Welcome to my blog which focuses on my life in Taiwan.
(Photo: Cheng Ching Lake (澄清湖), Kaohsiung)
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
The Same Swim!
I pass these people every day on the way back from swimming. They are engaging in "normal" exercise - modern dancing. The Chinese are very good at doing things together, with everyone fitting in, and no one trying to be a "one person show". By contrast, I am just the opposite, swimming on my own, and trying to be better than others, if there is anything left in me to do that.
I ate about the same before leaving the house and started swimming at 6:13 am and reached 5,000 meters at 7:54 am, and then did a faster 100m in about 1m 35s on my own to finish at 5,100 meters. So what is there to write about? Two days in a row. I thought I would be more tired today. I was a little, but it did not affect my swimming. Today I also had more people in the lane to contend with, meaning that I had to frequently be looking out of the water. I even accidentally grabbed on to a lady's foot - she slowed down too quickly before the wall and, with me being a turtle, my reaction was too slow. Well, I did not get hit by her, so I guess she realized it was a mistake. The rest of the day today was uneventful, just getting on with work, having a short nap after lunch. Maybe you would consider my life very boring, and I guess it is. Not a lot of excitement, even at the swimming pool. I miss the swims at the (Kailua) pier, when on most days I could actually swim with someone. Chris would ask me to meet her in the mornings to swim, so she could have company in case we met a jellyfish or something bigger. And she could swim about the same speed as me, so it was easy to stay together. Tomorrow, I may not try to swim so much distance, but at least I will try to push it a bit more. I think part of the problem is that if I stop, say, to leave on a "send-off time", I will get more tangled up with the other swimmers. When I keep on swimming, at least they know what I am up to, and will usually accommodate me (which is probably sensible, as I am bigger than them). Today, I looked through some of my early blogs (around 6 weeks ago) and, apart from realizing that I have written a lot over the weeks, I can see some progression, not just in my swimming, but in how I do the blogs (i.e., in terms of the usage of photos, and the written content). From writing and reading others' blogs, I have learned a lot, and will continue to learn. I also had a big achievement two days ago in that 4 different people (excluding myself) wrote comments on that day's blog. That does mean a lot to me. When I started I more or less just assumed I was writing just to myself. In my training and work I mostly spend my time alone and so do not communicate much with people. In addition, most of the friends I had in Hawai'i and trained with are not the writing kind and not necessarily very computer savvy. So I especially thank you youngsters for your patience in reading and occasionally responding. O, for the good old days!
For those who want to do something more slowly, just across from the modern dance is the tai ch'i group. Joining them would be a good way to alleviate stress. Again everything is done together. I guess it is like a Kona Masters' workout with one person orchestrating and the rest following, only a lot less rushed.
I was born and grew up in the south-east of England, and as a child was a keen golfer. During my first year at university as an economics student, I became very drawn to Asian students and their respective countries. This led to further studies in the economics of developing countries and later the study of the Chinese language in Taiwan. In 1985 I married Hsiu-chin, and while we made Taiwan our home, we also lived for several years in Hawaii. It was there that I took up triathlon, completed the Hawaii Ironman in 2004 and took part in many smaller races. While I have gained much experience as a translator of Chinese, over the years I have developed a passion for other East Asian languages and cultures, including, but not limited to, Thai and Japanese, as well as other Chinese dialects. We currently reside in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, where I continue with language learning and triathlon training.