Knowing Who You Are

When there’s not a trace of courage left, but you know you need to push on…

We all get plagued by doubts – unsure of our physical, emotional or intellectual capabilities. Whether we choose to succumb to obstacles or surpass them is up to us. And when we dig deep into those recesses and find those little traces of hope, do we learn who we truly are and what we can do. Here’s a poem from Robert Service that featured in a book I was reading. The topic in particular was swimming, but these lines hold true for life in general – not just sports.

When you’re lost in the Wild, and you’re scared as a child,
And Death looks you bang in the eye,
And you’re sore as a boil, it’s according to Hoyle
To cock your revolver and…die.
But the Code of a Man says: ‘Fight all you can,’
And self-dissolution is barred.
In hunger and woe, oh, it’s easy to blow…
It’s the hell-served-for-breakfast that’s hard.
‘You’re sick of the game!’ Well, now that’s a shame.
You’re young and you’re brave and you’re bright.
‘You’ve had a raw deal!’ I know – but don’t squeal,
Buck up, do your damnedest, and fight.
It’s the plugging away that will win you the day,
So don’t be a piker, old pard!
Just draw on your grit; it’s so easy to quit.
It’s the keeping-your-chin-up that’s hard.
It’s easy to cry that you’re beaten – and die;
It’s easy to crawfish and crawl;
But to fight and to fight when hope’s out of sight –
Why that’s the best game of them all!
And though you come out of each gruelling bout
All broken and beaten and scarred,
Just have one more try – it’s dead easy to die,
It’s the keeping-on-living that’s hard.

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