The year is coming to the end and it’s time to refer back to what I wrote at the beginning of the year, to see what I have done and what I have failed in this year.
This year is, again, another disaster as I have failed so many things, including my job and my marathon swim. The failures are now affecting me so much that I can no longer get on with my life.
My achievements in career, swimming and orienteering
I originally hoped to gain experience in the transport industry through my job at Passenger, but I failed the probation. Later in the year I got an interview for a job at Network Rail but I failed it as well. I have decided to give up and put my career aside, as my failure in swimming is haunting me.
I raced the regional open water championships for my first time. I have realised what I really want is to race in these events and have progression in my ranking, and to eventually get into the nationals.
I could finally have a full year of orienteering after the pandemic. In TrailO I had satisfactory results in the WRE races, but it was a total disaster in the world championships. It was so different compared to a few years ago when I first participated in it and I could make no sense of the map there, and the technique I relied on (e.g. sighting lines, pace counting, 2 compass bearings, etc.) no longer worked. Louis Tse is now much better than me in the Hong Kong Team so in the future I no longer have motivation to join the team unless I improve a lot to his level.
Locally in England, there are a lot of races but not many in the sprint format as recognised by international standards (i.e. held in an urban environment with 12-15 minutes winning time, technically simple but demanding high concentration in interpreting urban environment and route choices while running at high speed). This is a bit disappointing for me as I am much better in sprint races than in other FootO disciplines due to lacking the physical ability for cross-country.
Things I did in the year
- I went to Scotland for my first time by flying, in order to race orienteering.
- I failed the probation of my job.
- I went to Scotland again, this time by train, to race orienteering again. This wouldn’t be possible if I still had my job.
- I ran a half marathon again, however this was without training so my result was worse than my first by nearly half an hour.
- I won a British TrailO League race (but not the British TrailO Championships).
- I went to South Wales for JK with my best friends Himmy Lau and Jason Wong, and Mikołaj Dutkowski from Poland.
- I went to Vilnius for Falco Cup, a TrailO competition with WRE status, and got satisfactory results there.
- I moved from Lansdowne, Bournemouth to Cricklewood, London.
- I went to Leeds for the British Sprint Championships, but I only got into the C-final which was the lowest classification.
- I went to Dover to participate in BLDSA Champion of Champions, but I couldn’t complete all 3 races. I only completed the first 5-mile race.
- I did my first triathlon, Banana Triathlon.
- I went to Norwich to race the East Region Open Water Championships, in both 3 km and 5 km. I didn’t perform well but still got a medal in the 3 km age group race.
- I went to Jelenia Góra to participate in World Trail Orienteering Championships as part of the Hong Kong Team, after a 2-year break due to the COVID pandemic.
- I went to Värnamo to race Vidösternsimmet, which ended up to be the only marathon swim which I completed in the year.
- I went to Windermere to race BLDSA Windermere, but unfortunately I couldn’t complete the race.
- I and Ingrid Chow attempted to swim the English Channel as a relay, but the attempt ended up disqualified due to a failed changeover.
- I went to Budapest to race Hungarian Autumn TrailO Weekend, another TrailO race with WRE status.
- I released the first version of GBTT.uk, National Rail Timetable on the Web.
- I started my own limited company, Metroapps Limited, as a preparation to become a contractor in web development.
- I moved from Cricklewood to Dollis Hill as my home in Cricklewood was going to close for major repairs. Just days after I moved, Hong Kong lifted all of its anti-pandemic measures with the exception of mask mandate but the announcement came too late for me to arrange a return to Hong Kong.
Review of my goals
The following are my goals for this year, copied from the last year’s review:
- To get at least 10 L% improvement in my swimming in terms of race times
- To swim the English Channel in a relay team composed of solely Hongkongers
- To halve my placing (counting from 0 instead of 1 starting from the winner) in British TrailO League and Southern England Orienteering Urban League
- To complete my first year in my new job
- To keep my total personal spending (excluding taxes and fees from my income) within 2/3 of my net salary
- To lose weight to 65 kg
To get at least 10 L% improvement in my swimming in terms of race times
I did a 1500 m short course race in both years. Last year it was 28:19.10, this year it was 27:31.03. This was only 2.87 L% improvement. So I didn’t make this goal.
To swim the English Channel in a relay team composed of solely Hongkongers
We tried, but it ended up disqualified.
To halve my placing (counting from 0 instead of 1 starting from the winner) in British TrailO League and Southern England Orienteering Urban League
For BriTOL, in 2021 I was 12 places behind the winner, this year I was 11 places behind. For SEOUL, in 2021 I was 50 places behind the winner, this year I was 5 places behind. I achieved the goal in urban orienteering but not trail orienteering.
To complete my first year in my new job
I couldn’t. I failed the probation.
To keep my total personal spending (excluding taxes and fees from my income) within 2/3 of my net salary
I couldn’t. After I lost my job in February I didn’t find another job afterwards, and my personal spending in the whole year was more than the net salary in my first two months.
To lose weight to 65 kg
I couldn’t reach it by the end of the year. I ended up at 66.4 kg on 2022-12-30.
To conclude, I failed nearly everything this year. I was so useless and couldn’t even do what I wanted.
The following list is the suspended goals, also copied from last year:
- to complete my first running marathon
- to complete my first triathlon (swim-bike-run) of at least Olympic distance
- to complete a swimming marathon (10 km) within 3:40 (pro-rata for longer races)
- to complete a running marathon (42.195 km) within 3:40 (pro-rata for longer races)
- to learn a front-end web framework and make a useful website out of it
Among these 5 items I completed items 2 and 5. I did my first triathlon and I made my company’s website using Vue.js.
New Year’s Resolutions
As the pandemic is over, the suspended list from last year can be resumed, however, there are too many to be done in a single year, so I am going to categorise them into the “active” list, which I will actively pursue in 2023, and the “deferred” list which I will hope to do it on some day but not necessarily in 2023.
- To get into the top 3 for the 19+ age group in the London Region Open Water Swimming Championships, 5 km.
- To complete at least 1 marathon swim, in order to continue my streak of completing marathon swims every year since 2019.
- To get at least 10 L% improvement in my swimming in terms of race times. For 1500 m SC, this means I will target 24:53.91 next year, which is very challenging.
- To halve my placing (counting from 0 instead of 1 starting from the winner) in British TrailO League and Southern England Orienteering Urban League. This means I aim to get into the top 6 in BriTOL and top 3 in SEOUL in 2023.
- To earn £30k (pre-tax) for my limited company.
- To lose weight to 65 kg.
- To swim the English Channel as a soloist.
- To swim the English Channel in a relay team composed of solely Hongkongers living in the UK.
- To complete my first running marathon.
- To complete a swimming marathon (10 km) within 3:40 (pro-rata for longer races).
- To complete a running marathon (42.195 km) within 3:40 (pro-rata for longer races).