Swimming Lessons


I don’t like work functions. I work in a small firm, so over working time, I have had enough social talks with colleagues. When it comes to work functions, I have nothing to talk to them any more.

I missed out dinners for the last two end of financial years, so when the HR manager walked to me and asked me if I could make it this year, I slowly said yes although I really really didn’t want to go – it was a Thursday and I had to go to the gym that day.

Anyway I went there. It was in a Thai restaurant; the only thing I could eat was spring rolls – they ordered too much meat.  I met this guy who was the partner of my colleague and he was the fitness instructor in the gym. We had a good conversation about how to make friends in a new town, how does bee work, and the upcoming election ect. Then it came to his specialty – fitness, I told him I had done marathon four times. He was not surprised but asked me why not do a triathlon.

This is an interesting question. I have been thinking about triathlon for ages but I have never made any efforts to get it started. I am relatively okay with running and cycling but very bad at swimming. In an ideal situation, it can take me three hours to finish 800 m of swimming, so my imagination of triathlon aways stops here.

On that evening, I thought I might be quite motivated. That guy’s encouragement reminded my early days in preparing my first marathon. It was hard and boring but not mission impossible. I might be a bit older now, but I could still try something new. So I told him I would start training for my first triathlon.

Following his suggestion, the next day I went to the pool and enrolled in an 16 weeks’ swimming lesson starting from this Saturday. It is never too late to do something crazy I guess.

This is the next question, I have a pair of budgie smugglers but I might need new swim trunks to cover myself a bit more. Not sure!


Netball, first time.


There are two strange sports in Australia. First, boys love footy – it’s more like rugby, but they call it footy. Nobody in other countries like this sport, but Australians are crazy about. At certain time in the year the first question people ask you is about footy. Once I asked a friend about the pleasure to watch footy, he said it had more goals that real football so he could yell more. What a nonsense reason. Well I was forced to pick a team by my coworkers, and I haven’t decided. There are many Geelong supporters in the office but I think I may choose Hawthorn..

Another strange sport is called netball. I never heard of it before I came here but all Aussie girls know it and can play it well. When I lived on campus in university, there were many competitions between different halls and girls absolutely love it. I never went to watch any games but my impression was it was a girl’s game.

There is no other place more Australian than the country. If you don’t play netball or footy, you really can’t survive in Swan Hill. Nearly all the people in the office or their partners play for one local footy club, and netball season in town never stops. Interestingly here all netball teams are mixed, so boys got a chance to find their feminine side. I misses the first season early this year and my colleague invited me for this new season. Today was the first match.

My position was Wing Defence tonight, and my goal was to annoy the Wing Attack – that was just my understanding. The WA girl was fast but quite small compared to me so it was not so difficult to defend her. I was penalised quite a lot for the defence distance – 3 feet – that was too short for me but I think it keeps a reasonable distance and makes net ball quite safe to play. Lots of running after one hour play, but I think I may like it.

I look forward to next Monday.

Picking up my running.


I was very busy in the past few days, still learning lots of new things at work meanwhile I was trying to have some readings every day – starting from half an hour in the evening but it is really not easy to concentrate at home. I will commence my first Chartered Accountant unit in two months, and it will tough time for me then.


I ran three times last week, about 8k each time through a return route on the main road from my flat to the other side of the town. There is also a 10k trail near the NSW boarder to the golf course but there is no light. These days it’s getting dark so early and I don’t even have time for food after work before running for safety reason. One good thing is one colleague joined my run recently. He is a football player and when his wife and daughters went to his hometown, he would push me for a fast 10k run, which was quite good.

I also spent quite a lot of time on my garden, and I hope it will look nicer before winter comes. Last time during the conversation with mum, she asked me to grow some vegetables. I think is a good idea, and I will start with garlic chive, maybe. Actually I really like the orange tree in my neighbour’s yard, and I can get some with my hands though I shouldn’t.

I will talk to the gym manager later this week to get a deal. I really don’t like the gym but I don’t want to be stuck at home, as there is really nothing to do in cold winter. Hmmm winter is really coming.

My Race Number is 135.


I registered and got my confirmation mail with my race number, so Melbourne Marathon is going to be my first marathon in this October.

Still till the time I paid, I was wondering if I need to register a half marathon, but no, I chose the full one. Since I am quite confident to do a half even now, if there is still 4 months left, why not give me a target more challenging?
Melbourne Marathon is more like a festival, everyone can join, they don’t even have any requirements. On the enrolling form, I was asked the estimate time, I filled 7 hours, then they gave me a warning: you should familiarise the route by yourself. Okay I will.
So the next step is to keep training, I seriously downloaded a marathon app on my iPhone. And from next semester on, I will have to go outdoors, it seems everything will be as planned.
I called my previous colleague in China after I registered, she was the first one I knew to do regular marathon, and also the one who persuaded me to start trying. She was quite numb, maybe because she can’t join and lose the chance to humiliate me personally by finishing it 3 hours earlier. Her base is HK Marathon, that’s the one I’m interested too, hopefully one day I can race with her.
Need a reason for marathon? Very simple: if I can do something I never ever thought of before, then I’ll have the courage for everything else.