May 29, 2011
Everyone always told me that some day I would have to make a decision about which sports I wanted to choose over the other. Well, this week it happened.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I qualified for all three of my throwing events for OFSAA in Sudbury which is super exciting. People don’t always see the extra training that I do on my own before and after the regular practices and they think that I’m just ‘lucky’. I have to work just as hard as everyone else to get my results and that is why I get so much satisfaction.
However, I found out that on the last day of meet I also have a soccer game in Ottawa 5 hours after my last event in Sudbury (which is almost a 6 hour drive depending on traffic and road construction).
I was so torn up about what to do. I have worked really hard on Javelin and it’s the event that I broke a meet record in a few weeks back so I know I have potential in that event. For selfish reasons I really wanted to compete in Javelin at OFSAA to see how I could do against the top 16 girls in Ontario. I also wanted to do well for the school and my teachers that have put in so many mornings to help me before school to help. After all, this is what we’ve been working towards for the last two months. Everyone kept telling me what an incredible experience OFSAA is and how great it is to compete against the top 16 of the Province. I’m such a competitive person so I love that challenge.
In the back of my mind I kept thinking about my soccer game too. I didn’t want to let my school and teachers down by not competing but I also knew I had a responsibility to my soccer team mates. I take my commitments very seriously. How can I be in two places at once?????
After spending many hours talking with my parents we figured out a plan. Go with the school to Sudbury to compete in shot put and discus and then take a Voyageur bus home on the Friday night so I can play in my soccer game on the Saturday. It was the only way that I could think of getting to experience at least a bit of the OFSAA meet and still be back for my soccer team. At the end of the day my soccer team comes first since we are a team.
As soon as I talked to my teacher and told her to that I would not be competing in the last event I was really upset but I also had a huge sense of relief since deep down I knew it was the right thing to do. I was feeling very guilty for competing knowing that it would let my team mates down. There are a lot of injuries on my team and we couldn’t have any call-ups since those girls are playing at the same time in another game. This is the first season that my team is playing at the OYSL level and every game is as important as OFSAA if we want to stay at the provincial level next year.
I was also thinking about the girl who game in 5th place. I was hoping that she would be able to go to OFSAA to compete in that event since she was so disappointed that she wouldn’t be going. I really hope that they contact her so she can have the same experience.
Sometimes I just have to stand back and remove myself from everything and look at the big picture to keep things in perspective. I had to turn a lose/lose situation into a win/win situation.
Watch out Javelin next year!
May 27, 2011
Today at the Eastern Ontario Track and Field meet I competed in Shot Put, Discus and Javelin. The weather was absolutely gross. It was cold and it never stopped raining! I’m not saying that to complain or make excuses since it was the same disadvantage for everyone but it sure took some of the fun out of it. The equipment was slippery, the puddles were deep and the wind didn’t help with the throws either. I just want to see what I can do in good conditions.
Last night I over extended my knee in soccer so that was always on my mind. My teacher taped it up first thing in the morning and that seem to help stabilize it. I was worried about the spinning in Discuss and the running part in Javelin.
My first event was shot put. It’s probably my strongest and most consistent of the events. It was cool seeing new girls from schools as far away as Kingston, Renfrew, and Thousand Islands. I won first place in shot put.
Then it was off to discus. I’ve worked really hard on this event but I think it’s the most technical of the three throws. It needs both technique and strength. I have a lot to learn with this one. It’s amazing how everyone seems to have their own style. A grade 12 student has been helping me with discus since he has a lot of experience in it and he is really good.
I ended up in 4th place for discus. Although I didn’t throw my personal best today I was just happy to qualify for my second event for OFSAA.
My final event was the javelin. This is probably my favorite of the throws just because it is so satisfying when you have a really far throw. There is a real grace to it and not just strength. I’ve noticed the body types are different for Javelin from Shot Put as well. A girl lent me her spikes to wear. I’ve never worn spikes before but the track was so slippery that they really made a difference with the grip. I felt more confident wearing them. My knee at this point was throbbing from being sore and cold and the running wasn’t as smooth as I would have liked.
I won 2nd place for Javelin which means I get to compete in all three events in Sudbury next week. I had 3 teachers and my Vice-Principal with me all day and they were so supportive and encouraging.
Ms. Rusch has spent so many hours before school coaching me for these events. Thanks so much for giving your own time.
May 22, 2011
What a week! Two high school soccer games, my regular club soccer practices, two days at the National Capital Secondary School Athletic Association Track and Field Meet plus all my homework. I hardly had the chance to go to Taekwon-do and I really miss it.
The meet was for the those students who qualified at last week’s meet. Every meet they eliminate more and more competitors so it gets harder each week. According to the Ottawa Citizen I won the ‘Overall Female Midget Athlete’ for the second week in a row. I even got medals for that
I just hope I can qualify at next week’s meet which is for Eastern Ontario. Apparently that is where the real competition starts since it’s the top athletes from further distances. I was told that the girls from the Valley put a lot of emphasis on their training for this event. I obviously want to qualify since that means I would get to compete at OFFSA in June in Sudbury. I also have no disillusions about the lack of experience I have so I have to be realistic. So many competitors are involved in Track and Field City teams and get really good coaching that specialize in field events and that is who I will be competing against.
