Archive for February, 2008

The magic of Tylenol

A week of Tylenol did make the pain go away, rather quickly – my scenario was that I don’t use drug, so tiny bit would do well for me.  But the tenderness remained.  I still play badminton with my left hand, no tennis yet.  Swimming has increased, 2 or 3 times a week.  usually 60 laps: 40 straight, plus 10 back (happy that my backstroke is improving!) and 10 breast.  I’m happy with my endurance – thought it would take me a little while to get to 40 – but sad with timing: just can’t bring it down to under 20 minutes.  Sharks! 

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The story of the amphibian

I’d claim plausibly and at length that I was born in the year of Fish when I was asked about my 属 zodiac sign.  The problem is, the twelve animals showed up at the gathering were all terrestrials 🙂

Water sport has to be my most beloved activity, a life long pursue. And I much favor the distance 1,000m over 50m or 100m sprinting. After 20 (or 40 in the short course) or so laps in the pool, I feel so invigorated that I could take on the www, the whole wide world. No matter how many aces I dish out, nor how many love games I’ve won, or harmony camaraderie on court, tennis just doesn’t produce that type of feeling. Both my parents and my godparents loved swimming. My first lesson was in Kunming Lake 昆明湖 at Summer Palace when I was only 1 year old, breaststroke, of course. Dad was the drill sergeant out of the four. He demanded certain number of laps each time I hit the pool while others were just satisfied at the fact that I could demonstrate the basic survival skill in the water. Even 旱鸭子 Nainai would take me to the pool.

Although the public pools in Beijing were scarce, and water sometimes could be green (no kidding – once a kid drowned due to the fact the life guard couldn’t see through the dense green water..), but they were all 50 meters, the real standard Olympic size. There’s one near where I lived, and one at renda fu, my middle/high school. But we mostly went to the Summer Palace to swim and boat. I was really bad at sport in school, one semester even failed my physical ed: swimming didn’t count, and I hate to run/jump.

When I returned to Beijing starting 5th grade, I immediately met a good friend Dai Rui who’s on the swimming team. She didn’t have a swimmer’s built, but her dad was there to be her advocate, so she got on, with Wang Piaoshi – it happened that they both were breaststrokes. My free style and dive were all learned from her. We spent many afternoons at the Summer Palace, climbed onto the thin wooden bench in the middle of the lake and practiced dive. The water there was bearable, not as muddy as nowadays. I still remembered the muddy floor, very silky but eerily – from time to time there was a hard stem. My rating of the four strokes is butterfly, free, back and breast, in that order. When I got to Hong Kong, I still couldn’t swim free continuously. No matter how much I tried.

By the way, the tiny Hong Kong all pools are 50m, if you wondered. So one day I saw a gorgeous dress, had to have it. When I took it to the register, did I realize I omitted a zero. Embarrassingly, I told the clerk so. She gave me a meant look that showed plenty of whites of her eyes. But the store manager came over, said she’ll give me a discount and hold it for me for three days. When I gone to swimming afterward, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. So I said, IF I could do a 1,000m free without stop, then I’d reward myself with it. Motivation drives people, large or trivia. I did it and still have it in my closet now. Back then, for three months I didn’t buy a single new dress.

I never had any training nor did I take any lessons. After settled down in New York, aside from the shocking realization that Olympic Pool in American terminology is 25m, I happily resumed, and added half baked flip turns and backstroke. I did few years at a local masters swimming club, three early mornings a week before heading off to work. It was organized by Steve, a 6’5” tall with a solid built firefighter – submarine I nicknamed him. On the first day, he eyed me over from head to toe, and said, “get in, let me see ..” When I was too slow to jump in, he put down his coffee, picked me up like a hawk caught a hen, then threw me into the lane. Oh well. What I remembered of him over the years was (joking) that upon his entrance into the pool,
1, next room would be flooded, and
2, he’s already half way across the lane.

Sorry If I can’t get over the fact that the out sized Americans with out sized land and out sized wallets only build pool that’s half the length and called them Olympic size. And they pocket the most gold medals fair and square. Many of those athletes have to make living to support pursuing their dreams in the water, vs China or Russia where the athletes are well taken care of by the states. Or this was yerteryear’s info?
Over the years, I tried to learn the fly couple of times, for I just can’t erase image of Matt Biondi came rushing down the lane, so vivid, impressive and yes, very graceful. His long arms could scope up the world. The butterfly has to be the most elegant stroke of the four, breast being the least. Pumpkin’s back and free are great, but I consider her butterfly the most enchanting. When she was little, her waist didn’t have enough strength, so all I could see was her head up and down the water, like a little puppy about to drown lastingly.

