1000 Laps

This January, I set myself a challenge I considered already way back in November.

It was pretty straightforward – Swim 1 000 x 25m laps. In a month.

Today, with a whole one day to spare, I swam the last lap.


Difficulty: Moderate

Physical difficulty – I split this into roughly ten sessions, 50 x 50 in each. That should be doable for most people, provided you’re a decent swimmer. If you don’t swim regularly, give yourself a month to get used to long distance swimming before you set this goal. I’ve also found that if I swim too many days in a row, I get shoulder pain.

Psychological difficulty – this is the hardest part. Long distance swimming in general is a psychological challenge. The counting is hard to maintain, hence why I made the choice to use a 50m pool (fewer numbers). Swimming too many days in a row is also psychologically challenging. Others find it difficult to deal with the monotony of lap swimming.

Setbacks: Sunburn. I got sunburn twice this summer, both times it hit my face. Once was during this challenge and as a result, I took a week off. This meant that I had to compensate for a whole week’s lost workouts. I ended up swimming later in the day to decrease my UV exposure. And yes, I do wear sunscreen. The day I burned my face, I applied sunscreen 3 times in four hours or so.

Things to keep in mind: It’s super easy to get dehydrated. The water helps cool you down, so you don’t feel like you’re overheating. You still sweat though. Remember to drink water. Also, sunscreen.

Affordability: Pretty decent. The place I swim at charges about 5 dollars per entry and they have loyalty cards as well.

Physical benefits – I’ve noticed that swimming has gotten easier. 50 laps have become my standard workout when I swim, and that’s longer than before. I feel slightly stronger, especially in my legs. No noticeable physical changes.

Psychological benefits – Most of the time, swimming is the closest I get to mindfulness. It’s a good way to cope with stress and to get away from things. When I’m in the water, I can’t check my phone or sneakily read emails (I’ve caught myself working mid-workout before).

Thoughts: Mostly, this has been a good challenge. The last 50×50 today were rough for some reason. I think having to take a week off due to sunburn meant I had to really make a point to fit all the sessions in. If it hadn’t been for that, I think I wouldn’t have been so fed up with it at the end. A few days of somewhat bad weather didn’t help. So yeah, use sunscreen.

Would I recommend this: Today? No. If you ask me tomorrow, I probably will.


Navigating the Wish App

The Wish app has taken the YouTube community by storm and Wish haul videos are often given titles like “Wish – is it a scam?”. I’m an enthusiastic Wish user and can happily tell you that it’s not a scam, it’s just tricky to get the hang of. Wish can be described as a combination of eBay and thrift shopping. It’s not an online store, instead, individual retailers sell through wish.

It does take a while to learn how to use the site since it’s such a unique format. As someone who has ordered over 50 items on Wish (many are still being shipped), I thought I’d share some tips and tricks on how you can successfully use the app.

  1. Skip Hauls
    The easiest trap to get caught in with wish is to fall for the temptation of ordering a big haul in one go. Bulk orders are the worst thing you can do on Wish. You have to remember that you’ll pay shipping on each individual item. Unlike with an online store, there is no reason to buy things in bulk. You do not get free shipping if you shop for a certain amount.
  2. Be Specific
    Attention to detail is key to having a good Wish experience. Wish loves things like daily deals, timed discounts, and simply attention to detail. You need to do the same. If you think you could wear a medium or a large, check both – they may have different prices. If you’re looking for a specific type of shirt, compare multiple shirts between different sellers. It’s very possible that they’re offering identical products at different prices. Finding the right item at the right time takes a bit of work, but it’s worth it.
  3. Unique Items
    Wish is great for gaining access to items that you won’t find in most retail stores. The watches in the photos above cost less than 5 dollars each, including shipping. I have never seen another watch designed to contain loose crystals. I also daresay that it’s unusual to find socks that combine Jaws and the Little Mermaid. You’ll find a lot of ‘unofficial’ items on Wish. Provided you know that they are not official merchandise, they are often cheaper than geek related merchandise you’ll find elsewhere.
  4. Knockoff Designs
    One of the good things with Wish is that you can find cheaper versions of designer items. Obviously, they aren’t real. Don’t waste your money buying electronic knockoffs or copies of high-end brands. However, I’ve found knockoff versions of nest measuring cups – similar to the Joseph Joseph ones, for loose change. This is the type of thing that Wish is great at. Things that are similar in design without being outright copies.

5. Size Awareness.
There is no uniform sizing across Wish. Each individual retailer uses their own sizing system and many of them are based on Asian sizes. Don’t order a medium just because you usually order a medium. Step one – check the photos for size guides. Some will literally have text like “order one size up!” written on a photo. Others include actual measurement guides. However, the single most important thing is to check the reviews. Make sure that you check the actual reviews of the item you’re looking at, sometimes the reviews you get when you scroll down are of the retailer and not the product.

6. Use Refunds
If you get an item you’re not happy with, Wish usually offers a full refund provided your claim is reasonable. I got a full refund for the shirt and pants worn in the picture on the bottom right. Why? The pants are the wrong size, they fall down around the hips when I move and that makes them really hard to wear for a full day. The shirt is made of a fabric ┬áthat is too stiff for the actual design, it also has an unfortunate seam on the torso that wasn’t shown in the photos. The items are alright, but they are not what I paid for. Hence the refund.

7. Don’t Put It On Your Face
Do not purchase makeup or skincare from Wish. No it’s not because it contains ‘chemicals’, literally all your makeup and skincare contains chemicals. The problem is that you don’t know which chemicals are in the product. Firstly, the label (if there even is one) is very unlikely to be in English. If you can read Chinese, you have a higher probability of being able to read what the manufacturer claims are in the products. Secondly, and more importantly, even if the labels are accurate about the ingredients used, it is extremely unlikely that the products were manufactured in facilities that meet the health and safety standards you’re used to. The chance of contamination and shady manufacturing is extremely high. If it looks too good to be true price wise, then chances are it’s as hygienic as back alley plastic surgery. Thirdly, it is very unlikely that products sold for 2 dollars on this platform have been properly safety tested or exclusively use products that are confirmed to be safe to use on your skin. Instead, focus on beauty tools. Brushes, storage, and neat innovative beauty tools are some of the things you can get great deals on from Wish without risking your health.