最常翻的幾本訓練方法書

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長跑訓練這回事,有教練指導很重要。好的教練,除了為你訂課表、觀跑姿,更可旁觀者清地為你解開長期作戰當中的心結。

但除此以外,我和蝦嫂還習慣了看書研究。自己天天在做的事情,不想盲從,總想知道背後的原理。也想知道外面的訓練方法,與自己在做的有甚麼不同。

跑步書,買得滿屋都是,三四十本應該少不了。但當中,我們翻得最多還是幾本談訓練方法的書。既然不時有人就此相詢,我不妨趁機介紹一下。

一、Hansons Marathon Method, Luke Humphrey and Kevin Hanson

這書其實已出版逾廿載,一直廣受歡迎,故屢次再版。這訓練法不像現今的科學化訓練那樣強調心率,反而他們主張跑者看配速。跑者可因應自己的情況,找出適合自己的課表。聽聞本地不少高手其實都有參考這套訓練法得到躍進。

二、徐國峰、羅譽寅《體能!技術!肌力!心志!全方位的馬拉松科學化訓練》

書名正好道出了兩位作者所認為的馬拉松訓練四大重要部份。這書集羅曼諾夫姿勢跑法與丹尼爾跑步理論之大成,將這些外國跑步訓練法演繹得更適合中文讀者。除了飲食及裝備沒有太多提及外,此書算是十分全面地討論了馬拉松備戰以至出賽的各方面。

三、The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing, Philip Maffetone

低心率訓練,該是多低?根據Philip Maffetone的理論,就該是180減閣下年齡——就是說,假如你40歲,慢跑時就不要超過140心率。這是否準確,真的人人不同。這書作者長年研究低心率訓練,以無數真實案例闡釋了其理論如何協助運動員表現躍進。

其實這三本書都很值得分別一談,不過礙於篇幅,就只能介紹到這裡。上述兩本英文書,都有中文譯本。我讀過(三),譯得不錯,但側聞(一)的中文版好像部分內容缺了。所以能力所及的話,還是讀原文好。

《敗者為王》

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《敗者為王》
作者:李宗偉
出版社:布咕

「維持這個排名,是我必須每天清晨五點起床,周而復始地以汗水和淚水一點一滴積累而成。」

「身為運動員永遠要記得,你的對手絕對不會停下腳步,訓練一刻都不容許鬆懈。」

2016奧運羽毛球男單決賽,中國諶龍對馬來西亞李宗偉的情況仍歷歷在目,轉瞬間下屆東京奧運於明年夏天又到,賽季即將進入奧運計分階段,對世界頂尖羽球手來說,欲爭取一張入場券的自然要打醒精神。

馬來西亞羽球王李宗偉去年公開宣佈自己罹患鼻咽癌,至今雖已康復,但這位三屆奧運男單銀牌得主現已屆三十六歲,明年奧運大有可能是他的最後一屆,然而是否有機會參戰仍屬未知數,倘若其奧運之路就此謝幕,難免叫人為之黯然。

翻查資料,李宗偉奪冠無數,而且職業生涯雄踞世界排名第一位置累計長達350周,是前無古人的記錄。然而,除了奧運之外,在眾多羽球大賽如世錦賽、湯姆斯盃、蘇迪曼盃及亞運等,他同樣偏偏從未得過冠軍。因此「無冕球手」之名不脛而走,他於2012年出版的自傳叫《敗者為王》,也不無點點自嘲意味。

李宗偉在出版《敗者為王》之時即將出戰2012年倫敦奧運,當時不知道他會否預料到自己不只當屆,甚至是再下一屆的里約奧運仍然無法擺脫「二奶宿命」?無論如何,對並非體育強國的馬來西亞來說,誰能為國家掙到一面奧運獎牌已是難能可貴,所以勇奪三面奧運銀牌的李宗偉自然是國家英雄。

在《敗者為王》中,李宗偉自述了前半生的傳奇經歷。在物質維艱的童年,一塊羽毛球拍也許已是奢侈品,但李宗偉仍是放不下對羽毛球的迷戀。這份由衷的熱情,使他在面對離鄉訓練、出外比賽,以至面對一眾宿敵時仍然無畏無懼,永不放棄。

Dare to be a Champion
Author: Lee Chong Wei
Publisher: Bukuganda Digital & Publication

‘To maintain this ranking, I must get up at five o’clock every morning and press on repeatedly with sweat and tears.’

