June 26, 2010
It was such a special day. I loved getting all dressed up and seeing my friends when I got to school. Everyone was excited and sad at the same time. I couldn’t even look at some of my teachers since I knew I would cry saying ‘good-by’ to them. I know I’ll see my friends all summer so that wasn’t too bad.
I have to admit I was very proud receiving Honour Role since it had been the busiest and most stressful term of my life with all my TKD training, Selections, tournaments, OSU soccer not to mention playing on all the school teams. Getting homework done and studying was challenging at times but thank goodness for laptops while driving to and from training
I was totally shocked to receive the Principal’s Award for Student Leadership that is given by the Ontario Principals’ Council. I didn’t even know that there were any special awards given at grad. I felt choked up going on stage to receive this since it was such a big deal.
Today was also extra special since my brother graduated from High School so I was able to get in to see a bit of that once my school dance ended. I’m so glad that he will be living at home while going to university next year. I would hate him to move away at this point. My parents were racing from one grad ceremony to the other today and of course my grandpa was with us too. Our lives are always so busy but at least it’s doing fun stuff.
After a quick celebration dinner we drove to Mississauga for a soccer tournament and we didn’t get in to the hotel until around 2:00 in the morning. It’s a good thing I can sleep well in the car! We have four games this weekend.
I am really looking forward to next week getting back into a regular training schedule and having a great summer.
June 23, 2010
Wow, what a day! This morning was spent cheering on my friends who won great awards for their achievements in Arts for the year. I was so happy for them. Especially Kelsey
Just before the Athletic Assembly we had a 5.5 earthquake. It was so weird feeling the building shake. We were lucky that our school wasn’t evacuated like some of the other schools were.
The whole school gathered in the gym for the end of the year awards. I was so excited to get MVP for football, soccer and co-MVP for basketball. It’s hard for the coaches to choose since we have a really strong group of athletic girls in my grade and we are basically all on the same teams together.
Three girls and three guys in grade 8 earned the “Athletic Achievement Award’ this year. It’s a hard award to get. In order to earn it you have to rack up a total of 30 points or more over the three years of school. Being on each team is worth 2 points, recreational sports are 1 point and volunteering is also worth 1 point. It was fun to receive it with my good friends Katie and Jasmine. We were given nice plaques.
Then to end to the awards I also received Senior Female Athlete of the Year. It is a huge honor!!! As I said, I’m in a group of very athletic girls so I’m sure the coaches wished they could have given it to several other people as well. I wasn’t really sure how to react. I tend to keep my emotions inside but I was actually so happy and proud.
A tradition at our school is have great videos of all the school events of the year. It’s a great way to end the year looking back at all the fun events and seeing all the faces of the school.
Part of me was sad since I know I’ll really miss Cedarview and all the great teachers! It’s been a great school since there is something for everyone and anyone to do at Cedarview. I’m also really excited for going to John McCrae High School next year, especially since most of my friends will be going to there too. There will be so many new experiences and adventures. I can’t wait!
June 20, 2010
I took a bit of a break this week from Taekwon-do and only trained two nights. I didn’t realize how tired I was both physically and mentally. I guess I was more stressed about the National Selections than I wanted to admit. It’s also been a crazy time trying to finish up all the school assignments and projects. I can’t believe that this is my last week in middle school before I graduate. Just finding a grad dress was stressful enough
The OSU Force Soccer season officially began a couple weeks ago as well so there were several games to kick off the season. Fortunately all of our away games are this month. Last Sunday we went to Kingston for a game then Wednesday we had another game and today we went to Trenton for a game. We won all three. Once next month comes my games will all be local which is great so it won’t interfere with my TKD training. I think that cross training is so much fun and I feel stronger from doing both sports. My soccer team is going to Florida in July for a week but I’m not going. It’s too expensive to do so much traveling so I had to make some choices. Competing in the World Championships is a goal that I’ve had for years and now I get the chance to follow through with it.
My Grandpa comes to all my games and today we celebrated his 81st birthday and Father’s day. My mom made cupcakes for all the players and parents and my grandpa brought his ukulele to sing “Happy Birthday”. It was so cute and all my friends liked it too. Two of my team mates lost their grandpa’s in the last few weeks so I know I’m lucky to have mine there. I felt kinda bad that I couldn’t do much for my dad today but we made the day into a fun little road trip. I know he likes watching the games too.
This week is going to be busy with award assemblies at school and then graduation for both me and my brother. I’m really looking forward to summer holidays next week so I can start a good training routine and get some sleep!
