Beijing, December 17. AARON Piersol's Diary Day 2: It was our goal last night to try authentic Chinese food. It was at the recommendation of our host, Sam, that we eat traditional Southern Chinese cuisine. He made slight mention that it might be a little spicy. But there was no way we could prepare for the onslaught of spiciness that our taste buds received.
The cuisine consisted of some things completely new to us, such as our new favorite fruit; dragon fruit. The rest of the meal consisted of zesty chicken, fiery lobster, spicy asparagus, and highly spiced pork that kept coming. It was at least a seven course meal and quite satisfying.
This morning, after a long needed sleep, Coach Eric Hansen and I spoke to Chinese swimmers and coaches about goal setting, training techniques and balancing swimming with the rest of life. We were greeted by the swimmers and coaches and a life size banner with my picture the likes of which I had never seen. Needless to say it was a greeting I’ll never forget. It was chance for us to share ideas and thoughts on the differences in the way we all train.
Eric and I learned as much from them as I’m sure they learned from us. There was a great Q&A session that lasted about an hour where we really got everyone involved. Although there was a translator, the international language of swimming seemed to transcend our language barrier.
Now we’re off to workout with the swimmers we spoke to today. We’re working on technique and are going to share training tips. US National Team coach, Eric Hansen is leading the way. It should be fun and I’ve been promised it won’t be easy.
If my coach Eddie Reese is reading this, don’t worry. I have got my work cut out for me in the pool. And after that, we’re heading to another traditional Chinese dinner, this time a Peking dinner with the Nike executives. No clue as to how spicy this will be. I’ll let you know how it goes.