‘As an athlete, you must always bear in mind that your opponents will never let the grass grow under their feet, so you cannot afford to relax even a bit in training.’

While the memories are still fresh over the 2016 Olympic badminton men’s singles final between Chen Long from China and Lee Chong Wei from Malaysia, the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games are already opening next summer, and it’s time to enter the Olympic qualification stage, where top badminton players around the world strive to secure a place in the competition.

Malaysian badminton superstar Lee Chong Wei publicly announced that he had been suffering from nasopharyngeal cancer last year. Although he has since recovered, the triple silver medallist at the Olympic Games is now 36 years old, and next year’s Olympics is likely to be his last one. With his chances of participation hanging in the balance, it will be sad to see Lee calling it a day without competing in this next Olympic Games.

Looking at his career statistics, Lee Chong Wei has won countless championships, and has been ranked the world’s number one for an unprecedented record of 350 weeks in total. In addition to the Olympics, however, Lee somehow has never won a championship title in many major badminton tournaments, including the World Championships, Thomas Cup, Sudirman Cup and Asian Games. Being labelled the ‘Uncrowned King of Badminton’, he might have even been trying to ridicule himself by naming his autobiography published in 2012 Dare to be a Champion.

When Dare to be a Champion was published, Lee was about to compete in the 2012 London Olympics. At that time, could he have expected to live with the fate of playing second fiddle not only in that Olympics, but also in the following Rio Olympics? In any case, it is no small feat for a player to win an Olympic medal for Malaysia, which is by no means a sports superpower. As a three-time Olympic silver medallist, Lee truly does deserve to be considered a national hero.

In Dare to be a Champion, Lee recounted his extraordinary experiences during the first half of his life. Although a badminton racket was almost considered a luxury during his poor childhood upbringing, Lee’s passion for badminton did not abate one bit. Regardless of leaving his home for training, competing in foreign countries or facing fierce rivals, his wholehearted enthusiasm made him a formidable competitor who never gives up.

《日本足球的明治維新》

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《日本足球的明治維新》
作者:應虹霞

「戰後重建日本足球,其難度不亞於在廢墟上重建國家。」

「一如福澤諭吉的思想之於日本明治維新的意義,理念變革和意識先行引發了日本足球職業化這場足球領域的劃時代變革。」

「內田篤人制勝德甲的秘訣,是德國人的鬥志外加日本球員的敏捷性、協調性。」

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這一篇刊出之時,2019亞洲盃足球賽已到了白熱化階段,而今屆冠軍亦將於2月1日在阿布扎比揭盅。說起至今已舉辦16屆的亞洲盃,曾經四度奪冠的日本可謂這項賽事的最成功球隊。今次為大家介紹的書,亦正是與日本足球發展有關。

《日本足球的明治維新》(下稱《維新》)於2012年出版,作者應虹霞是一名中國體育記者,而她諳熟日語,不時訪問日本教練及球員,對日本足球發展所知甚詳,同時被譽為「日本足球通」,所以她寫的《維新》可說是一部日本足球簡史,由1936年柏林奧運,說到2010年南非世界盃,將日本足球發展呈現讀者眼前。

作者以「明治維新」為書名,明顯意在讚揚日本足球廿年改革成功。我們現在看到J聯賽之盛,看到日本國家隊成為世界盃常客,絕難想像在數十年前它曾經是那麼的業餘。再反觀幾乎與日本同步開始職業化的中國足球,相比之下,兩者發展大相逕庭,情況令人感慨。

原來1936年奧運足球賽中,日本爆大冷擊敗瑞典一役,會影響到十多年後首個奪得諾貝爾的日本科學家?原來J聯賽球隊命名各有深意?原來巴西名宿薛高當年赴日也只是踢乙組球隊?《維新》述說的無數故事,使讀者領略到日本足球有今天的成就絕非倖致,而且足以成為中國足球的殷鑑。它雖然是七年前的作品,但今天看來仍未過時。

【Exercise and Read】Uncle Shrimp Running
Meiji Restoration of Japanese Football
Author: Ying Hong-xia

‘Restoring Japanese football after the war was as difficult as rebuilding the country on its ruins.’

