Monday, May 19, 2008

Rest, Sunshine and Carbohydrates


A fruit stand by the roadside in Kaohsiung - papayas, water melons, pineapples, and so on, not to mention bananas which are easily found just round the corner. Since many of these are locally grown, they tend to be seasonal, so for a while mangoes will be really cheap and then later expensive, and there will usually be at least one fruit that is currently in abundance. I think it is pineapples at the moment. (To see the fruits more clearly, please click on the picture).
I think the people who feel the most tired are the couch potatoes who watch a lot of sports on TV. The people they see on the box are super fit. However, when it comes to taking just a few steps to the fridge to get yet another snack they feel drained and exhausted. That is a little how I feel on my rest day. I read the news of Bree covering the Olympic distance in under two hours, and I wonder if I can successfully climb up three flights of stairs.
That is why I like training for swimming and/or other aspects of triathlon. I may not be fast, but I am accomplishing something in my own little world and generally feeling good about it, while at the same time occasionally racing with the best, like against Macca last year at the Honu 70.3. Rest is good and necessary. I will feel stronger tomorrow. I will also get more work done today, work that is going to put something in the bank, and lessen the stress I face in the struggles of living.
When things happen, like someone accomplishes something we never thought possible, or we just feel a little tired and a little out of sorts, we may wonder what our goals and purpose are in life. People are not always up, and after the excitement of something passes, they may go down for a bit. Close friends are a great source of support, but in addition I think the circumstances or environment we are in plays an important role. Sunshine is important, and I think that there are studies that have suggested that sunny days make people feel happier and more optimistic (which in turn raises stock prices!).
I am thankful that just about every day in my home town is a sunny day, so much so that I really wish it would rain. So I go off to swim bright and cheerful in the mornings. Fortunately, the pool is indoors. I would be absolutely fried if I had to swim all the time outdoors. My skin isn't the same at that of people who have grown up in the tropics.
I realize from looking at some of the blogs of my friends and their friends, that some people wish they were sitting on a tropical beach when instead they are having to wear a thick overcoat just to walk down to the local store or even seeing snow in May. Yet in many ways, these people have it all - they are beautiful, have wonderful families, then can afford the occasional vacation to an exotic destination, and can basically do whatever they want to do. Only, they cannot have almost continual sunshine as you have on the Kona coast or in Southern Taiwan. I may sound a bit extreme, and there are many "beautiful sunny days" even in the UK. However, my recollection is that most people complain about the weather there - nice sunny days are few and far between it seems.

As part of my effort to eat more but without going broke in the process, to increase my carbohydrate intake, I like to make potatoes and onions for which I use the microwave. Of course, I don't have to cook all my food myself, but few wives have time to make the number of meals that people who like to do a lot of training need each day.
Bananas are also good for carbs as are mangoes. The ginger on the top right is used in cooking. It is not my favorite, but is used a lot in Chinese cuisine, at least in our house.

6 comments:

LeAnn said...

Nice pic of the fruit. What is that pinkish fruit that is next to the grapes...Ive seen it before. It looks like it has a few leaves on them. Also, what is the price of piece of fruit in US dollars?

Bruce Stewart said...

I think the pinkish fruit is the "pitaya" of "Dragon fruit" (ドラゴンフルーツ in Japanese or 火龍果 in Chinese). Inside it should be white with black spots. I really like them. I guess I should buy some and eat. I'll find out more about prices. Currently bananas are about US$2 per kilo, which is a lot considering that there are tons of them in Taiwan.

Randy said...

Thanks for your great advice on Honu Bruce. I'll take all I can get. I just completed an 11 mile run today. My farthest so far. I'm hoping to get up to 15 miles this week.

Brooke Myers said...

Hi there Bruce, I love the picture of the fruit - looks so yummy!
I love your words on triathlon (it's not about how fast, but the accomplishment and in your own little world)...
I try to stick to something similar while training and racing (remembering to enjoy it and be aware of the accomplishment)...
And yes thank goodness for the friends we have...

Bruce Stewart said...

I bought one piece of dragon fruit (the pinkish fruit) today for about $1.25. It is about the size of my fist, but not very heavy. If Hsiu-chin had gone to the market and bought several of them, I expect she would pay about $1 each. I hope I can find how many carbs are in it.

Mel said...

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