November 30, 2010
I can’t believe how fast March is approaching. The next 3 months are going to be my toughest yet most exciting training ever. I have to really focus on the areas that I need to so all the little details are taken care of. At Nationals I learned just how quickly everything happens during competition and there is no room for errors or a second chance. I wish I didn’t have to go to school so I could just sleep, eat and train
November 26, 2010
Ever since I’ve been back from Vancouver I haven’t been myself
I have been completely consumed with training and preparing every day for Nationals since last June. I thoroughly enjoyed every second of the training with my friends since we all had the same goal… Make the National Team.
I will always remember all the hours spent helping each other, consoling each other when we were tired and sore, videotaping each other for critique, traveling to seminars together for additional tips, and boosting each others confidence when necessary. It was a very special time! It’s weird how I felt like we were a team but we were trying for individual events. Thanks again to Mr. Steve LeGrow, Mr. David Lim, Mr. Miro Mostovac, Ms. Brigitte Jobin and Ms.Kayla Huber – Team Blackburn rocks!
Getting back to school was really rough. I’ve never missed so much school before and I was shocked how far behind I got. Fortunately my teachers were very nice and gave me a few extensions so that I could complete everything. I really didn’t want my marks to drop. My head just didn’t want to be studying, I just wanted to sleep.
I guess I didn’t realize how my body got so caught up with the pressure I put on myself, the excitement, and the nervousness I secretly had. I hardly noticed that I was mentally and physically exhausted. It wasn’t until I stopped everything for a few days that it all hit me. It’s the weirdest thing. I just needed a few days to recharge my batteries.
Now it’s back to reality. I also started my indoor winter soccer training last week. I am going to train with the soccer team twice a week but I’m not playing any games until after Worlds to reduce the risk of injuries. I won’t let anything get in the way of New Zealand!
I am looking forward to the next 3 1/2 months of training. It’s going to be different now since I will also get some training with the National coaches in Quebec City and Gatineau. It’s like starting all over again.
I was really pleased with what I did in competition but there are also a lot of things that I really need to work on. The World Championships is at another whole level so I have to be even that much more prepared!
I have come to one conclusion from all of this…. I LOVE TO TRAIN. It’s what I love to do more than anything because it’s what keeps me sane
November 23, 2010
If you’ve never seen Taekwon-Do before check out this GREAT VIDEO from the Richmond Olympic Oval at the National Championships . CTV News was there to capture the warm-up for the Women’s Team Pattern Demonstration and the Pre-arranged Sparring by the O’Neil brothers. Both of these teams will be representing Canada at the World Championships in New Zealand. Go Canada! Wait for the commercial to finish before the actual interview begins…
November 22, 2010
This weekend our school hosted a friendship tournament with over 120 competitors and it was so fun to see all the young kids who have never competed before. Since I wasn’t competing I spent the day either judging or coaching and it was so rewarding. So much focus is always placed on the Black Belts in competition that it was great to have a tournament where the Coloured Belts were the center of the attention. Hopefully it will encourage them for future tournaments so it’s not always about the ‘Black Belts’. The earlier these guys feel comfortable competing the better they’ll do later on and the bigger Taekwon-do will grow.
I’ll never forget my first tournament when I was 5 years old. I was so excited but I was also a bit overwhelmed with all the people and ‘rules’ that I really wasn’t aware of. Fortunately for me there were a few older teenagers that took care of me and kept it fun. That is hopefully what I can do for these kids.
I met Cameron a few years ago at another dojang and we have been following each others progress along the way. I was so proud that he competed. Competing takes a lot of courage so I think it’s great when people will test themselves like that. Great job. I also would like to thank Cameron and his family for all their positive emails to me while I was training and competing for the Nationals. It’s so nice to have support like that!
Standing on the podium for my very first time felt just as special to me then as it was to standing on the podium last week as the Jr. National Champion in Patterns!
Now it’s my turn to be one of ‘those teenagers’ to help the coloured belts. I got a rush when I was coaching them. It was rewarding when I saw them do so well. It’s cool to think that someday one of these little kids will be helping out someone at their first tournament in a few years.
The thing I love about TKD is that it’s a lifetime sport. At the tournaments I ran into instructors and fellow competitors that I’ve known for 11 years. When you meet up again it’s as if no time has passed and you just pick up from where you left off. It’s the common bond.
I was asked to coach three sparring teams: Junior Girls, Junior Boys and the Men’s team. I was so proud of them to be able to handle all the crowd cheering them on. Everyone was going crazy. The kids really stepped up to the plate and did their very best. Congrats to my three sparring teams!
As usual my mom took hundreds of pictures of the day.
Click on on the picture below to open a new page with all the images. A new page will open up and you can move your mouse to the top of EACH picture to select some additional viewing options. To quickly scroll through all 500 images move your cursor to the bottom of a picture and you’ll see a slider.
If you have trouble with the above link click here
November 22, 2010
Here are some pictures from the Friendship tournament at Ashbury College. My Mom tried to get shots of everyone. Click on the picture below to open the complete gallery!
After you’ve click on on the picture above a new page will open up. Move your mouse to the top of the picture to select some additional viewing options. To scroll through all 500 pictures move your cursor to the bottom of a picture and you’ll see a slider.
If you have trouble with the above link click here
November 18, 2010
I had a really nice interview by a third year journalism student from Algonquin College.
She said that she had been assigned to profile someone she believed to be important and making a difference in the Ottawa area. When she was deciding who she wanted to interview she saw my profile on the ‘Athlete of the Week’ video on CTV news and asked me if we could meet.
