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You're a boatie, son

If you can rise from bed when all around you
Are still in theirs, and think you've lost your mind;
Nor let their incredulity confound you,
But think that sleep's a lazy waste of time;
If you can train and not be tired by training;
If you can leave example sheets undone
To go on outings when it's cold and raining,
Or do those extra ergos just for fun;

If you can bump - and make the Bumps your master -
If you can stomp - and make the Stomp your aim;
If you love, above all else, to eat crew pasta,
And wear lycra in the street, yet feel no shame;
If you can bear to hear that sport you're choosing
Scoffed at by knaves, when no-one understands;
Or see the boat you gave your sweat for losing,
But grit your teeth and row with blistered hands;

If you can make a heap of all your money
And blow it on an oar, no thought of price;
Or buy some lard, and think it very funny,
And have it on your toast and find it nice;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so still row when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them "Go on".

If you hear the cheers of crowds, yet keep your virtue,
Or earn your blue, nor lose the common touch;
If neither weights nor land training can hurt you,
If hours on the river never seems too much;
If you can row and stake your life upon it
In wind and hail and snow, in rain and sun,
Yours is the Cam and everything that's on it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Boatie, son!

Rudyard Kipling

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