Day Forty Four: Eduardo’s Road To Fitness

People inspire other people.  I do not know who coined the phrase and I certainly do not know who coined the phrase ‘coined the phrase’ however what I do know is that I have met people that have inspired me.  I am not talking about public figure heads – people who wear Rolex watches and walk across the rapidly disappearing icecaps in Gore-Tex socks, dragging enough food to feed a small third world country behind them –  No, the people that have inspired me have been regular people.  People like you.  People that get corn stuck in their teeth, people that frequently burn the toast, people that do not race Alfa Romeo Maxi Yachts for a living.

One such chap was a leading research analyst, working at Bankers Trust in Hong Kong.  I was working as an in-house designer, doing my best to bring research reports to life, to make them exciting, to wake up fund managers from their daily stupor as soon as they laid eyes upon my work.

He wore a large smile with his dark grey suit and was liked by everyone from the tea lady to the managing director.  He had a great story to tell.  He had escaped from communist China by swimming across Mirs Bay into Hong Kong.

He told me that he taught himself to swim by digging a deep hole in the middle of a field.  He filled it with water and at then at night, under cover of darkness he would climb into the mini pool and tread water.  He did this almost every night for hours at a time.  He became very good at treading water but as he was to find out when he tried to swim across the bay, he was not very good at actually propelling himself through the water.

On night he decided he was ready for the swim.  He was to set off with some friends, who like him, were drawn by the bright lights and big city that was Hong Kong.  He had sewn some sacks together to serve as buoyancy aids.  Just as they were about to leave, a patrolling police unit spotted them.  They ran in the darkness and became separated in the process.

He dove into the water and blindly began to swim out into the darkness.  He spent all night swimming in fear of sharks, towards the faint glow across the bay, focussed on the lights upon the shore in Hong Kong.  He washed up upon Tai Long Wan beach in Sai Kung, and lay exhausted upon the sand. He never saw his friends again.

He managed to track down some long lost family, he went to school, studied hard and joined Bankers Trust as a senior research analyst.

What on earth has this all got to do with fitness? Treading water in a field at night? Long open water swims? No, none of these things. I was just thinking about what it takes to succeed and about the  phrase ‘If you really want something you can achieve it’.

And no, I have no idea who coined that one either.

Tomorrow I have a short recovery ride planned.  If the sun is shining I shall cycle along the waterfront past the marina before heading out to the indoor velodrome to watch some track racing.

I am looking forward to the start of the road race season and am glad I am not having to tread water in a field at night.  Think about that the next time you need a bit of motivation. I leave you with U2 and ‘It’s a Beautiful Day’ courtesy of YouTube.


1 Comment

  1. I loved this piece of writing. It is so true…there are too many people out there that really don’t get it……that the truly inspirational people are here amongst us. So many people have amazing stories.
    It isn’t the huge things that count …the small everyday things that lift our souls.
    It’s not what you gather but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived.

    Also the fact that we can achieve anything if we put our minds to it.


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