Hello again! It’s been a while but I’m back! It feels really good to have my first year at Princeton behind me, but actually being back in Japan has made my weakened Japanese all too apparent ): On the other hand, I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it to the event we held earlier this month!
I have a handful of things I want to do over the long summer, but my biggest undertaking is, you guessed it, swimming.
From what I’m seeing my friends are doing through social media, I think I’m again in a position to discuss a unique experience that not many people are having over their summer. While exchanging our last goodbyes before we left for summer break, I found a lot of my friends seemed to be doing something productive over the summer. This could be a summer job, an internship, a summer class at a local college, or even more exciting, a study abroad opportunity in another country! When people ask me what I’m doing for my summer, my answer seems kind of bland, partially because I’m not be the best at making things sound exciting. My answer for the past number of years has been the standard “oh yeah, I’m gonna keep training over the summer”, but this time I have a slight twist to my now-annual summer training routine.
I don’t remember how vocal I’ve been about this, but since my freshman year of high school, making the 2020 Olympics changed from a dream to a goal. It is already (or still?) two years away, and this year is the first time I attempt to make the New Zealand national team and swim at the Pan Pacific Games in Tokyo. I might go into some more detail about my endeavor in another post if anyone’s interested!
Soooo I’ve set a pretty ambitious goal for myself! Realistically I don’t have a chance at making the team this year unless I improve my personal bests by quite a big margin. (But my times haven’t improved in two years, so I’m also due for another big improvement in my personal bests ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ )
That still hasn’t stopped me from trying to make the team though. Since the college season ended in February I’ve continued training, and now that I’m in Japan, I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to live and swim with the wonderful people at Chuo University’s swim team. Everyone has been super welcoming of me (especially my roommates), despite essentially being a rando thats joined to train with them for a couple weeks.
In exchange, I do teach some English phrases that are useful in and out of the pool, so perhaps that’s a fair trade?
However, I do miss home, so I spend time at home instead of the dorms on the weekends! I would write more about my time at home, but I quite literally don’t do anything productive over the weekend, so there isn’t much to write about. I do meet up with friends during the weekends too, including a wonderful group of six seniors on the swim team who just graduated earlier this month! They’re finishing up their 2-3 week graduation trip around Japan before continuing onto their next travel destination!
On a slightly different note, yesterday I rode the train to Kameido, where I visited 亀戸香取神社. I’ve heard it’s known to bring good fortune to athletes(?), so I decided I might pay a visit. After all, I’m going to need all the luck that I can get to swim fast! I also wandered around the area so the quick trip to the other side of Tokyo would be well worth the journey!
Other than that, there’s nothing much I can do at this point really. I’ve put in all the work, so now I just have to believe that it will all pay off! I fly down in about a week so we’ll see how it goes!