Thursday, November 6, 2008

新的泳帽 A New Swim Cap

新的泳帽 A New Swim Cap (Aquatic Edge)

我最近開始戴一頂新的泳帽。雖然只是一頂很便宜的帽子,但是對我來說,是一頂很寶貴以及有特別意義的泳帽。那就是我在夏威夷的游泳教練跟一個關於自由式的光碟片所寄給我的泳帽。能夠跟一位那麼傑出游泳教練學習是一個榮譽。在「師說」那片文章裡,韓愈強調:「古之學者必有師。師者,所以傳道、受業、解惑也」,意思就是說:「古代求學問的人一定有老師。老師是傳習道術、教授學業、解釋疑惑的人。」我雖然半年以上天天在游泳池好好地游泳,但是有不少的「疑惑」。想去找老師修正我的姿勢還是會讓我有一點不好意思,好像跟韓愈所寫的「今之眾人,其下聖人也亦遠矣,而恥學於師」一模一樣了。可是,連孔夫子有很多的老師:「孔子曰:「三人行,必有我師」 (意思就是說當三個人一起走,裡頭一定有一位是孔子的老師)。假如歷史上「至聖先師」有老師,我們一般的百姓為什麼沒有老師?沒有老師,我們做事情就「事倍功半」,有好的老師,而「事半功倍」。

I have recently started wearing a new swim cap. Although it is just a cheap item, to me it is something that is very precious and has special meaning. It is a swim cap that my swim coach from Hawai’i sent me together with a DVD on freestyle swimming. To be able to learn with such an outstanding swim coach is indeed a great privilege. In his famous treatise on teachers, the T’ang dynasty writer Han Yu emphasizes: “In olden times, those who sought to learn all had teachers. As these teachers taught moral principles and skills, they were able to explain and resolve the doubts that people faced.” Although I have been swimming at the pool almost every day for the last six months or more, I still have many “doubts” about my swimming skills and technique. When I think of seeking out a swim coach to improve my swimming technique, I still feel a little embarrassed. It is just like what Han Yu wrote when he said: “Most people these days are so far removed from the sages of the past, yet they feel it is a shame to study with a teacher. However, even Confucius himself had many teachers: “Confucius said: “When three people walk together, there will always be my teacher among them.” If history’s “most venerable of teachers” had teachers, then why do we ordinary folk not have teachers? When we do not have teachers, we only get half the results with twice the effort. However, when we have good teachers, we get twice the results with half the effort.

我的游泳教練 Karlyn Pipes-Neilsen (Photo courtesy of

自由式的光碟片 Freestyle Swimming DVD (Available from Aquatic Edge)


ShirleyPerly said...

Perhaps it's easier for someone who is new to swimming to seek out an instructor but it seems that even many top swimmers these days are still working with coaches and instructors to improve their stroke. Perhaps it's just a matter of finding the right instructor and/or being willing to make changes to improve. Many people are very set in their ways and reluctant to go through the uncomfortable phase of learning something new or feeling like a beginner again. When training in karate, I alway had the most respect for a black belt from another school/style who was willing to don a white belt when beginning to train at our dojo. He/she had emptied the cup in order for it to be filled again.

Nice new cap!

Eileen Swanson said...

Cool on the new coach! You left a funny comment on my post....I worked with Paul (who also coaches Bree) all season and it just didnt work. So, no to your question, he is not my coach anymore.

Talk soon,

BreeWee said...

Way to keep some fun in the swimming... a new cap means a lot!

Hey, I just wanted to thank you for being such a great friend all season (even though you moved SO FAR away). I appreciate all your support and encouragement and even your honest thoughts...

You are super.
All the best to you and your family right now!