As the last season of COVID restrictions took away the opportunity for me to do any pool training in Hong Kong, apart from the month of November, I was so stressed that it affected my well-being and I had to visit a psychologist. The measures I took to manage it including suspending training, limiting my time thinking and working about it, etc. I once considered giving up but I judged my situation was not as bad as to the point of giving up, and the restrictions lasted until it was too late to stop my plan going to the UK in case I gave up.
I chatted with the people in the UK about my situation, the inability to train under COVID restrictions, and how I should catch up after I get to the UK, but they became fed up. They told me to go to Dover on weekends even I stated I would like to live in a London suburb, about 2 1/4 hour drive from Dover. I thought it is unrealistic to spend 9 hours every weekend in a car travelling between London and Dover whereas Brighton is much nearer and has a much better seafront. They also suggested Bournemouth as another training place as well but it’s even further from London, however it’s my second choice to base myself because there are job opportunities there unlike Dover, where there are none.
I told them about my Channel training plan written in 2019, which include a season of pool training and doing 21.5 km race in August 2020, another season of pool training and doing a rehearsal swim in February 2021, and getting to the UK and do further acclimation there. When I couldn’t do any pool training due to COVID closure I told them I was thinking if I should skip the acclimation work to give time to catch up my pool training. They told me my so-called “plan” was rubbish because I am not experienced, and instead I should just go down to Dover (or Bournemouth) and do what they tell me to do.
I felt I was on the verge of pissing up the people in the UK and I was left with 2 choices. 1 is to throw away all my plan, go down to Bournemouth, and do what they tell me to do. 2 is to ignore them from now and stick to my plan rigidly, and do the acclimation work I planned in Brighton. As I couldn’t make my choice myself, I asked the person who I totally trust, Simon Holliday, without a further question asked. He told me to do 1. Well, it really means all my training for my Channel swim this year was wrong and rubbish. I will stop writing anything about my training from now because I won’t be doing that anymore. I will not chat with anyone, except Simon, about my preparation on my Channel swim anymore besides the fact that I’m doing what the Bournemouth group tells me to do. I will still post my life in the UK, my orienteering competitions, my non-channel swims, etc., as well but don’t expect anything about my Channel swim anymore here until I have my attempt. Here is the end of the series.