I am the type of person that if I am going to compete in something then I’ll give it my 100%. It’s not about the winning – it’s about learning and challenging myself. Every time I tell myself I’m just going to try a sport ‘just for fun’ it always turns into more since I get frustrated until I learn how to do something properly. I don’t seem to know how to ‘not care how I do’.
I love the fact that you always try to beat your own personal best so there is always the satisfaction. On the other hand my throws aren’t consistent enough for me to be confident at all. Since it’s the long weekend I asked to borrow all the equipment. I spent several hours at the track yesterday with my grandpa. To be honest I was getting frustrated since I don’t really know what I’m doing and I don’t want to repeat the wrong form over and over or it just makes it that much harder to correct. I use visualization all the time for TKD but since I’m not really sure the proper technique of throwing I’m not sure what I’m supposed to visualize.
I have no problem doing the same drills over and over to improve since I’m used to that with my TKD patterns. I actually like seeing the improvement but I’m not seeing much improvement with my throws and I don’t know if I’m doing them properly. I’ve been watching youtube videos for some guidance.
It was raining so hard at the Meet I don’t have any pictures but my mom took some at the track while I was practicing.
If I can qualify for OFFSA this week I will try to get some more coaching but if I don’t qualify then at least it’s been really cool to get this far and I’ll keep trying next year. I really had no idea how technical the field events were.
May 22, 2011
I really had a lot of fun playing on the varsity soccer team. It was the first opportunity to play for a school team now that my taekwon-do schedule has slowed down a bit. We played 7 games in total and we only lost 2 games and tied one. I played stopper so I was extra happy to get three goals for the team .
Last week in our second game of play offs, we lost which meant that our season is over. We were against a really good team, and when we knew we were down by too many goals, we decided to have as much fun with it as possible. It was funny playing against the different school since most of the girls play either on my club team or other competitive teams so I had seen most of them before.
Thank you Mr. Box and to the two assistant coaches for all their time they put into coaching. I can’t wait to play again next year
May 15, 2011
We traveled in style to Oshawa this weekend on the OSU soccer club team bus. It was our two opening games of the season. We were all excited to see how we compared to the other teams that have been playing at the OYSL level before. The weather was freezing cold and it never stopped raining so the soccer was a bit sloppy compared to better conditions but at least it’s the same disadvantage for both teams.
We lost our first game 2-1 but we put up a good fight and it was a chance to get the nervous gitters out. I was happy that I scored the first goal of the season. Since I play defense I don’t get many opportunities to score so I get very excited when I do
We won our second game 3-0 and our team played really well together. I hardly have a voice left after talking so much on the field. I had to yell since the rain was so loud.
It was fun staying at the Durham residence since there were so many other teams staying there from all over Ontario. It was also a good chance for some team bonding.
May 14, 2011
I was so surprised to be called down to the Principal’s office during class yesterday. When I got there I was told I was having an interview on the phone with the Citizen Newspaper and then a little later their photographer came and took my picture. It was funny since it was the same photographer that took my pictures for the Taekwon-Do articles.
On Thursday I had my first official high school track and field meet and I won in all three of my throwing events. This is all new to me so it’s exciting to learn new things. Ms. Rusch at John McCrae has really been good to me and showing me how to do things. It was because of her encouragement and coaching that I was able to throw the last javelin as far as I did. I was shocked I broke a record. I’m looking forward to seeing what I can do with more coaching and practice. It’s such a short season at school that it’s hard to improve that much. The spinning before the throws is actually very similar so some of the spinning movements in some of the spinning kicks that I’ve done in taekwon-do for years so I guess it makes sense. I don’t get dizzy the way some people do and it just feels natural now. It’s amazing how all the sports I do are somehow connected to taekwon-do.
To see the article that was in the Ottawa Citizen today.… I have another track meet next week as well.
May 8, 2011
I have to say it felt a bit different competing this weekend. When I walked into the judging and umpire seminar on Friday it was awesome seeing so many people that I haven’t seen since New Zealand and other competitors and instructors that I haven’t seen since last November in Vancouver. It was like a big family reunion. I was surprised how many of the senior instructors, and my peers congratulated me again on being a World Champion. It’s one thing for my school friends to say it but it means so much coming from my seniors since they truly know how much is involved in achieving it.
I was also so proud of Ms. Kathy Trigger since she tested for her 5th degree. It was officially announced at the tournament.
I wasn’t feeling well at all on Saturday. The gym was so full and hot and the air was stuffy. I coached coloured belts for about 5 hours and then I had to start getting myself focused to compete. I knew I had to get my act together in a hurry so I went out for a quick run. It felt amazing to breathe the fresh air and clear my mind from the busy and noisy gym. I found a little field behind the school and went through the motions of my patterns. My dad came out looking for me and helped me warm up for sparring. I really just needed to listen to my favorite ‘warm-up’ music and get in the zone.