‘Similar to the impact of Fukuzawa Yukichi’s thoughts on Japan’s Meiji Restoration, conceptual reform and ideology first triggered the epoch-making revolution in the professionalization of Japanese football.’

‘The secret of Atsuto Uchida’s success in the Bundesliga is the mix of the German’s perseverance plus the agility of Japanese football players.’

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By the time of the release of this article, the 2019 AFC Asian Cup should have reached a critical stage and this year’s champion will be crowned in Abu Dhabi on 1 February. To date, the Asian Cup has been held 16 times, during which Japan has emerged the most successful team winning the championship four times. The book introduced in this issue also chronicles the overall development of Japanese football.

Meiji Restoration of Japanese Football (referred to as The Restoration) was published in 2012. Author Ying Hong-xia is a Chinese sports journalist, who is also regarded as a ‘Japanese football guru’ because of her mastery of the Japanese language, frequent interviews with Japanese coaches and players as well as her in-depth knowledge about football’s development in Japan. For this reason, her book The Restoration can indeed be considered a brief history of Japanese football, presenting to readers its development all the way from the 1936 Berlin Olympics to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The use of ‘Meiji Restoration’ in the book title is an allegorical reference to Japan’s success in its 20-year football reform. With the flourishing J-League and Japanese national team being the Finalist in the World Cup regularly, it is hard to imagine how Japanese football grew from amateur level to professional a few decades ago. By contrast, the development of Chinese football – which started professionalization at a similar time as Japan – stands in stark opposition to the case of Japan and the situation is indeed disheartening.
Who would have ever thought that the 1936 Olympic football match where Japan pulled off an upset of Sweden would influence the Japanese scientist who won the country’s first Nobel Prize more than a decade later? Who knew that the names of J-League football teams have their own special meanings, and that the legendary Brazilian player Zico once joined Japanese commercial football team in second division only?

Through stories behind these facts as told in The Restoration, readers will realize that Japanese football’s achievements nowadays did not come about through sheer luck, and that the success Japan has achieved can serve as a good example for Chinese football. Although the book was written seven years ago, it still retains relevancy even today.

About the writer: Uncle Shrimp loves reading, writing and athletics, and hopes he can continue exploring the world through sports.

吃過雞蛋,認識母雞

 

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錢鍾書說:「假如你吃了個雞蛋,覺得不錯,何必要認識那下蛋的母雞呢?」

如果香港渣打馬拉松(港馬)是個「雞蛋」,姑且不論它是否不錯,但對於那「母雞」,身為香港跑者,我還是很有興趣認識的。

我在約十年前才首度參加港馬十公里賽,到2013年拿到首面全馬完賽獎牌。對很多舊事,都是零零碎碎地從網上與前輩口中得知——例如原來以前曾以深水埗運動場為終點,原來以前曾經限時五小時,原來以前沒有完賽獎牌,原來以前試過補給不足。很多以前的秘辛,就這樣點滴在我心中拼湊出那「母雞」的模樣。

實不相瞞,其實我不只對港馬這「母雞」有興趣,我甚至連它的家系淵源都想知多一點。所以,楊世模、彭沖在2017年所著的《香港馬拉松的足蹤》對我來說實在不可多得。

佔了全書大多數篇幅的,是首兩部分:「長跑運動話當年」:述說香港由開埠至60年代長跑發展;「競賽,跑向世界」:評論60年代至今香港長跑運動員在國際體壇的表現。

這兩部分,資料豐贍,圖片珍貴,如果你對香港長跑發展有興趣的話,讀來定必津津有味。兩位作者均為香港出色運動員,及後亦服務於香港體育界,長期近距離見證及觀察香港體育發展。故若非他們找出及梳理資料,晚輩如我對往日長跑界,往往只能瞎子摸象。

不過亦坦白說,首部分由古而今縷述本地長跑發展資料雖然豐富,卻稍嫌欠缺鋪排及分析,難免有讀者會覺得像一份流水帳。第二部分分析較多,亦加插了作者個人對長跑好手的觀察或訪談,故相比之下更為有趣耐讀。

本書不無瑕疵,例如不時都寫錯了部分香港運動員的名字,又例如對港馬的評價未必使人同意。但無論如何,此書開創了本地長跑歷史著作的先河,對本地跑友仍是一部極具價值的重要書籍。

誠意推薦跑友諸君,不妨抽空展卷,回顧一下香港長跑路上的往事鈎沉。一年容易又港馬,敬祝各位今年跑得精彩,馬到功成!

