Welcome to my blog which focuses on my life in Taiwan.
(Photo: Cheng Ching Lake (澄清湖), Kaohsiung)
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Shorter Swimming Week: 21,150 meters
If you look at this picture carefully, you will notice that many of the lilies are two or three feet about the surface of the water. How is this possible? Well, with the heavy rains this last week, the authorities released some of the water from the lake as a precaution against flooding. With the pool closed tomorrow (Sunday) for the Dragon Boat Festival and Monday, too (as usual), I only had a five-day swimming week. Since my shoulder had been sore last week, I cut back on my distances, and today only swam 5,500 meters. About 2,000m of that was fairly fast paced (including several 100s and a couple of 200s), which had me huffing and puffing at times, and while I was aerobic most of the rest of the time, I did throw in a few hard 50s for good measure. Both 200s were 3m 18s each, about equal to my best so far here, but I had hoped to do slightly better. At the end of the workout, I did feel a little tired. I wonder if I am reaching a kind of plateau where I will forever remain at about this level (with a lot of practice of course). One thing I am trying to do, in the absence of a lot of people to push me, is to use weights a bit more at home. Hopefully, if I get a bit stronger, I will be able to power my way through the water more. It is good reading the blogs and finding out about the great things that other people are accomplishing, like record-breaking Ironmans, swimming at the North Pole, three non-stop English Channel crossings, etc. , and it makes me wonder what I am really aiming at. At least it is good to think about it, for without aiming at anything, one doesn't achieve anything. Certainly, I am less worried about my shoulders after the last week, even though I pushed fairly hard at times in the pool. However, I will still need to take care, and as it is frequently said 'listen to your body'. I have also been trying to change the layout of my blog, and in some respects have been successful (like widening the columns and not wasting so much space), and others not, so while I am trying to figure it all out, my blog may look a little out of whack. Anyway, it is important to try to keep up with changes in technology. Sometimes I post things in Chinese, but typing the characters takes me quite a lot of time, so if I feel tired and it is late, I'll just write in English for now. However, I do want to persevere with the Chinese, since more people in the world speak Chinese than English (as their first language anyway). Tomorrow I intend to bike across town to get some pics of the dragon boat race.
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.