June 23, 2011
Well the last few weeks have been absolutely impossible for me. I HATE not being able to train or work out. I can’t even tell you how restless and agitated I get . I guess I just miss all those natural endorphins.
I was so relieved to hear that I do not need any surgery on my knee. I was told that I still had to rest and gently get back to TKD and soccer. I have to be honest…I’m a bit nervous to kick again. I know it’s getting better every day so that helps with my confidence. I’ve had two soccer practices this week and it feels great to be back.
I’m off to Toronto this weekend with my soccer team for two games. I am not sure if I will be playing or not but at least I know I won’t be out for much longer. My coach would rather I play when I’m really ready so I don’t risk getting hurt for the whole season.
Next week some of the American TKD team are coming to train with me. I met them all at the World Championships in New Zealand so it’s going to be great. It’s very frustrating that I won’t be at my best to train with them but we can at least we can go through all the sparring drills. My coach Mr. LeGrow made all these arrangements and it’s another great training experience. It’s amazing to make friends from all around the world who have the same passion for TKD and training ethics. It’s like an extended family even if we do compete against each other.
I can’t wait to see my fellow competitors again as well as my training buddies from Quebec in a more relaxed environment. Competing against them was pretty intense and we were all there to do our job. It’s going to be the best week ever and we can really learn from each other! It’s going to be like reliving New Zealand all over again. Not only are we going to be training all the time, but we want to show our guests some of Ottawa and Montreal’s nicest sites. I’m so glad it will be my first week of summer vacation so I don’t have to think of school.
June 12, 2011
My knee hasn’t gotten any better in almost three weeks after I overextended it in a soccer practice. It’s so weird how a simple awkward motion can cause so much trouble. I was really happy after seeing the Sports Medicine Specialist since he got me an MRI right away. I’ve discovered I’m not very patient when it comes to waiting to get the results I just want to fix whatever is necessary so I can get back to normal. I miss my activities so much. The other night I went to sit in the dojang for a while just since I miss it so much and I actually miss the ‘smell’ haha. There are World class athletes from the States coming to train with me after meeting them at Worlds in New Zealand. I really hope I’m better in time because they come in a couple of weeks. I was really looking forward to it and this knee is making it pretty depressing.
I’m also so mad that this is the beginning of my soccer season and I’ve already missed three important games.
I just got back from Toronto and it was frustrating sitting on the bench just watching but it was still good to be with my team mates to cheer them on. Being part of a team is not just about the 90 minute games you play but it’s about the bonding you get during traveling, practices and living together. It’s about learning from our mistakes and correcting them for the next game.
I missed our first game since I had to be here in Ottawa for the MRI but as soon as it was done we drove to Toronto to meet up with the team. When I got there everyone was REALLY low since the game had not gone well at all. Not only because of the score but also because they weren’t happy with the way they played.
We had the rest of the day, night and the next morning to make a shift in our attitude. We spent all our time talking in a closed off room. It was encouraging to hear what everyone had to say. It was great since it wasn’t about blaming – we turned it into a positive experience.
This morning when we went to the field you could just tell it was going to be a better game. Everyone was happy, motivated and ready to play as a team and one big unit.
Since I still couldn’t play it was my job to be the team cheerleader from the bench. All my friends said it really helped so at least that makes me feel better. I personally think I should take it up professionally I was really proud to see my team dig deep and work for each other. It was nice to watch and the win was the cherry on top!
I will get my results this week and then I’ll know what I’m dealing with and how soon I can get back on the field.
I’m not a violent person by any means but I really miss kicking things right now whether it’s a soccer ball or a kicking a sparring partner
June 4, 2011
OFSAA Track and Field is an annual meet for the top 24 high school athletes in every event for all of Ontario. Apparently it’s the most prestigious and largest high school event in North America.
As I prepared myself for OFSSA I couldn’t help but notice that I kept comparing track to TKD since they are both individual events and the preparation is very similar. People travel as a team yet they are competing against each other in many cases but they are also supportive of each other.
The one biggest difference is that in T & F it’s all about your Personal Best. Since there is either a distance measurement, a time speed or a height measurement it’s very easy to see if you are improving. With hundreds of people competing you know that there are only a select few that actually make it to the podium so you wonder why so many people would put in all the time and training. I watched people who placed way down on the list get so excited. It wasn’t until I realized that they were excited about breaking their own personal best. The challenge in track and field is to keep getting faster, further and higher. I really liked the whole concept.
With Taekwon-do it’s very different. Only the first three places count and nothing after that is recorded so it’s very hard to measure any improvement. You know yourself if you’ve performed well but it’s not as easy to judge as a measurement or stop watch. When you’re competing in TKD it’s about being able to beat anyone who you are against on that day in either sparring or patterns. The point system is for that one time only since every match is different. For that reason in TKD there is more pressure to perform or you lose and start all over the next competition. It’s also more intense since not only is there the win or lose situation, but also the risk of getting seriously injured in sparring at the International Level. One second of losing concentration and/or focus and you could be knocked out or badly hurt. I do appreciate the risks of the T & F events as well. The Pole Vaulting looked really scary to me and so did the hurdles and steeplechase.
I’m used to doing my own warm up, getting in the zone, and staying focussed for TKD but I was a bit lost in the T & F. If was so funny whenever I would try to visualize the different steps in the throws, my TKD patterns kept popping up in my head. Visualizing patterns and sparring combinations is like breathing to me since I’ve done it for so many years. T & F is a whole new thing for me.
The night before I went to Sudbury a coach from the Lions Track Team spent an hour with me and that really helped to refresh all the different things to focus on. It was the first ‘real’ track practice that I’ve ever been to other than with the school and I was so intrigued by it. I instantly felt at home even though I was with all these athletes that train with the club all year long. It also made me realize what I was going to be up against in at OFSAA. I really wished I had gone and trained with them months earlier so I would be more prepared but hey, you have to start somewhere.
My first event was shot put. I wasn’t nervous at all. Other people around me were freaking out with nerves which made me feel really bad for them. That is when I realized all my other experience was an advantage. I wasn’t nervous about competing in front of a lot of people but I was nervous about my knee. Last week I sprained my MCL and overextended my knee at soccer and it was still very sore. Fortunately the first aid team taped it up very well and that helped keep it stable but it was certainly in the back of my mind.
I threw my personal best for competition and was pleased with a bronze medal. I was happy that the top three placers were pretty close when you look at all the distances that were thrown that day. It could have gone any way at any time. The three of us each took turns in the lead at some point or another. I realized all you needed was one good throw and that’s it.