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Two more hours of tennis.  I lost first two sets with Chai 6:4, 6:3 and was up 5:3 serving to close the set when pendulum struck 9.  I was never this glad that the time’s over.  Tired and painful, wishing I was in the jacuzzi even before I headed out the door, :).   Poor Chai did all the dirty work, Mark and Dr were nice enough not to hit too many shots my way.  Dr suggested that I take Tylenol, one each morning and one each evening – after meal he stressed; also extra strength (50 caplets cost $6.49, not too bad, thought would be like $9.99 or so.. guess the drug maker is giving the sick/ill a break?  The little caplet taste sweet.) – for a week.  Tylenol only, not Vioxx?  By now, I’ll do anything to get back my arm, even Vioxx or 老鼠药..

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Horrray, I played tennis today!!!  2 sets, 2 wins in the afternoon.  Hugh and I out played Simon/Sandy then Lou/Sandy.  How’s my right arm doing?  Did nothing and in pain throughout.  Hugh did all the serve – was that painful.  I can’t even hit a single forehand.  I started doing what Seles did, double handed fore and back hand.  I still have a one more match to go tonight.  And one on Friday.  Mark called me up, said, “how’s your arm?  Still in pain?  不会吧? I can’t play this Friday, can you go? ..”  As I was considering, he said, “your arm is fine, pls go ..”  Simon did the same, called me this afternoon, greeted my arm too, then said, “can you play?”  as I was seriously hesitating, “没事了 come play ..”  For the combination of ..

1. I can’t resist the callings any more,

2. not playing also hurts, and

3. eager to try my dreamed-up double handed forehand .. so I relent, willingly.  My hideous new form of forehand was so ugly to a degree that became entertaining, made them laugh so hard, they almost felt off the bench or fall to the ground.  The second part of this couplet is 身不由己 – involuntarily, go figure.

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The Bahamas Open 1992


The Bahamas Open 12-19 1992 was held at the Ocean club on Paradise Island.  The top ranking player was Aaron Krikstein who lost in the opening round.  A native, Mark, the handsome Knowles won both singles and doubles titles.  He currently ranks at 228 incimg3109.JPG the world.  The prize was $3,500 and $1,000 for singles and doubles respectively.  No ball boys, girls and linemen were served for doubles, the players had to call the shots themselves, only a chair empire was available.  Jimmy Connors was the Champ’74 here.

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The little Giants

The parade for Giants, can’t even get close to it, cops blocked the streets!  Thought you can enjoy a lunch in downtown then head to the parade … think again.  I bet the little Giants drew more warm bodies then the voting booth where people have the power to actually decide their next president.  I’ve long since understand this is a free market, a free country where an athlete makes a little more than the scientists or engineers .. .. :))

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Cinderella comes alive

YYYYYYYYYYYYYeeeeessss 17:14 Giants!  Cinderella comes true.   What an amazing game, exciting, awesome ..   oppps, I said that the Giants isn’t going to win super bowl with the current coach.. well, it’s the defense coach made it happened – ironically, Bill Belichick was THE defense coach when they won it Phil and Jeff.  They might not win it should Tiki hadn’t retired.  Did you see Eli got out of the pool of suckers??? ADN Tyree’s catch?  The American footballers are made with somethig else, not human.  No one in their right mind, can not only catch but also hold on to the ball in that position.  I’d curl up sensing about the hit .. New Yawkers … YYYYYYYYEeeeeeeeeeeeeesssssssssssssssss !! 

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Gone swimming

Finally, I made it to the pool 8am this morning!  OMG I still remember how to swim.  Everything looks the same, except the elevator is out of service.  When I left, there was an elder man on wheel chair trying to get down through the stairs.  I did 10 laps, without missing a single flip-turns but over 10 minutes: speed is gone so is my endurance.  Next 10 laps was mixed with breast with free and breast plus few pit stops.  When an annoying man joined the lane, I was about to start my last few laps.  He went ahead.  That’s fine, I didn’t have to work to hard to maintain the lead.  But after two laps, I caught up with him.  And again in another two laps.  So I told him to let me go.  He screamed, “then why didn’t you go?”  The lane is standard, if the swimmer isn’t considerate, it’s very hard for the one that’s behind to pass at the end.  So I gone ahead, swam hard, trying to maintain the lead.  It actually it’s great.   I ended up did straight 20 laps, caught up with him twice more.  I never thought I’d do 40 laps.  After that, I did another 10.  So 50 laps in total.  Wow … not bad for absent for so long .. SO Giants will win too, :-)

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Tail it is

So Giants won the coin toss and starts the super bowl .. I’m very nerves, hasn’t seen the Giants in Superbowl since Phil and Jeff .. another Cinderella story that the bench warmer clinched the trophy.  Now the baby face will do it!!!  Let’s go Giants ….  Let’s roll Giants ….

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