February 19, 2011
I use ladders as part of my daily training for both soccer and taekwon-do. While I was instructing some classes this week I thought it would be fun to bring them and show the little kids some new stuff.
It was great because the younger kids have to concentrate so hard just to remember the sequence of the foot work that they didn’t realize how hard they were actually working. I kept changing the jumping sequences to keep it challenging for them. The benefits are great since it develops quick foot work and gets you used to bouncing on the balls of your feet which is what you want for sparring. Memorizing patterns in a sequence is exactly what learning TKD patterns is.
Every soccer practice our team warms up ‘running ladders’ and it’s so much harder when you are wearing cleats and running on the grass. Both sports need quick foot speed and coordination.
I love coaching patterns to people who really want to improve and take it seriously. It doesn’t matter what age the person is. If someone wants to really learn, then it’s so much fun to coach. Sometimes you really have to just figure out the best way for the student to understand.
I have also been working on my own fitness this week and it’s been great working Mr. Martel. He’s been a major TKD training coach for me my entire life and he is also a great personal fitness trainer.
He takes everything to the next level with his biometic excercises. My legs will never feel the same
Even doing sit-ups, push-up and the ‘plank’ are taken to the next level.
It’s been great having lots of little pep talks from Ms. Trigger, Mr. Martel, and Mr. Lim, and Mme. Desmarquis this week. I think they are all taking care of me while Mr. LeGrow is away in Germany. Thanks guys.
February 18, 2011
As the competition gets closer part of me is actually really sad since I’ve had the best opportunities and I love having the intense training. I LOVE TO TRAIN and have a big goal to work towards. For me, it’s as much fun as the competition itself. I never get bored repeating the same drills since there’s always room for improvement.
This is my last week of intense training. It’s been great working on my patterns and I will continue to do that right up until competition. I didn’t spar at all this week in case of injury but have kept my cardio up. It’s funny I keep having the same visualization of a certain sparring combination. It’s like a movie running over and over in my head.
To be honest when I competed in Vancouver I hadn’t prepared too much for the power breaking since the patterns and sparring were my main focus. However, when I qualified for both individual and team power breaking I knew I needed to really step up my game and get some help.
Power Breaking is a hard event to train for. It’s easy to really damage your feet/or hands with breaking boards. I’ve broken my foot in two places before and it’s not fun.
Ms. Trigger from Trigger’s TKD has been coaching me for this event. She went to the World Championships for power breaking herself so I’m very lucky to get her advice and instruction. Visualization and confidence are a big part for this event. I know I have the strength and power and now I also have the confidence. The confidence has come with the repetition of the motion over and over. It is more automatic than having to concentrate on so many things. They call it ‘muscle memory’. Ms. Trigger even told me last night that she saw a big improvement. That made me happy since she has put in so much time, I wanted her to know how seriously I took her coaching and how much I appreciate it.
When her dojang is closed late at night she has been there to help me. Last night we spent a lot of time together. My dad holds the shield for me and I’ve been practicing my measurement for accuracy. He can tell by the impact if I’m doing things properly. I like to hear him lose his breath as I kick Then I know the boards would have broken. Last month we used the boards that were donated by Home Depot and my mom video taped it. I have watched it over and over to really get a strong visualization of all the steps that my body has to go through in order to slice the boards. I visualize a knife slicing through a brick of butter. If the knife is clean and is at the correct angle, then is easily slides right through. If you were to just to whack the brick of butter with the flat side of the knife then all you get is a big mess
Now that I’m on the Power Breaking team as well I don’t want to let my two other team mates down either. One of the girls is from Alberta and the other one is from Quebec. I know our team can bring a medal home for Canada.
It’s amazing how you can tell from your first movement if it’s going to follow through properly. The interesting thing is that once you’ve started the motion, there is no turning back. You have to follow through to the bitter end in order to keep the momentum and power. Confidence and the visualization takes over. At Nationals I was nervous for this event since I didn’t feel mentally prepared. Now I say…..Bring it on!
Thank you Ms. Trigger. I can’t tell you enough how much I appreciate your ongoing support and confidence in me.
February 14, 2011
Mr. LeGrow is away for a couple of weeks so it means that the Black Belt instructors will be helping out more. I’ve made up my little Valentine bags for the kids and I’m off to the dojang. It’s going to be fun. I’m really looking forward to some great training with Mr. Martel as well. It’s been a long time since we’ve trained together.
O.K. I just got back from training (it’s 10:30pm) and I have to tell you about tonight’s class. First of all the kids (big and small) loved their little jelly bean bags
Then I was given the most precious gift ever from Katie Murphy! It was a ‘build a bear’ in a TKD uniform with a gold medal around it’s neck. I have to admit I’ve always wanted one I’ve never felt anything softer in my entire life I’m definitely going to find a way to pack him in my suitcase to New Zealand.
