April 11, 2005

Daily Routine

Up to this point in time, I haven't mentioned anything specific about my training. That's been because, well, it's boring. There's not much to say about hours and hours going up and down a pool following a thin black line. That's one reason why swimming requires so much mental discipline: the sheer boredom of the sport. It's not that the scenery never changes; it's that there is no scenery to begin with. You can't talk, you barely have time to think, you can't breathe at will, and you're soaking wet. It's not a sport which lends itself to training montages in sports movies.

However, given that this is a training blog, I would be amiss to talk about my training. Perhaps the best way to explain how it feels is what happens after one of my four-hour, 16 km training sessions: I stagger out of the pool, stumble through the shower and then slowly and painfully drive myself home, every muscle in my hips, back and shoulders screaming. I eat a breakfast of cold oatmeal and fruit, along with some toast, and my hands and arms are so tired that I inevitably end up dropping the food several times. This morning, I had the added humiliation of my chair breaking under me due to several loose screws. I caught myself in time, but my oatmeal ended up scattered on the table. I was so hungry I scooped it up and ate it anyway. I sure as hell didn't want to go cook another batch.

One day a week I get to stay home and rest; the other days I get dressed and go to work, where I face class after class of young students who proceed to drive me crazy. Most of them are great kids; it's the few who are lazy or disobedient which drive you nuts. The worst are kids who are really smart and think they know better than you do. Putting up with them and patiently explaining why you do things a certain way would be exhausting on a normal day; when your hands are trembling from muscle fatigue, it tests you mentally and spiritually.

Their inexhaustable energy, however, is also a source of inspiration, and one of my classes in particular is a real joy to teach- not because they are particularly talented, but because the class is composed of kids who really try. One chap with a physical disability is a real fighter and I find it a real honour to work with someone who is so determined to overcome his physical limitations. He is fearless. The girls in the class are unfailingly polite and cheerful and enthusiastic, and the guys in the class help each other and really pull together. I look forward to my periods with them every week.

After school I stay back to finish my marking, work on my lesson plans and then stagger home to gulp down dinner, before collapsing in bed to get ready for another day.

Such is my life.

Posted by pj at April 11, 2005 03:21 PM

were u the guy that swam in the heats 8 of the Olympics along with Popov and the rest of the great swimmers? :)

Posted by: Darren at April 21, 2005 01:00 AM

Heh. Yes, that's me, but I didn't swim with Popov. I somehow was mis-seeded into heat 8 of the 200m butterfly with world champion and record holder Denis Pankratov, British champion James Hickman, New Zealand champion Danyon Loader, and many other luminaries. My greatest moment, all because of my time being entered incorrectly...

Posted by: PJ at April 21, 2005 12:35 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?