VOL.15 NO.7 JULY 2010
Have you ever felt out of breath walking up a flight of
stairs? As a lot of people do, I started to feel that way
shortly after attaining the age of 40.
I have been a swimmer all my life. I stopped swimming
competitively at the age of 30, having to prepare for my
FRCR examinations. As far as swimming sprint
distance is concerned, I peaked at the age of 23. By any
standard, it was not a very prominent peak at all, but
was rather unusual as most people peak much earlier.
Not possessing much scientific knowledge on sports
and fitness, I mistakenly believed that with a good
sports background, only ad hoc exercises would be
enough to maintain an age-defying level of fitness. I
was dead wrong. My typical exercise pattern was 1.5 -
2km swim every week or so.
During the SARS epidemic in 2003, all swimming pools
in Hong Kong were closed for a significant period of
time. It was long enough to bring out my crave for
exercise. Inspired by a childhood friend who once
represented Hong Kong in international athletic
meetings, I started to look for alternative forms of
exercise. I started to jog regularly. I suffered from
childhood asthma, which lingered on into adulthood. I
still have occasional wheeze. As a result, jogging is
something that I have never contemplated in doing. I
have always thought that jogging was a boring
monotonous sport. It has never been my cup of tea.
Having started jogging regularly, I began to like it.
Initially I set a goal of completing 4km, and when I felt
comfortable doing it, I lengthened it to 6km and so on.
After jogging regularly for a few months, I completed
my first Standard Chartered 10km. My time was slow,
but it did not matter. Completing the race, without
injuries, was most important. The atmosphere, the
cheering crowd and the enthusiasm of the volunteers
completely changed my view on jogging. From then on
my training was regular, regardless of heat, cold, rain
and wind. People around me wondered whet