Timur Rakhimov with permission for Varsity

Every friendship group has a rower. They gave it a go in Freshers’ Week, enjoyed the first term just enough to give it another go, and before you could say “Lent Bumps” they have calloused hands, spent half their student loan on stash and are neglecting both their friendships and their degree. But, for the uninitiated who are constantly forced to listen, it is often hard to know exactly what they are talking about half the time. Fear not, for we have put together a handy glossary of terms to enable you, the normal student, to understand what rowers really go on about.

‘I did a bit of training over the holidays’ = I did two sessions a day and sweated buckets in a gym that resembled a greenhouse in an ultimately futile effort to make it into my college’s second boat.

‘Look at my hands’ = I’m so sexy and strong and I do more sport than you and I need you to tell me how big I am.

‘You have to take it seriously, otherwise it’s not fun’ = I take it so seriously that I act as a mood hoover for my teammates, sucking up all good vibes. Bumps are my Olympics, and you won’t take this away from me.

‘I’ve done a bit of coaching’ = I once cycled alongside my college’s third boat while aggressively shouting basic advice at people just here for a good time.

‘Sorry, I’ve got an outing in the morning’ = I have a crippling fear of social interaction and the idea of spending my night anywhere other than in my bed (fully dressed in rowing gear) and awaiting my 6am alarm is frankly terrifying.

‘My theory on rowing is that … ’ = I will now bore you to tears as I put forward my half-baked ideas that stand up to no scrutiny and would be disproved by anyone with even basic rowing knowledge. A normal person, however, is unable to disprove them.

‘I row for Caius/Maggie’ = I am a [insert expletive here].

‘The socials are the best’ = This is my only chance to talk about rowing in the comparative safe space of other rowers. For some reason, I keep being sat towards the end of the table, and everyone swaps places every 15 minutes to sit next to me before swapping with someone else. I’m not sure why this is, maybe I should talk to one of the social secretaries about it.

‘I reckon I could find someone at Boatie Mash’ = Rowing consumes my life to the extent that my only chance of getting with someone is if they display the exact same personality traits as me.

‘I actually really enjoy the rowing machine’ = I recently went through an incredibly toxic break-up and the pain of spending hours repeating the same motion over and over alleviates my shattered heart. That, or I am a David Goggins enthusiast.


Mountain View

Blues vs Blues: Varsity matches and more this Lent term

‘I reckon we could do quite well ’ = We went quite fast in one 500m practice start (with a tailwind and two top boat rowers subbing in) and now have an unnecessary amount of faith in our speed.

‘I’m a cox’ = Short man syndrome turned into a profession. I have managed to turn my rage at the world due lack of height into anger at eight wet, cold souls on a frigid January morning.

‘I’m a little hungry’ = I could devour a small child with no second thoughts.

‘I’m thinking of giving up next term’ = See you in a few weeks (I can’t escape, help!).