Archive | May, 2012

Staying active

8 May

It’s been 6 years since I stopped swimming professionally and 8 years since I swam in the Olympics. After that, I purposefully avoided athletic activity for as long as my body allowed me. Swimming was more than a life commitment and I had other things to focus on after that, not to mention my body was more than exhausted.

Since then, I’ve gone to the gym in spurts, but I’ve really have a problem committing to a regular workout routine. It’s nearly impossible to motivate myself to workout on my own, likely because I’ve always had a strict schedule and a coach breathing down my neck my entire life.

With swimming, it’s different. I find it soothing to count every single lap, and well, it’s about 1000% times easier than running for me. That’s why I’m so happy to finally start swimming again (recreationally) at a gym in Salvador called Estação Atlética. It’s a 6 lane 25m pool located in the neighborhood Pituba. The coaches are friendly and there are swimmers of all levels (although you wont see anyone at Michael Phelp’s level).

In addition to swimming, I’ve taken up a hobby of stand up paddle boarding (SUP). I bought a 10′ board in Maui and hauled it all the way to Brazil (they are at least 4x as expensive here). We’ve gone several times, and it’s really a blast and great workout. SUP is really popular in Salvador and I’d love to get more involved. They had a race last month (7.5 miles) and there is a huge community (http://supbabibrazil.webnode.com/) of SUPers.

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My competitive side is thrilled to be active again and my body is getting back in to shape. Now all I have to do is enroll in some races! 🙂

Driving in Salvador

2 May

Rules to driving:

  1. Switching lanes is mandatory, the more often the better
  2. It’s ok to stop your car in the middle of the freeway or main road, for any reason
  3. What lanes? If you can squeeze through, make your own
  4. If you don’t have a car, ride a horse or a bike, on the side of the freeway
  5. Don’t bother with red lights after sun down
  6. Cut off others or be cut off
  7. The side of the highway is a lane, even though it’s dirt
  8. If there are no parking spots, double park behind someone
  9. Turning signals are overrated
  10. Pedestrians never have the right away
  11. Stop signs are just a recommendation to merge
  12. You can turn from any lane
  13. A light is still green if it’s only been red for 5 seconds
  14. Merge at the last possible second
  15. Accept that there are no rules to driving and do not flip off another person

What happens when there is this kind of madness? See below. 

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The main highway (Paralela) I use to get into downtown looks like this at almost every hour of the day. 

I’ve had my own car for a little over a week now, and I’m very proud to say that I have yet to get in an accident.