To be honest if feels really weird to think that someone wants to meet me since I don’t think I’m doing anything different. Gabrielle made me feel so comfortable and her excitement got me excited too so it was a lot of fun. The time flew by because I was talking about the things I love to do. After about an hour I had to leave so I could get to the dojang to train.
Apparently if her professor likes her article enough it might be posted in the Algonquin Times. She said that she would let me post it here on my blog anyway when she’s finished writing it. I’m curious to see what she writes.
I am also thinking of journalism as another career option so it was cool to talk to her after wards and ask her questions about the different programs that are available.
Thanks Gabrielle for picking me to interview. It was very flattering
November 18, 2010
Check out this poster that the professional photographers created at the National Championships. Thanks to Paul Yates at Vancouver Sports Pictures.
November 15, 2010
The event was held at the amazing Richmond Olympic Speed Skating Oval. Here are some pics from the Oval which is now used for all kinds of sports.
November 15, 2010
I was almost the last person to leave the Olympic Oval since I had one of the last events. As I was walking out I felt very sad that the tournament was over and that I may never be in this incredible building again. It’s one thing to see it on TV but it’s so special to be able to compete in it.
Instead of receiving our medals at the competition everything was given at a special dinner banquet for all the Black Belts and families.
I’ve been getting a lot of questions from friends about the differences in the events. The simplest explanation is to compare the World Championships to a Track and Field meet. There are several individual events and then there are the team events which are similar to a relay event.
This National Championship was so important to me since I qualified to compete for Canada at the World Championships. I’ll be competing against the best TaeKwon Do Black Belt women under the age of 18 at the World Championships in New Zealand in these five different events:
- Individual Patterns
- Individual Sparring
- Individual Power Breaking
- Team Sparring
- Team Power Breaking
While my initial goal was to compete as an individual I was also selected as a member of the Canadian Team Sparring and Team Power Breaking squads. Team events are much like a relay race where the wins and losses of each teammate is totaled. These contests are completely separate from the individual events and I’ve been told that the crowds and cheering for these events gets crazy!
November 15, 2010
The day started very early since we had to be at the Oval by 7:30am for the Official Opening Ceremony. It was exciting. We all marched into the Oval walking behind each Provincial Flag. It was cool seeing the Olympic rings as they sang the National Anthem. I hope to hear it when I’m in New Zealand!!! They also had some Korean Drummers and some wicked demonstrations for women’s patterns and men’s pre-arranged sparring.
Since there were over 400 competitors the day seemed very long. I didn’t start my sparring until around 2:00. It’s always hard to know when to eat or start warming up since you don’t really know when your ring is going to be called. I warmed up with a buddy (Stephanie Boivin) from Longueuil. She is in the Micro Weight division so we can encourage each other without having to compete against each other
Since my instructor was competing right after me he couldn’t coach me so Mr. David Lim was my coach for sparring. I train with Mr. Lim all the time so I felt very comfortable with him.
I had accumulated enough points in previous sanctioned tournaments over the last year that I automatically qualified for the final round robin. It may not sound hard to have to compete against only three other people but you have to remember that we are the top four in Canada. Hopefully that gives you an understanding at the level and quality. We have done our hard work all year to get to the finals.
I ended up placing third overall. My first match was terrible and I am frustrated at the mistakes that I made. I won my second match and I felt like I was just getting into the groove. Each round felt better and better. I was really proud of my cardio. I felt like I could have done more and more fights. In the final round I was against the previous World Bronze Medalist and it was very close. I was able to get in a lot of points but ended up losing since I had too many warnings. After a certain amount of warnings, you lose points. Even though I lost that round I felt good about it. It was a really good lesson for me to learn at this event, instead of at the worlds. When I do my sparring training I need to pay attention to how many warnings I have so that doesn’t happen again. Anything can happen in sparring and that’s what makes it so exciting.
Obviously I am disappointed that I didn’t win but I am still pleased that I qualified to compete for sparring in New Zealand.
Then it was off to Power Breaking. I had a lot of fun in this event. I won silver which means I also qualified to compete in this event as well in New Zealand. My second time around in the breaking, I didn’t measure properly and I kicked the metal instead. Big mistake!!! Apparently, when you give it your all and kick metal with full force, it hurts a bit
In tournaments you don’t break wooden boards. You break plastic boards that have a zig/zag fold in them. The board only breaks if it’s perfect technique which makes it harder. Each board color represents the equivalency to a certain number of wooden boards.
I learned some very important things at this tournament. I came with two major goals.
Number 1: I wanted to qualify for patterns, sparring and power breaking. I achieved that so I’m EXTREMELY happy, relieved and proud!!!!
Number 2. I wanted to leave the tournament with ‘No Regrets’ no matter how I placed. I wanted to put it all out there and not hold back. To be honest, after a whole lot of thinking I don’t think that it’s possible or smart. If you don’t have any things to work on then you will never improve. I made some mistakes in my sparring but I know what I have to work on. I also made a mistake of not measuring the machine properly for my last kick in the Power Breaking and that cost me the gold medal. I won’t do that again! When I’m training for power breaking, I’m going to focus a lot on accuracy. I am getting stronger and stronger but I need to continue to work on the technique.
All in all, I took a lot away from this tournament. It was an awesome learning experience, a great test to see how my training is paying off and just an amazing time. This is a practice run for the World Championships and I have 4 months to get even better.