Then it was back to hard core training
Mr. Martel used to coach me for years and it was great to train with him again. I forgot just how tough he is I have strict instructions from Mr. LeGrow of what he wants and doesn’t want me to do while he is away so we did a lot of cardio and biometrics. It was such an awesome workout. I also worked on certain movements in my patterns but my legs were like jello after all the legs work. Stretching felt soooo good after wards.
Now it’s back to studying for a test tomorrow. Good night – it’s been a great day.
February 14, 2011
As the World Championships are getting closer the excitement is setting in and sometimes it can be a bit surreal. Our dojang had a fundraiser friendship tournament on the weekend and we had the honour of a motivational speech from Kevin Frost.
Who is Kevin Frost? See www.deafblindspeedskater.com for more on Mr. Frost.
“Canadian speed skater Kevin Frost has Olympic ambitions and there are only two things in his way — Usher Syndrome and the International Paralympic Committee’s failure to recognize deaf-blind speed skating as a sport.
Usher Syndrome is a rare genetic disorder that causes progressive hearing and vision loss. In Kevin’s case, he has tunnel vision (only 8% of normal visual range) and a sound has to register about 90 decibels for him to hear it. But being deaf-blind is not stopping him. ”
According to Mr. Frost…
Last year at the International Canadian Open Championship in Quebec City he won a Bronze Medal and then in Lake Placid he won a gold medal. He was ranked 6th in Canada in 2007 against able bodied skaters, 3rd in Canada in 2010 long track speed skating. He is also competing in the World Indoor Rowing Championships in Boston in a few weeks
I loved his dog Nemo. It was amazing how his personality changed when he was wearing his ‘working harness’ . When Mr. Frost removed it, he was instantly like a young puppy with a wagging tail.
He shared some of his preparation tips before large competitions and the types of things he has to overcome. I was glad to hear that I also prepare myself in the same ways that he does. One big difference is that when we both listen to our music to warm up…he doesn’t hear the music but he FEELS the beat. When I think I have some challenges I will think of Mr. Frost as a motivator. If he can succeed with so many challenges, then I can too! No excuses. As athletes we can’t take our bodies for granted. We all got to try on a pair of dark glasses with two tiny pin hole openings. The glasses showed us what Mr. Frost could actually see all the time. Not very much! When your vision is so incredibly reduced and your hearing is so impaired all your body senses and balance are thrown for a loop but he has had the courage and strength to over come them. It was actually bind boggling.
There was a definite silence in the room as he spoke. I’m sure he sensed it. I think everyone was just in awe of his accomplishments and his perseverance that no one knew what to say.
Unfortunately I had to judge the whole day at the tournament so I didn’t get much of a chance to really talk to him privately. I would love the opportunity to talk to him one-on-one since he is an incredible person and I admire his attitude. I want to surround myself with people who are making their dreams come true. My Coach gave me the movie ‘The Secret’ to watch which is all about the ‘Law of Attraction’. I think it’s working
This was the perfect way to kick off our tournament. For many coloured belts it was their first tournament so it was a great day! Thank you Mike Murphy for arranging this opportunity.
February 10, 2011
I’ve missed three days of school this week which really isn’t good since I’ll be missing so much while I’m away and it’s a brand new semester with all new teachers and subjects.
I have a bad cold and since there will be ‘drug’ testing at the Worlds I can’t take any medicine. I’m too afraid of what’s in the stuff. Better safe than sorry. I’m just drinking lots of fluids, taking lots of vitamin C and sleep all day!
Hopefully the rest is good for my body and I’ll come back even stronger in a few days. I just have to get better and listen to my body. I’ve had lots of time to think about things while laying in bed and I feel really confident that things will work out great.
My dad went and picked up my ‘official’ Canadian uniform last night. It’s what I’ve dreamed about for years!!!! It’s funny how just having the Canadian Flag and the word ‘Canada’ written across the back means so much. It’s because I’ve had to work so hard to earn the right to wear it. I will wear it with PRIDE! I can’t wait to get the official track suit. That apparently comes in right before we leave. I’ll put a picture of it up when I get it. You’re supposed to trade jackets with with people from other countries but I’m not sure I’ll ever want to part with it
February 9, 2011
Wow my fundraiser was a day I’ll never forget!!! It was so special to have my close friends around to send me off to the World Championships. I was so touched by very personal speeches and video messages from my coaches and mentors and idols. It was really hard to hold back the tears. Everything was perfect. One of the most special things is that I received a huge box full of ‘good luck messages/postcards’ that I get to take and read while I’m in my hotel in New Zealand. I have no idea what to expect at such a prestigious tournament but it will be comforting knowing that I have friends back home who wish me well no matter how I do. I’ve done all the training both physically and mentally that I can possibly do. Time will tell if it’s meant to be. I`ll keep you posted.
I would like to thank the following companies and friends who made my very successful fundraiser possible:
With Sincere Appreciation to:
- The Royal Canadian Legion – 3500 Fallowfield Rd – So Generous especially on a Super Bowl Sunday
- The Barrhaven Independent – Advertising and Interview - They Surprised Me by Placing a Full Page Ad and Then Showed up at the Party Too! Thank You.
