It's a way to work out, keep in shape, and socialize. An East Tennessee rowing team sports a friendly yet competitive spirit.
"We are the Oak Ridge Ladies. We are the Oak Ridge Ladies," Patty Wilson said.
The Oak Ridge Ladies enjoy the serenity of Melton Hill Lake.
"Just being on the water. It's just spiritual," Joan Lane added.
Patty Wilson started rowing almost 30 years ago. When she moved to Oak Ridge, she needed someone to row with.
She said, "I grabbed anybody that wanted to and sat them in the seat and taught them how to row in ten minutes. It's really easy it's not very hard and it just happened to be older ladies."
Patty is 69.
The senior member of the team is Joan Lane.
"In rowing age I'm 78 because they count you a year ahead," she said.
Joan started rowing when she retired more than 10 years ago
"They threw me in a boat because we didn't really have the lessons back then but they were very patient with me," she said.
Patty said, "You don't go a hundred miles an hour when you first start because you don't know how. But as you learn you go faster and faster and we kind of spur each other on and that competitiveness comes out a little."
The team has won medals at competitions across the country.
"We are so old that our handicap is awesome. So we're out there laughing and winning," Patty explained with a laugh.
Joan said, "It's a sport where you use your whole body. It's really more of a leg sport than an arm sport which is surprising to some people. And it doesn't have a high impact so a lot of people who run can go to rowing after they get a little knee problem and stuff."
Staying physically fit is almost an afterthought.
"Rowing has helped a lot, a lot. Yes. I get shoulders from rowing," Joan said.
Patty summed it up. "Rowing is a disease and once you catch it you can't help it you have to do it."
Joan has definitely caught it.
"I love being on the water and that's maybe number one. I like the social life that I have. I like the fact that I found an activity to do and it makes me happy," she said.
That happy attitude is part of the team's success.
It's easy for them to get along and get their oars in the water at the same time as the glide smoothly across the water and practice for the next competition.
"You can hardly believe that once you get eight oars hitting the water all at the same time that boat goes so fast you won't believe it. I mean it's whoosh whoa! It's too cool," Patty said.
The Oak Ridge Ladies are pretty cool too.