Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Speaking of medical care in Taiwan, I now appreciate all the fuss about having national health insurance. After being without any medical insurance for eight mildly nerve-racking months, I am now covered under Taiwan�s National Health Insurance Program through my employer. I�ve always been health conscious--after all, my body is the home of my mind and soul�so it�s immensely reassuring to know that besides having coverage when something breaks down, I can now also monitor my well-being.

In other news in the health and fitness front, here is some of the inane conversation I have to put up with in the locker room at my gym:

Trendy Asian Girl A: Oh, there�s so many cute guys here!
Trendy Asian Girl B: Yes, but it�s sooo embarrassing working out in front of them, you know? [pout] But they're why I work out.
Trendy Asian Girl A: There�s a little room where we can workout and the guys can�t go in.
Trendy Asian Girl B: Oh, lets go in there. Do you think they'll let us in the class later? [quizzical expression on her face]
�and ad naseum.

Whatever happened to exercising so that one is able to run around and do cool things? I�m always in awe whenever I see a dancer or athlete. I think having so much control of one�s body to create a beautiful sight--whether it be a pose, leap, throw, kick--or to move quickly through air or water, is

just fun.

Unfortunately, I can�t see myself being as strong in the water again as I was while on MIT�s swim team. However, no longer training 2+ hours a day, 6 days a week, for many, many weeks of the year has given me time to explore a few new physical pursuits.

After slacking off for far too long, I�ve been working out daily for the past week. A planned climb up Jade Mountain, Taiwan�s highest peak, from July 12-14, has been a great motivator. From hiking through Taroko Gorge after Christmas last year (when I was running regularly), I know I need to hit that incline button and do some hills on the treadmill more often.

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