ve continued rowing and now as we near the end of the year, I’ve logged 357.4 hours of rowing. That’s time in the boat, off shore, alone. Time that is in many ways mine and mine alone.
As of 19:00 hours on Saturday the 21 of November 2015, I’ve got 7.6 hours of rowing to achieve by the end of the year and I’ll have 365. 365 days, 365 hours of rowing. And that is only a few days away and I will certainly keep rowing until the last day of the year.
It’s one of the few places I feel at home, at ease, even when I’m concerned about the conditions I would rather be there than anywhere else. Let’s restate that.
If the wind is high, the tide is going the wrong direction, or the right direction but too fast I’d rather be in my boat, rowing. If the wind and the tide and their respective directions are all wrong I would still rather be in the boat.
The only time the rowing is miserable is when it rains. It rains a lot in Vancouver. So even then there are gradations of miserable. A fall day, the earth still summer warm, and the heaven’s shower a light dampening of the dust is not miserable. But 6 degrees, a bitter north-east wind, and rain coming down at an angle. Is miserable. And still I row.
Not long ago I turned 60. ‘Oh, 60 is the new 40.’ Go to hell. At 40 my fingers didn’t cramp into hooks around the looms of my oars. 60 is sixty. The slow, steady decline is now well under way, its been gaining on me for 25 or 30 years, and I’ve probably got an easy 15, or a slightly more difficult 20, years to go.
My father died, dead, at 42. In 1975, when he would have been 45, I didn’t know anyone over 30. Relatives don’t count. His wife, my mother, said ‘he was always afraid of growing old, now he won’t have to.’ And for 27 years all I wanted to do was outlive him. I did. But when I hit 42 I had nothing to live for. It became one of the worst years (the period, not one single calendrical year) of my life.
My father would not have been rowing at 60. I am. And I’ll continue to row until I can’t.
So, to end, another 8 hours in the rowboat and I’ll have achieved something. It was never a target, something I set out to do last January 1, and I’ve never (not once) felt that I had to go rowing just, solely, to get those elusive hours in.
I like being on the water.