- Daniel Jobin – Printing of Flyers to Distribute
- Mike Carroccetto – photographer for flyer
- Wayne Mitchell – Red Caddy Graphic Artist
- Paul Gallant – Master of Ceremonies – He Did an Amazing Job. I Can’t Thank Him Enough!
- Kelsey Hayes – Singer and good friend – You rocked Kelsey
- Mike N’ Marty – mikenmarty.com Acoustic Guitar Duo – So much fun and upbeat.
- Blackburn TKD Students for their Demo – Great job guys. You made me proud!
- Greg Maduk – Sound and Videos
- Blackburn TKD, Kou’s TKD and Trigger’s TKD for all their years of coaching
- Kathy Bucci for Wrapping the Gift Baskets – Everything looked so pretty
- Royal LePage for lending their moving van to transport everything – Huge Help
- Special Guest Speakers: Gabrielle Tieman (Life-Style Editor Algonquin Times)
- Special Video Message from Clement Goh via Video Message from Singapore – Previous Coach
- Special Speech from Max Riopelle – Previous Coach and Mentor- National Champion
- Special Speech from Jonathon Martel – Previous Coach, Mentor and World Champion
- Special Message from Julie Goneau – My Idol – National Champion
- The Very Mysterious Monkey Mascot – Who was that? Only He/She Knows – Thanks for coming out to support my party
- Domino’s Pizza
- Ross’ Independent Grocers – Chili
- Joanne Helmer-Clarke – Popcorn machine and popcorn
- All the Volunteers who baked cupcakes and deserts
Local Companies and Friends who Donated Auction Items:
- Julie LaSalle
- Merivale Bowling
- Chris, Margaret and Karina
- Ms. Kathy Trigger (Trigger’s TKD)
- James Maduk
- Mountaingoat Yoga Studio
- The Home Depot
- Absolute Comedy
- Doggie Central – Lesley and Jeff Rooney in Toronto
- Hendrix Restaurant Equipment & Supplies
- Grace O’Malley’s – Ogilvy Rd.
- Randi Prieur – BeautiControl Basket
- FitLifeStyles Studio
- Ottawa 67′ Hockey
- Marwick Physiotherapy – Shawn Marwick
- Dexter’s Den
- Francine Lagacé
- Haico the Handyman
- Fitness Depot
- Strandz Hair Design – Ill Paradiso Spa
- Steve Russell
- Cedarhill Golf Course
- Centrepointe Theatre
- Taing Jewelers
- Lucy Pagé
- Laser Quest
- Spa 808
- Angela Thomson (Royal LePage)
Donated Raffle Items:
- Greenfields Restaurant
- Barrhaven Source for Sports
- Mr. Lube
- Toys on Fire
- Kelsey`s Restaurant
- Saunder`s Farm
- Patrick Coady
Thank you to everyone for that helped at the entrance table, serving food, taking care of the auction tables and helping with the set-up and tear down.
Brigitte Jobin, Angela Thomson, Joanne Helmer-Clarke and Ms. Kathy Trigger spent numerous hours in the planning, organizing and promoting the fundraiser. I really couldn’t have done it without you!!
I would also like to thank my dad for going door-to-door with me to all the local companies to ask for items for the auction. It was a good learning experience for me! It wasn’t too scary since everyone was so nice to me.
My Mom also organized and coordinated the entire event to make it just perfect. She did such an amazing job and I appreciate all her hard work. She always makes a great party with all the little thoughtful things she does
It meant a lot of have all my previous coaches there. I am so happy that Mr. LeGrow is competing in New Zealand with me. Miro Mostovac was also there. The three of us are heading for the adventure of a lifetime!!!!
Thank you also to all the very generous bids on the silent auction items and the private donations. You have no idea now much it means to me!!!
February 3, 2011
Before I compete I have my own little rituals that I go through. They may sound silly to you but they are very important to me.
I write the word ‘Free’ on my arm before I compete with my patterns. This word is important to me since I have to ‘free’ my mind completely so I can concentrate and focus on my movements. I always feel ‘free’ when I do my patterns since everything else around me disappears. It’s the best feeling in the world.
I write the word ‘Strength’ on my arm before I compete in sparring or power breaking. I need mental strength so I don’t give up and I want to have strength so I spar with self-control. Obviously I also need the physical strength.
When I’m competing I can just look at my wrist and I feel the energy that I need.
A friend of mine knows about this ritual and she had rubber bracelets custom made for me that have ‘my’ special words.
The red colour is for Canada and the black is for my black belt. There are also little Canadian Maple Leaves on them between each word. The words ‘Free’ , ‘Strength’, and ‘Kayla’ are embossed. I was speechless when she gave it to me since it’s so personal and thoughtful. I’m not really sure how to react to all this kindness but I’m loving it! She had several of them made up so my family member can wear them too.