June 13, 2010
After the last tournament my coach was given some good feedback from the national team sparring coaches so he really wants me to concentrate on certain areas of training where I need improvement. It’s great when there is a plan in place. It felt a bit different training this week since my goals are right in front of me and I know I have to do whatever is necessary to improve. Even if it does mean repeating the same kicking technique for a solid hour and a half over and over again until I can’t feel my legs or hips anymore My forearms are pretty bruised and sore from blocking the same kicks repeatedly so I’m going to buy some forearm guards for training sessions. Hopefully that will help.
June 13, 2010
Now that the news of making the National Team has really sunk in, I have to not only concentrate on training more but also getting some donations/sponsors to help with the next year. My parents helped me make a media kit and I went to visit several of the local businesses in Barrhaven for their support and I was so shocked by their generosity and encouragement. Every penny helps!!! I will have a lot more out of town training sessions and flights to Vancouver for the Nationals so it will get expensive. I was pretty nervous going into the first few places since I’ve never done this before but then it got easier when people were so nice to me. Their names will all be posted in the local newspaper in two weeks to thank them. All these new experiences are making me realize just how big of an honour and commitment it is to represent Canada. This is going to be a very exciting year
June 13, 2010
Thursday was the Board Finals for soccer. It was a bitter sweet day. We won in the semi-finals and then again in the finals to come home with the banner for the school. That was the sweet part. On the other hand it was also the last time I would wear a Cedaview shirt with my lucky #23 on it, since I graduate from Grade 8 in two weeks. I have completely loved playing on all the team but going off to high school will be different I’m sure. First of all with all my TKD training and secondly there will be a lot more competition to make the teams since it will be with all the older kids. Thanks coaches for all your help over the last three years.
June 6, 2010
This is the day that I’ve been waiting for so many years! I found it really hard to sleep last night. I coughed all night and kept thinking of the day ahead.
I was one of the first to arrive at the gym so I could get warmed up. As we drove up there was the paramedic team getting themselves set up. Not the most comforting thought but you know that anything can happen at these events. In some ways, it’s peace of mind knowing that there is help if needed. The whole tournament was very well organized for things like that.
I’ve never been old enough to be at a selection process so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Team Sparring is very different from Individual Sparring. I am used to only competing with competitors in my own weight division. They do it that way to make it more fair and safe for everyone. Today was going to be different.
For Team Sparring each country selects their top 5 competitors and 1 spare to make a team (weight divisions don’t count). Teams compete against each other and try to figure out who is going to be the best match for their opponents.
The officials invited 5 girls from the junior girls to spar each other to see who they wanted on the team. It was weird for me to compete against micro-weights and all the other divisions since I am a hyper weight. It’s hard to measure your body distances with the height and size differences and the micro-weights tend to be quicker and come in closer which makes it harder for me to use my powerful big kicks.
Normally sparring rounds are 2 – 2 minute rounds which gives me lots of time to read my opponent but today each opponent was only 1 -2 minute round so it really made you work hard fast. You had to show the judges your stuff in a hurry and prove you were worthy to be on the team.
The atmosphere was so different from tournaments. There were three large rings and you weren’t allowed any coaching from the side lines or from your coach so it was quiet which made it a bit more stressful. Since this was by invitation you knew it was the best of the best from all across Canada. I had to think back to all the sports psychology that I learned from Master Lan last month and put it to good use. ‘Today Is My Day!’
After all the men, junior boys, women and junior girl divisions did their rounds we all lined up and waited for the judges decisions. The official final teams will be decided at the Nationals in November but today each division selected a few. For the junior girls three girls were selected for the team and then they will choose the remainder two plus the spare at Nationals. I can’t tell you how excited I was when my name was called for part of the team. One of the other girls was a 16 year old from Quebec and the other girl was the 17 year old from Alberta. It will be interesting to see who the final two will be.
Now the real training starts! I just want to get better all the time and will do what it takes.
When I got back to Ottawa my brother and Grandpa surprised me with a delicious spaghetti dinner and cake with ‘Congratulations’ written on it. It was so thoughtful of them. I’m so lucky to have so much support from my entire family.
June 6, 2010
We left for Oakville early Friday morning since it’s about a 5 hour drive. I wanted to get to the hotel and just chill. It’s always fun to see old friends from all across Canada arrive. There were competitors from Vancouver to Halifax and all through the States down to Texas. After the weigh-ins I went out to dinner with the other athletes from Ontario which was nice. After dinner, instead of socializing any more I found a quiet place to stretch and go through my patterns. It’s always a good idea after a long drive. I could tell I was ready and focused for the next day.
