What's everyone's life here outside swimming / before you started marathon swimming?
I'm wondering what's life like for marathon swimmers here outside their swimming or before they started marathon swimming.
What kind of job do you have? Full time or part time, long term or short term, employed or self-employed? Does anyone here run his/her own business? How do you value the benefit (e.g. pool access) when you are evaluating your jobs?
For me I'm a software developer working at a university. The pay is not great at all but I'm staying only because of the university policy of free access to sports centres (including unheated pools) and discounts on swim squad training, and the amount of leave allows me to go 1 or 2 long-haul trips per year overseas to do competitions.
Apart from swimming do you do other sports as well? For example, spectator sports like ball games, mind sports like board games, bridge and mahjong, or other endurance sports like trail running? Before I started marathon swimming I mainly did sailing and bridge, and also orienteering, but now I am only keeping orienteering as I'm already at a high level, represented HK two times already. I have found myself less and less playing bridge and sailing recently, basically none in recent 2 years.
How about other hobbies? My past swim teacher now plays music in this time he can no longer teach swimming because of pool closures. I don't have much apart from doing some website development. Recently I have implemented an interface to better check bus ETAs. I also have a few blogs running. In the past I studied a lot on programming languages and networking which has given me solid foundation on my recent work done.
Do you like to travel for reason outside swimming as well? I do. I want to see interesting places especially those related to cold war and communism. In 2018 I visited Kaliningrad then Klaipeda specifically for that, before I joined the team to do the world championship nearby. I have also visited Kinmen for the same reason in a contemporary context. However, in the past before I had a plan for working holiday / channel swimming, I went long-haul travel a lot of times - maybe 4 times a year, but not I have to save money for my working holiday plan next year so I'm planning only 1 long-haul travel this year in August.
Finally, do you have family and professional life? I haven't found a girlfriend yet and I am seldom interested in girls unless she is willing to go out to the sea with me (this is applicable both before and after I have become a marathon swimmer - before that I did sailing). I have just joined a professional organisation IEEE and will try to build my professional network after the pandemic is over, however I'm not sure how my plan to go working holiday will interact with my professional development.