I don't count the cast on as a row, in large part because that's what I've learned from others here and the patterns I've done don't seem to count it as a row. Patterns I'm familiar with say to cast on and then do row 1.
Cheating is an option. . . . Cheaters never win and winners never cheat, but smart knitters who want to retain an iota of sanity do, cheerfully. ~~Kory Stamper