Monday, June 06, 2005


My stupid cough still hasn't left me. It seems okay when I am working out but it is when I am sitting still like now, that I can feel this slight contraction around my chest area, followed by an urge to cough. A chesty cough, is what they call it. Anyway it is quite irritating.

On Saturday I was stuck in traffic for about 40 minutes because of a five-vehicle accident on the Taipo strectch of the Tolo Harbour Road. It was pouring down with rain, making it even harder for the cops and ambulances to get their work done. As a result I was 45 minutes late for the swimming class. I stuck around afterwards and swam for another half hour. I worked pretty hard and even though I was knackered and feeling bloated from my period, I tried to keep moving. After one length of front crawl I did one length of breaststroke instead of stopping to catch my breath, as I usually do. And after that I would some backstroke instead of breaststroke, and did a length across instead when I was feeling really out of breath. I don't think that was a result of lack of fitness, more likely because I am still not used to the kind of breathing you do when you are doing lenghts of front crawl.

It was surprisingly cool yesterday so I went for a run up to Kadoorie, which I haven't done in a while. It started to rain around half way which was refreshing. I took around 1 hour 20 minutes as usual.

Just finished reading Lance Armstrong's first autobiography It's Not About the Bike. It's pretty amazing stuff. It stopped at the time when he'd won his second Tour de France after having survived cancer. The most interesting thing for me is not how he managed to beat cancer or recover so well or how strong an athelete he is etc. But about the tumors they found in his brain. Apparently those cancer cells were already dead even before he began his chemotherapy. Now why's that? There were no explanations in the book. I wonder if this is highly unusual when tumors in one part of the body dies inexplicably whilst those in other parts (in his lungs, in this case) were growing fiercely.

In the book there were pictures of him and his ex-wife Kik, and chapters about how they fell in love and how she'd stuck with him even when he was acting like an ass. And the ordeal she had to go through to have his baby (using his banked sperms and IVF).

And now, they are divorced and he is with Sheryl Crow. Or is it Crowe? I watched them both on Oprah. I'm sure I'm not the first to spot this but I think both his ex-wife and Crow(e) look a bit like his mum.

Anyway, about the book. It is quite a feat for the writer (not Armstrong himself obviously) to have to reconstruct a coherent story fitting a certain literary style based on what I assume would be taped recordings or bits and bobs of information provided by Armstrong. At times you can really feel the writer struggling to maintain a certain quality of writing and letting Armstrong's personality shine through. Well, maybe not "shine". Perhaps "seep" is more accurate.

What struck me the most is his apparent taste for pain. Riding up steep hills in horrendous conditions (sleet, hail) seems to be what really gets him going.

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