The tournament was held at Sheridan College Saturday morning and started with an 8:00 black belt meeting and then the opening ceremonies. I didn’t compete until around 1:00 so it was a long day. It’s hard when you don’t know when you will be competing so you keep warming up, and then you don’t end up competing yet. You keep getting warm and ready and then cooling down so it puts a lot of stress on your body and mind. I knew who I was competing against so I knew I had to really step it up to a complete other level. This was such an important tournament to everyone so everyone was going to be at their best.
When I was called up for my first pattern I knew I had to win it or I would be eliminated. Before I go up I like to just stay quiet and alone to completely let my mind go. It gets to a point when it’s not even about thinking but just doing. It’s all muscle memory. My long time coach, and friend told me right before I went up that he saw the look in my eyes that he saw many years ago. The complete focus and drive. He was right. When you’re a black belt you perform the pattern of your choice and then a pattern of the judges choice. In my first pattern, I felt really strong. I think that pattern was one of the best ones I have ever done! The second pattern was just as good. I was so relieved and proud when I was announced the winner. Before my next round, I did this breathing exercise that my coach taught me to slow my breathing down. It really helped. Of course I was completely made fun of for looking funny. It’s amazing how hard it is on your body to do a pattern full strength. It is one of those things that you can never fully imagine or understand unless you have ever done it. Then I had to go up against the girl from Halifax that beat me at the last tournament. I lost because I didn’t know a pattern that the judges called so of course, I wanted my rematch. I actually made a mistake during my first pattern. In my head I was just screaming at the top of my lungs. I knew that even though I made a mistake, maybe the judges wouldn’t have noticed so I kept my cool and finished strong. Then the judges chose a final pattern for us to do. I am normally not aware of competitors beside me but I knew I had to make up for the previous mistake. I gave it my all so that even still with the mistake, I had to be that much better so that they had to vote for me. I was so happy when I won the gold. Points are awarded for the top three placements and these points count towards the seeding for the Nationals.
Then it was time sparring. I knew my competitor from the CanAm’s from Alberta last year. You never know how much the person has improved over the year so you have to start all over again. People and coaches keep telling me to go into the ring without any kind of strategy. During the first thirty seconds or so, I test the waters and read my opponent and then make up the points in the second round. Each match is 2 – 2 minute rounds.I wasn’t used to her type of sparring so I played it safe countering her every move. I was really happy to win the gold again. More points are a good thing!
At the end of the evening the officials made an announcement of who was invited back to the gym on Sunday to try out for the Pre-selection National Sparring Team for New Zealand. They based their decision on what they had seen during the day and how people have performed over the last year. I loved hearing my name called .
We didn’t get out of the gym until almost 9:00p.m. Everyone went out for a big dinner but I just picked up some food and brought it back to my hotel room. I was tired from the long day and then I knew the next morning was probably going to be one of the most important events for me in TKD. I just needed to rest and clear my head so I would be ready.
June 3, 2010
Today I went to the Regional Track and Field Meet. I only competed in the Shot Put event. There were about 30 girls in my division. Everyone gets three throws and then the 8 girls with the furthest seach get one more throw for the finals. I won first place.
Right after the meet I came home so I could have a little rest and pack for the weekend since I have a soccer game tonight. To be honest I just want to get to Oakville right now and start the tournament. I’ve found it really hard to concentrate on school with all the other activities and training. I’ve been going to school really early in the mornings for events and then getting to bed after midnight every night. I’m just going to rest all day tomorrow in the car and then when we get to the hotel. Friday night we have to weigh in and then then the tournament starts at 8:00 am and will last all day on Saturday. Sunday is another round robin of black belts to select the national sparring team for New Zealand.
I’ll keep you posted with how it goes. Wish me luck !
June 3, 2010
This week our soccer team played in an all day soccer tournament. We played four games and won all four of them which was fun and exciting. We really wanted to do well for our two coaches Mrs. Latsis and Mme. Digney since they are both leaving the school this Spring and they have coached us for the last two years. We are looking forward to competing in the Board Finals next Thursday. Even though I was tired after playing for the full four games I couldn’t wait to get to the Dojang for some more training before this weekend. I trained until almost 11:00 at night but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to train anymore this week since it’s now time to slow down. I’m getting so excited.