Welcome to my blog which focuses on my life in Taiwan.
(Photo: Cheng Ching Lake (澄清湖), Kaohsiung)
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Torturous Training Needed?
Part of one of Hsiu-Chin's paintings, painted using the acrylic medium while in Hawai'i.
This morning I finished off my swim training for this last week, adding 4,700 meters to bring my total for the week up to 26,150 meters. Add the 26, 750 the previous week, and that makes a total of 52,900 in the last two weeks.
However, I did not find the training particularly difficult. I only had to make sure I got up in the morning and got down the pool, and I kind of went as I felt, rather than being tied to some rigid workout. This morning at the end of the main workout and after I had a several minutes' rest (including in the jacuzzi), I raced my friend over 200m and one of the lifeguards timed us. My friend must have been a bit tired today and was not his normal speedy self, but I went 3m o7s, for the second day running. So at least yesterday's swim was no fluke. Today I felt the swim was smoother and the turns better, which probably meant that I put in slightly more effort yesterday. I have not felt any discomfort today.
So at this point I ask myself the question: in order to get better, do I need to engage in torturous training sessions? I am constantly reading about people whose arms are about to drop off, or who are doing sets on wild send offs, or suffering a lot of discomfort from various kicking drills. So I don't know. I will have to see what is necessary to get this swim time down to 3 minutes.
A couple of days ago, our elder son came back from teaching an English class to a third grader. As he prepared the lesson, he learned the meaning of some fairly basic English words for the first time. He said to us that he was glad he was getting a chance to learn what children in English-speaking countries learn when they learn English in school. He did all of his elementary school studies in Chinese. What was even better, was that he was also being paid to learn things related to the English language that he missed when growing up.
Today at our church, the theme of the message was Father's Day. In the US, this is in June (I always remember because I did the Peaman biathlon race on Father's Day). However, in Taiwan, it is on August 8th, as 8-8 is pronounced "pa-pa". Our sons were away for the weekend. I must admit the whole idea of Father's Day is a difficult thing for me. Rather than write a lot of what will appear very negative, let me just say that we can't change the past and what the past generations did, but we can control the present, and hopefully, while we are by no means perfect, we can have a positive influence on our own children. Our pastor at church (who grew up in the US), says he believes we live in a fatherless generation. Particularly in the last ten years or so, I have heard enough sad stories to realize that there is some truth in such a statement.
Tomorrow morning Hsiu-chin and I have to take the bullet train up to Taipei to hopefully finalize the transfer of our old apartment to new owners. We recently bought a new camera, too, and are trying it out. It is small enough to carry when on a run, so if I do any longish runs, I may take a few pics, too.
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.