 

《健身,就能改變人生》

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《健身,就能改變人生》
作者:劉畊宏

偶然回看自己三年前參加東京馬拉松的照片,不禁心頭一凜——天呀,原來自己當時是那個模樣,再回想這幾年間,自己如何咬著牙關,有時還噙著淚水完成的無數次重量訓練,直至現在的模樣,之間的對比也實在叫自己感觸,所付出的努力也總算不枉。

肌肉這東西,成果人人想要,但鍛鍊過程卻沒有人想捱。有不少人,砸了巨款辦了健身會籍,興緻勃勃的去了健身室一兩個月,就因為偶然事忙讓一切戛然而止,從此任由會員卡封塵。又有些人,覺得自己的身形不堪入目,就連去健身室也不敢,又或是被那些所謂營業代表嚇怕了,他們每看見你就鼓其如簧之舌,游說你參加這計劃買那產品,著實不勝其煩。大家都感慨:如果我家有個健身房就好了。

與其幻想家有健身房?不如就地取材,用現有的資源做健身更為實際。《健身,就能改變人生》的作者劉畊宏,擁有天使面孔、魔鬼身材,即使現在年過40依然外形耀目非常。他是娛樂圈中人,既拍戲,又填詞(周杰倫名曲《回到過去》就是出自他手筆),生活非常忙碌,但仍可以保持身材健美,究竟有何秘訣呢?關鍵就在於活用時間,活用身邊資源做健身。他的著作,圖文並茂,手把手教讀者如何做到。

《健身》更用了不少篇幅談飲食。作者認為,享受美食是人的天性,不應因為追求健美而違背這項天性,他更提出了一些飲食法則,協助大家既嚐美食,亦保身材。

一年又將過去了,2018許下的願望兌現了多少?展望新一年,各位在運動方面又有沒有訂下新的目標?練好肌肉,能否真的「改變人生」未可料,但至少一定可以改善你的運動表現!

 

Exercise Can Change Your Life
Author: Will Liu

My heart skipped a beat when staring at a photo of myself taken three years ago at the Tokyo Marathon – I looked completely different then. During the past few years, I have completed countless numbers of weight training sessions, sometimes even with tears in my eyes. But my current in-shape body proves that my efforts were not in vain.

Everybody wants muscles, but nobody wishes to go through the hardship of training. Some people spend huge sums for a gym membership but give up regular exercising after a couple of months because of other distractions in life; some even feel so bad about their body images that they cannot even muster the courage to hit the gym; others suffer from phobia of gym club salespeople for their hard selling. But everybody seems to have this common thought – wouldn’t it be so nice to have a gym at home?

Why not keep your body fit with what you have? Will Liu, author of Exercise Can Change Your Life, stars in films and writes song lyrics. Over 40 years old and navigating a hectic lifestyle, Will’s body is still very fit. His secret is to make good use of the resources surrounding him for work-out at any time, for which he shares in both words and illustrations in his book. He also provides sage advice on following a healthy diet.

Year of 2018 will pass soon. How many of your 2018 New Year’s resolutions are you still maintaining? In the coming year, what new goals have you set in terms of exercising? Muscles might not necessarily change your life, but building muscle can definitely enhance your exercise performance!

我們歪曲地喜歡村上了嗎?

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外面的情況是不是這樣我不知道,但在香港,問不少本地跑者:在你心目中,哪本書是談跑步的經典作?我想在十個跑者中,有八個會選村上春樹的《關於跑步,我說的其實是……》(《關於》)。

有一期讀書會,我拿這本書與另一本跑步技術書列為候選討論書目,結果村上的書毫無懸念地高票跑出。即使不太看跑步書的人,甚至不太跑步的人,也會說自己看過這書。

事實上,我自己初跑時,也真的拿過這書來細讀。只沒料到,在現今跑步書數量以幾何級數上升時,這本出版於11年前的著作,依然備受追捧。

此書,這些年來,我讀了數遍。腦中印象最深的,就是廣為流傳的跑壇金句,比如「痛是難免的,苦卻是甘願的」之類。我有一段時間想起這書(其實就是那幾句金句),就覺得很熱血。

然而實情,是這樣嗎?