There was a different kind of pressure today. The points towards the next worlds were important to me but more importantly I wanted to perform well in front of all my peers and even the kids that I coach since they’ve never seen me compete. It was more my pride than anything else.
Pleased to say that I came home with a gold in each category – patterns and sparring
That is the last sanctioned tournament until the Fall so now I can relax a bit and continue with my regular training. I really need a mental break from all the competing so the summer will just be perfect!
The after party was a nice way to end the weekend. We had a whole restaurant to ourselves with a buffet and Karaoke. My family didn’t get home until until 2:00 am. My parents liked spending time with all the parents of my friends too. It’s great that we were all together.
May 5, 2011
I’ve been having so much fun playing on the John McCrae High School soccer team and the track and field team. We had two soccer games this week. The first was a tie 2-2 against Nepean High School and then Yesterday we won 3-2 against St. Joseph high school. My team mates are great. It’s the varsity team so I play with girls up to grade 12. In some ways the games are more physical just because the girls are bigger. We all get along really well and have so much fun on and off the field together.
I missed the first ‘practice’ open track and field meet last week since I was away at the Leadership Camp but I had a blast at the second Open High School Track and field meet today. The meet didn’t count for anything but it was a great learning experience and now I know what I need to work on.
I started with shot put and was happy to win first place. The ball was quite a bit heavier than I’m used to throwing but it still worked out well. I’ve competed in shot put for the last two years at middle school so I felt most comfortable doing that event.
Then it was off to discus. Don’t be fooled. It’s a technical event! It’s not like just going and throwing a Frisbee. I took my three throws and ended up with 2nd. I’m a perfectionist and I really wanted to learn the spinning start. In my throws I just threw it the way I had been practicing but I was determined to try a spin. Once everyone had gone the coach from the Lion’s Track and Field Club gave me some pointers and when I did the throw with the spin I was able to throw it about 4 meters further! I was shocked. Next event…..it’s spinning all the way
My final event was the javelin. It’s a hard event because there isn’t much time to practice since you can only practice during the morning sessions at school and there are several people that you have to take turns with. Some of the the grade 11 and 12 boys were really helpful and gave me instructions. Thanks guys I am pleased and surprised to say I won first place.
The weather was so cold and windy. Everyone’s javelin was blowing all over the place. I was lucky that all three of my throws actually dug into the ground and counted. So many javelins were just wobbling or went straight down. I had no idea how I would do or what to expect but I’m happy with the day. The first real meet that counts is next week. I just love the challenge of learning a new sport!!!!!!!! I have a whole new respect when I see throwing events now. I loved watching the amazingly fast runners and hurdlers. You could easily spot the serious track and field athletes who are on city competitive teams. It’s a whole new world for me and I thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere.
Now it’s time for me to completely focus on Taekwon-Do until Saturday. I wish I didn’t have to go to school tomorrow. So many athletes are flying or driving into Ottawa tonight and tomorrow for the Eastern Canadian Championships. There are almost 300 competitors registered. Tomorrow night I weigh-in and then I’m taking an annual 3 hour judging certification course. I don’t want to do anything except get into the zone for my competition on Saturday. Wish me luck
May 3, 2011
This weekend is the Eastern Canadian Championships in Ottawa. To be very honest I’m having trouble getting psyched up for it. I worked so hard on the mental aspect getting ready for the World Championships two months ago. Its funny how getting ready mentally can be just as exhausting as the physical training. I didn’t realize how much it took out of me until I had to start getting ready for this tournament.
For months before the Worlds I did nothing but eat, sleep, and breath TKD to get ready for the big competition. Now I have so many other things on the go as well. Nothing will ever beat the experience for me in New Zealand as far as TKD is concerned. It was the best time of my life and I still think about it every day.
Now I’m also excited about my competitive club soccer summer season starting up, playing on the high school varsity soccer team, and being on the varsity track and field team for events that I’ve never done before. I’ve also been focusing on helping the coloured belts prepare for this tournament. With so much on the go I have been having trouble fitting in my own TKD training. I’m lucky that Mr. LeGrow lets me go in by myself to train when the dojang is closed. I’m just happy that when I do get to train it feels great. Nothing feels better than doing a nice pattern!! I always feel ‘free’ when I do patterns because I’m concentrating so hard that everything else in my mind disappears.
I know my fellow Canadian team mates are coming to Eastern’s with full intentions of winning so I know I’ll have some very hard competition ahead of me. I understand that there are several new 2nd degree girls that I will be competing against for the first time so this will be interesting. Last year, Grand Master Lan once wrote an email to me saying ‘never underestimate your opponents’. These are very wise words and I’ll never forget them and I do take them seriously.
This is a sanctioned tournament for points towards making the National Team for the next World Championships in Spain 2013. I think most of my current competitors will move up into the Adult division for the next Worlds but I have one more time in the Junior division since I’m only 15.
I can’t wait to see all my friends that I haven’t seen since New Zealand!!!!!