One of the things I miss about being in school is the anticipation of summer vacation.  My life in primary school and college was one of cycles—fall term, Christmas break, spring term, summer vacation.

There’s a satisfying restlessness at the end of the spring term when you’re waiting for summer vacation to begin.  By the end of said vacation, I was always ready for a fresh “back to work” start in September. 

Some people—teachers, parents of school children, accountants doing taxes—still have that semblance of rhythm to their working lives.  My work day doesn’t fundamentally change with the seasons—I do pretty much the same thing, day in and day out.  This isn’t a complaint, but I do miss the thrill of a new season.

That’s one of the things rowing gives me.  We spend the long, cold, dark winter inside practicing on rowing machines and doing strength training.  This keeps us moving, keeps us connected, and gets those of us who work from home most days out of the house.

I enjoy it, but it’s the tax paid for the outdoor season.  Starting in late March, we have a triumphant return to the water.  It’s cold, it’s damp, and the weather is usually miserable.

It’s wonderful.

Another thing I love about rowing is that we are at the mercy of the weather.  Too cold or too windy we stay in, no matter how much we may want to go out.  My days are filled with screens and schedules, so it’s nice to have an area where Mother Nature still asserts her will.

And she’s been rough on us this year.

For the first time since I started rowing six years ago, we weren’t able to go out on the water in March. 

For the last three weeks, we’ve been taking it day by day, with chances to go out that are thwarted at the last minute by wind.  We text one another, speculating on whether or not we’ll go out.

We’re chomping at the bit.

It’s a glorious torture.  Waiting for the turn of one season to another. 

A few rowers were able to get out this past week.

But my time is coming.

The technical term for an indoor rowing machine is an “erg.”  As my friend and fellow rower Chris likes to say, “Erging is exercise.  But out on the water?  That’s something else.”

Part exercise, part meditation, part communing with nature.  Frilly words but they work.

I can’t wait to be back out there.