正是因為讀書會的關係,蝦嫂總得給我面子出席一下。既是出席,就不得不做點功課,把這本她從來沒有讀過的跑界經典翻一翻。未幾,她的表情像是參加了一個中伏的比賽:「一個大叔的喃喃自語,很好看嗎?」

多得她的老實,使我不禁把書又拿起來看。如果說經典會使人在不同時候看出不同感受,那麼《關於》今次確是使我看出很多以前看不出來的東西。

重新展卷,我發現《關於》其實一點也不熱血。全書風格,貫徹村上作品一路以來的疏離感。對於跑步,他覺得只是一種維持寫作體力的手段。談不上熱愛,他更不會苦口婆心的試圖叫人去跑。

對於成績,他未至於完全不理,但也算不上很在乎。他不會像我們當中那些最熱心的跑友那般孜孜研究,苦苦練習。他雖然想在自己墓誌銘上寫出跑者身份,但他更清楚,自己是個小說家。

說到這裡,忽爾想起一件似乎毫不相干的事:填詞人黃偉文早前在IG發了一帖,他說對自己那句「餘生請你指教」爆紅感到莫名其妙。他自覺,勝於這句的情話還多著呢。

值得一提的是帖末hashtag:「情願被準確地討厭都不稀罕被歪曲地喜歡。」

《我在阿帕拉契山徑》

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《我在阿帕拉契山徑》
作者:徐銘謙

相信熱愛越野運動,留意海外越野路線的朋友,一定聽過位於美國的「阿帕拉契山徑」。

這條山徑,赫赫有名,單是長度已經叫人咋舌 —— 3,500公里,橫跨美國14個州。平常人打算徒步把它走完,得花上約半年時間。據統計,只有約兩成左右的人有毅力由頭到尾走完。若然用跑的形式,目前最快的紀錄,是一位比利時好手花了41天多走畢全程。

由於此山徑聞名於世,西方世界以此山徑為題著書的人也不少。例如作家Bill Bryson就將挑戰步道失敗的經歷寫成「Walk in the Woods」;超馬跑手Scott Jurek的新作「North」,就是他用46天跑完此徑的實錄。今次介紹的《我在阿帕拉契山徑》則比較特別,是一位台灣學者自述親赴當地保育山徑的經歷,也是華文世界中難得一本專談阿帕拉契山徑的書作。

作者徐銘謙,現為臺大海洋政策學者,曾於2006年參加計劃並獲選前赴阿帕拉契山徑學習保育、修築步道。她將在美國這條著名山徑上的經歷,在2008年寫成了《地圖上最美的問號》。舊作絕版多年後,於2015年,她把書易名再出新版,就是《我在阿帕拉契山徑》。

看這書,讀者會知道有關阿帕拉契山徑的不少背景,同時亦看到作者帶出了很多人的故事,她在旅程中遇到的人,都啟發了她對山的思考。對作者來說,親訪阿帕拉契山徑是一場社會運動,透過吸收新知識,藉以守護臺灣山頭,免受不必要的石屎化侵擾。越野運動愛好者一般都對山份外有感情,相信他們讀這書,一定也會感受到作者那份堅持的可貴。

I am at the Appalachian Trail
Author: Hsu Ming-chien

Cross-country sports enthusiasts have surely heard of the ‘Appalachian Trail’ in the United States.

This famous mountain trail has a daunting distance of 3,500 km crossing 14 states. It takes around half a year for people to walk the entire trail, and statistics show that the average completion rate is only around 20 percent. The fastest running record is currently held by a Belgian who finished running the trail in about 41 days.

