After my failed qualification attempt last month, I told myself that I would try again later in the month or February, but now God forbids me to do so. Since that week the weather has been consistently warm again that we now have returned to 16-24°C air temperature and 18-19°C sea temperature now. I have already found some people outside Hong Kong who are willing to take my September slot in case I decide to give up my Channel swim.
If I decide to give up my Channel swim this year, I will want to go to a working holiday in Sweden instead of going to the UK, and after a year, apply for the BNO visa to emigrate to the UK. However, after some research, I don’t have confidence in going to Sweden for a working holiday, because the visa processing time is long and uncertain that I don’t have confidence I can depart in May by the start of swimming season, the PN / CN mess, and the fact that the working holiday is only 1 year instead of 2 years in the UK that it will be difficult to find a contract software developer position, as most of these positions are 1 year long. Combined with the language barrier and cultural differences, I really don’t have confidence in myself. If I head directly to the UK instead, there are no language barrier and no cultural difference.
The choice between UK and Sweden is a binary choice. If I go to the UK this year, I won’t make the call to give up my Channel swim as long as possible. This is a feedback loop. If I want to go to Sweden I will find all possible reasons NOT to swim the Channel; if I want to go to the UK I will try to make it as long as I have the slightest chance to make it. If I want to swim the Channel I will find all possible reasons to go to the UK instead of Sweden; if I want to give up I will find all possible reasons to go to Sweden instead of the UK.
I’m thinking the reasons to go or not to go to Sweden, or to swim or not to swim the Channel this year. The working holiday is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, while although the Channel is always there, if I don’t try it this year everything I have done up till now will become a waste and it may be another 5 years or even a decade before I can try it again.
My primary criteria to decide if I continue to do my Channel swim this year will be if I can make my qualification, and my Cold Half result this year. If I can try my qualification again before the end of winter, I will be in a better position to know if I am really ready or not. By doing the Cold Half again, I will see if I have significant speed improvement over last year. However, God now forbids me to do the qualification again, so Cold Half has become the remaining criterion available to me before I leave Hong Kong. According to the current weather forecast, the race day will be a calm warm day like last year. That means I can try to make PB on that day, but it won’t serve as any useful training for the Channel.
I am now in the taper stage of my training now. I will have an update after the race, but sadly now nothing can help me to build confidence to swim the Channel.