For the second year in a row, members of Hamilton College's rowing teams are providing daily updates from the teams' spring trip. Nina Byers '16 and Caroline Walton '15 provides the eighth edition of this year's blog.

We have the morning off! Sunday's early hours were spent with a trip to hole-in-the-wall breakfast joint, IHOP. Conversations were rich with qualms and contemplations: "Why is there no ‘regular-flavored’ syrup?", "How can we determine if the pouring contraption is the most ergonomically sound?", "What type of voice would each flavor or syrup have?" Of course, this was related to rowing, "If we can never know the perfect form, how can we practice it?"

And I'm a bad blog post partner for going off writing this on my own. What has happened to society where it is socially acceptable -- at a table with friends -- for me to tap away at my phone while they sit there, lost in conversation?

Furthermore, what has happened to society where a small human can sit in the stern of a shell, playing with gadgets, haphazardly demanding and chastising every move I do? Who are you to tell me my roll-up needs to be quicker? I was just trying to be aerodynamic in the 11.25-mile row yesterday, Heather! Once again, this brings us back to our original conundrum, how do we know if the syrup pourers are correctly designed?!

As I was reaching for these pourers I noticed my hands are currently suffering from sun poisoning and ripping, which will clearly lead to premature wrinkling and aging. But what is premature? Nothing can really be happening prematurely because it's an "organic" process, free of anyone's control. However, if we can perfectly synchronize our organic form, then we obtain a more perfect synergy – or at least that's what Coach told me.

Midway through breakfast I thought to myself, "Is that lidocaine I smell?" Yes! It's on Caro's sunburnt hands. Does she feel pain from the burn? But what is 'pain?' Maybe it's the rush I get in my legs after several 2ks at full pressure, or it's the sensation I feel after I tap into an energy reserve I never knew I had. Jordan told us that mantra is key.

Anyway, lunch was conducive to personal experimentation as we got to create our own balance of beef, lettuce, jalepeño peppers, cheese and salsa in a tortilla. After a good nap to process the morning's ponderings, it was time for the practice – 12,000 meters of joy, laughter and strokes galOAR [ed. note: See what she did there?].

After the day's sweat and supposing, we knew that our time here in Tennessee is well spent. After all, when we question the quintessence of efficiency and existence, we found that the acquisition of perfection of these entities relies on a decision made by all of us every day.

Goodnight, Oak Ridge.

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