In the Western world, more than a few books have been written about the Appalachian Trail because of its popularity. For example, writer Bill Bryson recounted his failed trail challenge in Walk in the Woods. North is a new memoir written by ultra-marathon runner Scott Jurek about his 46-day run along this trail. As for the book being introduced in this issue – I am at the Appalachian Trail – it is special because it is a rare Chinese monograph written by a Taiwanese scholar featuring the Appalachian Trail with her own trail conservation experience in the US.

The book’s author Hsu Ming-chien, now a marine policy scholar at National Taiwan University, joined a project in 2006 in which she was selected to travel to the Appalachian Trail and study trail conservation and pathway construction. This book was first issued in 2008 and named The Most Beautiful Question Mark on the Map. After many years out-of-print, Hsu published a new edition in 2015 and re-titled it – I am at the Appalachian Trail.

This book provides background information about the Appalachian Trail, and shares stories from many people she met during the journey as well as the author’s inspirations and thoughts about mountains. In Hsu’s eyes, her visit to the Appalachian Trail was a social movement. With new-found enlightened knowledge, she hopes to protect the mountains of Taiwan from unnecessary ‘concretization’. Cross-country sports enthusiasts, without exception, are emotionally attached to mountains, and they will surely empathize with the author’s invaluable determination while reading this book.

讀跑者傳記 為自己打氣

 

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得承認自己是個「資料控」,每次涉足一個新的領域,如果夠投入的話,總是不期然尋書覓資料,以期了解陌生國度的背後種種。就連當初買了任天堂Switch遊戲機,《薩爾達傳說》的製作特輯短片也給我翻了出來看。

同樣的,初跑步的時候也很愛這樣。十年八載前,跑步在華人地區不像現在般流行,中文相關書籍更是鳳毛麟角。相比之下,西方國家長跑風氣更盛,所以相關書籍的數量、題材也自然更多更廣。來到今天,我們身邊多人跑了,中文跑步書籍也開始自成一家,但仍不足與西方世界相提並論,跑者傳記就是當中一例。

就像10月初在芝加哥馬拉松奪冠的英國跑手Mo Farah,早於2013年已經出版自傳Twin Ambitions。後來為了誘發小朋友跑步興趣,他更出版了幾本以跑步為題的童書,果真不愧是四個孩子的父親。

Mo Farah在Nike Oregon Project時的教練Alberto Salazar亦是一代跑步名宿,除了跑步技術書籍外,他的自傳、傳記亦早已不缺。例如Cameron Stracher寫的Kings of the Road,就非常精彩地記載了包括Salazar在內的幾顆長跑明星,如何在70年代把美國跑步風氣推上高峰。

令華文讀者感慨的是,在西方世界有時連非專業跑者也會出書談跑。最佳例子某過於在香港粉絲眾多的英國桌球巨星奧蘇利雲,他原來是個業餘跑步好手,第二本自傳更直截了當的取名Running。

在我看來,讀了名宿傳記,配速不會提升,但至少鬥志還是可以增強一點——公路跑者愛談訓練跑量,越野跑者則愛談比賽艱辛。每想起這些大神一路如何艱苦走來,我們長課時天氣即使熱了一點,山坡陡了一點,一句辛苦也變得不好意思輕易喊出來了。

《高爾夫與中國夢》

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《高爾夫與中國夢》
作者:丹.華希本
譯者:吳國卿

芸芸運動之中,高爾夫球可說是政治色彩最濃厚的一項,例如美國總統特朗普就不只一次與日本首相安倍晉三打高爾夫球。無巧不成話,這場「高爾夫外交」亦早於上世紀50年代時開展——安倍的祖父,也是日本前首相岸信介亦曾與時任美國總統艾森豪威爾一起揮杆。

在中國,高爾夫球政治色彩亦不遑多讓。今年適逢中國改革開放40周年,而高爾夫便是在改革開放初期引入中國。不過一直等到近20年,中國高爾夫球方迎來急速發展,球場如雨後春筍般出現。

在高爾夫運動水平方面,中國現時也在世界高爾夫球壇上佔有席位。最佳例子是女球手馮珊珊於2016里約奧運奪得銅牌,又曾問鼎世界第一寶座。在這風光時刻,絕難想像到不過數十年前,中國首批職業高爾夫球手竟是由球僮甚至球場警衛這些人自學苦練而成。

