Young English Fellow in Xuan Wu Lake!

Its quite amazing what can get in the papers and how easily even in such a big city as Nanjing.

Basically there is a fairly big lake in Nanjing center which is about 8km around the whole thing, and a great place for running (except weekends when it is packed).

So recently I have been training a little more barefoot with movement and running because I want to do the 10k London run barefoot in July. Also I have been thinking about swimming across part of the lake here in Nanjing but just never got round to it so decided a few days ago to actually do it. So I cycled to the lake barefoot, shorts and a vest and towel in bag to run round the lake and then swim some of it. It was pretty cold outside and the water was especially freezing! So after about 6km of running I found a spot to jump into the lake from, unknowingly being watched from a distance by a journalist (where he came from God only knows) who probably reckoned I looked silly enough to get a story out of. And here is how it went!

Translated by yours truly from the article.

"Hey! Someone has jumped in the lake!" While taking a walk at the lake, city resident Mr Wang shouts, with his eyes fixed upon the young fellow who jumped into the lake. Yesterday, an English fellow abruptly jumped into Xuan Wu lake wishing to swim to the opposite bank. At the lake side he spotted a pleasure-boat manager, and worried that the young fellow could not carry on, they harnessed a speed boat to go and rescue him. However, the young fellow was unexpectadly not so grateful and simply shouted "I am almost there, why have you come to help me!"

According to a witness, this golden haired (hmmm....) young fellow was barefoot, wearing a vest and shorts, and on his back a travel bag. This fellows clothing was very obvious attracting a lot of people's attention, who just saw him take a deep breath, do a few pushups on the ground, then from his bag take a bottle of orange juice and drink it in a few mouthfulls, as soon as he finished, finally leaping into the lake.
"At first I thought he wanted to play in the water, but he all at once got into the water, then started swimming for the other side of the lake!" This young fellow swam along a straight line further and further, in the centre of people's eyesight, very quickly becoming a black spot.

"The weather was so cold, the lake water so freezing, how can he bear it?" The crowd of onlookers talk amongst themselves, looking very worried. "Quick, quick, he is going off course!" Some people were pointing to the black dot shouting "is he unable to bear it!"

Met with this situation, the lake boat's manager before saying a word, harnessed the speed boat and drove toward the 'black spot's' direction. Upon hearing the speed boat, the young fellow turned his head around smiling with a thumbs up, moving toward the boat.
The manager said loudly "the water is too cold, quickly climb up onto the boat". He then helped the young fellow climb up onto the boat. The young fellow was trembling with cold from head to foot, but his faced showed an innocent (?) expression, pointing toward the shore in broken chinese said: "Why did you pull me onto the boat, I had almost reached the other side." "Xuan Wu lake does not permit swimming," the manager explained. "Can you take me to the other side" said the young fellow impatiently. "No, you are wearing too few clothes, its very cold." The manage looked at his shivering lips, the young fellow said nothing else.

Arriving at the bank side, the wind was blowing, and the young fellow was holding his arms with the cold. The manager promptly fetched a coat to give him to wear, the young fellow shook his hand and said "thank you, thank you, i'll return it to you tomorrow."
This young fellow said he is from England and a foreign student and Nanjing University.
(Here is a bit of embellishment courtesy of the papers...)

The reason for jumping in the lake, he enthusiastically said with open arms was "Xuan Wu is simply too beautiful, I couldn't help but embrace it!" (yes...just what i said haha). However, the young fellow previously didn't know that swimming was not allowed. "Later at the bank side I was able to drink in the beautiful scenery," said the young fellow, smiling with his head tilted (hmmmmm......).


  1. Wow that's truly awesome. Nice work there. Did you get any trouble at all for swimming there?

  2. oh dear you're mental! mind you, not as mental as the journalist "xuan wu is simply too beautiful"...yep, i can definately imagine you saying that!

  3. HAHAHA! That is hilarious!!

    Well done on just going for a swim when the mood grabbed you like that, I can really imagine the journalist's face as he saw you going for it and him picking up his camera... "To the speedboat!"

    Can't wait to see you man, thanks for making me smile. :D


  4. Wot up, Jin?

    Man, this is simply amazing, lol.
    i trully would never guessed you`re golden haired. HAHAHAHA. Just kidding.

    Keep doing the good work, bro.

    Cheers from Brazil.

    Bruno Rachacuca.

  5. you gotta love the media.......

    A night swim anyone? :-D

  6. Anonymous10:39 AM

    Ha ha ha. Best story I've read in ages.


  7. HAHAHAHA! That was brilliant!

    My Chinese friend from school in back home in Nanjing this week, I wonder if she saw it! I've just emailed her the post and asked if she saw it and if she still has a copy to bring it back for me! lol. It's be soooo funny if she saw it! Haha...

    You make me laugh, Jin. And I'm really inspired by the way your mind works, the whole "ooh there's a massive freezing lake, I wonder if I can swim to the other side" and all your barefoot training and stuff like that.

    Look forward to seeing you when you get back, probably at Trace. XD

    Speak soon bro.



  8. u r a mentalist

  9. Great blog post mate. Very funny :D

  10. awesome! that's great to get the translation of your story like that. nice little adventure. thanks for putting it up! I'm sure you'll have a bit of a reputation now. Hope the race prep goes well!

  11. haha..interesting.i bet you would try that again?

  12. Anonymous5:26 PM

    Hahaha brilliant :D

  13. That's cool man ! Too bad they didn't let you finish your swim. Keep up the good work and see you soon i hope !

  14. ROFL. Rofl, rofl, rofl. I can imagine your exact expression and frustration and find it very funny. Personally, mr donovan, i think you like attentions from the papers...remember the ninja incident.........always hitting the headlines...x

  15. Alejandro9:15 AM

    Oh damn. Blogger is accesible now :)

    Dude! You gotta be kidding me! Did this happen to you? (Except the parts that you wrote your comments next to them)

    You were doing fine, right?

    That's HILARIOUS man.

  16. Haha my Chinese friend Yifan got back from seeing her family in Nanjing the other week and had printed me a copy of the article. She got my email when she got back to England and found it online for me.

    She loved the story and thought you were amazing! Haha!

    Keep it up mate. You'll be a Chinese celebrity before long.