美國記者丹.華希本的著作《高爾夫與中國夢》就是透過三線故事去描繪高爾夫球運動這些年來在中國的發展。當中有靠自行摸索踏上職業之路的球場警衛、有美國高爾夫球場設計師,還有靠開發高爾夫球場而脫貧的當地人。他們的故事各有各傳奇,從他們的故事足可拼湊出高爾夫在中國發展的立體面貌。

作者的敘述頗為精彩,中國人由當初連高爾夫是何物也尚未懂得,到爭相走入圈子內,折射了近年中國社會的變遷。其中警衛自學成為職業球手的故事,更是意外地激盪人心,運動愛好者必有共鳴。

The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream
Author: Dan Washburn
Translator: Wu Guo-qing

Golf is considered as one of the most politicized of all sports. A typical case to demonstrate is the fact that the US President Donald Trump has played golf with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe more than just once. Actually this “golf diplomacy” was started in the 1950s, when Abe’s grandfather, former Japanese Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi, and the then US President Dwight Eisenhower, got into the swing of things on the golf course.

It was full of “golf politics” in China either, despite the fact that golf was only introduced to the country almost 40 years ago at the early stages of reform and opening-up. Over the past 20 years, China has enjoyed a golf boom as lots of new courses have opened up.

Today, China plays a position in the world of golf. The best example is Shanshan Feng, the Chinese golfer who won the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro and at one time was first in the women’s world golf rankings. It is hard to fathom that just a few decades ago, China’s first professional golfers were actually “ball boys” and even golf course security guards who learned the game on their own.

In The Forbidden Game: Golf and the Chinese Dream, American journalist Dan Washburn vividly depicts the growth of Chinese golf over the years by revealing the lives of three men: a golf course security guard who explored the game by himself and became a pro, an American golf course designer, and a local who was lifted out from poverty through a reliance on building of golf courses. Their extraordinary stories and experiences weave together a living portrait of China’s golf development.

An engrossing and compelling narrative, the author uses the expansion of Chinese golf as a lens into the country’s social changes in recent years. Coupled with heart-stirring stories like the security guard turned golf pro, this book will definitely strike a chord with sports enthusiasts.

從巴克利超馬談起

 

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跑步書不少,但說到跑步與書本最直接的扣連,是在一個「惡名昭彰」的賽事中——巴克利超級馬拉松。

說此賽「惡名昭彰」,全因它困難得不可理喻。30年來,只有15個參賽者能完成賽事,完賽率不足2%。就連報名、比賽開始方式等,全部不按牌理出牌。簡單來說,參加這個賽事的人,是徹底的自討苦吃。

正是因為一個「難」字,才吸引無數人撰文拍片,以獵奇方式向世人介紹這個非一般賽事。賽事其中一個環節頗為特別(事實上也沒有哪個環節不特別):參加者須在數個特定檢查站找出主辦方預先埋好的「藏書」,按自己參賽號碼撕下相應頁數,以作核實。

這些書籍,內容也許與跑步毫無關係。但在如此古怪賽制之下,書,就在這越野比賽之中扮演了一個重要角色。

坦白說,要參與巴克利這種賽事,我既沒勇氣,也無能力。之不過書本這東西,卻異曲同工地在我的跑步生涯成了不可或缺的一部分。

在不同場合提過,當初對海外馬拉松生起了無窮綺思,其中一本啟蒙書就是同文莊曉陽的處子作《四十二公里的風光》。想當年,身邊跑步的人哪有今天的接踵摩肩?香港跑者的足跡哪有今天的無遠弗屆?

後來,讀了村上春樹談跑步的著作,使我知道一個文人也可以跑上100公里;讀了《天生就會跑》,使我認識到地球上原來有個叫做「塔拉烏馬拉」的擅跑民族;讀了陳彥博、Scott Jurek等越野大神的經歷,更使我不敢對平日自己的練習輕易喊辛苦。因為書,很多遠方的經驗、勇氣和希望,細無聲地潤澤了我的跑步生命。

跑步最主要的,當然還是腳踏實地去練習和比賽。但就像巴克利超馬,頁頁書紙構成了不同站點的聯繫所在。本欄取名「巴克利一頁」,就是盼望每月一談自己讀跑步書的些許淺見,或可為諸君帶來一點啟發。