February 26, 2012
I LOVE SOCCER. I love everything about it. I love the mental strategy and anticipating the play. I love the satisfaction you get when you give the perfect pass. I love the rush you get when you are the first to the ball. I love the excitement you get when you soar higher than your opponent for the header. I love the satisfaction you get defending your net. I love the fact that you win as a team or you lose as a team. I had a blast travelling with a team and building friendships. I love my coach Audra and that is why this decision is soooooooo hard.
I have decided to stop soccer. While I’ve been injured this winter, it’s given me the opportunity to really focus and what I want to do in the few years. I’ve decided to test for my 3rd degree black belt next month so I can learn the new patterns in time for the Can-American Championships in June. Then compete at Nationals in November. I have to place in the top 3 in order to qualify for the National team to compete for Canada at the next World Championships in Spain, 2013. Since I’ve already missed two sanctioned events from my ankle injury I really have to make sure I’m at my best at Nationals.
When I made the National team in 2010 I really didn’t have a clue how much training and commitment was involved. It consumed me and I loved every second of it. I now know and understand the pressures of time and how much I can commit to other sports. As much as I love team sports I need to have the flexibility for my TKD training.
It’s too much pressure for me to constantly be missing special tkd opportunities because I have to be a soccer. I always feel like I’m letting someone down and I hate that feeling more than anything since I take my commitments very seriously.
With a team sport I can’t let down my 18 team mates, plus their parents and my coach. They have all made the commitment and deserve to have everyone else make the same commitment.
I thought I would be satisfied after the last World Championships but going to Spain is even a bigger challenge for me. Because it’s in Europe there will be more competitors than there was in New Zealand. I’m also going to be a 3rd degree which is a higher level. More importantly, now I have to go and defend my title since everyone else wants it too. All this really excites me but I have to be prepared!!!
I have also had a very unexpected realization of how much I want to continue pursuing Javelin. I have loved my training this winter with Bill and my training buddies. Being another individual sport I know I will be able to continue with it. I love to see that you can easily measure your improvement and I plan on attending as many meets this summer as possible. There is so much more to the Javelin than I first thought at the beginning and I really want to see how far I can get with it.
Every time you make a decision there are consequences and I’m really nervous for making this one and I hope that I don’t regret it. I know I’m going to miss soccer and I would have loved to be coached by Audra for the next two years since I know she is going to be great for the team and I really hope that they can make it to the OYSL level again this summer. I just hope that my team mates will understand and support my decision. I will miss everyone and still want to come out to watch the games.
February 17, 2012
I really believe in the power of positive thinking and the power of words. I used to write with permanent marker on my wrists before I competed. Even if I didn’t look at the words during competition I knew they were there. Unfortunately the words always wore off my skin but I didn’t want a tatoo.
Then my friends had personal bracelets made for me with my special words.
One word that I always need is ’Free’ since I always feel ‘free’ when I do my patterns and it’s so important to completely free my mind and body from everything so I can get lost in the pattern. The other word is ‘Strength’. I need both physical and mental strength while I spar, and it also relates to my training so I can to push myself to train hard. The red colour symbolizes Canada, and the black symbolizes being a Black belt. There are also little maple leafs on it to symbolize representing Canada. These bracelets were such an amazing gift and mean the world to me.
I was also given a plain red one with’ Canada’ written on it by the Canadian Legion at my fundraiser. It made me feel so proud to be Canadian! The writing has worn off it since I never take it off but the symbolism is still there for me.
TWO ADDITIONAL BRACELETS
This last year has been a journey and I wanted more bracelets since some new words are just as important to me. There is a good website that lets you create your own bracelets with your own words/phrases.
I have been trying new things out of my comfort zone and having amazing opportunities so I put ‘It’s all about the experience’ on a bracelet. That was my motto all last summer. Itjust reminds me to live life to the fullest and enjoy every moment.
One of my favourite songs is ‘Good life’ because it’s all about traveling and having great experiences. It makes me so happy just listening to it. It just reminds me that I’ve been living the good life and I’m so happy. I never want to take anything for granted.
I chose the colour purple since it’s one of my favourite colours.
My last bracelet is extremely special to me!
‘Dare to be Great!’ I heard this expression while working with a sports psychologist and it really hit me. It means different things for everyone but for me it’s about having the courage to dream big and do what ever it takes to succeed. It’s about doing things that scare you and embracing the unknown. It’s how we grow as a person.
On the other side of the bracelet it says ‘Soar’. To me it means that the sky is the limit and to never settle for less. It is also extremley symobolic for my love of javelin. I always want the javelin to soar perfectly in the sky. It symbolizes that if I do all the hard work the results will come easy. The red and white colour are important since they are my track club colours as well as the Canadian colours and someday I would like to represent at a national level for javelin. Remember, dare to dream big Even if I only get half way there, I’ll be better off than if I didn’t at least dream it!
I NEVER take these bracelets off since they are a true representation of who I am since they are ‘my words’. They are a great reminder of what I believe and how I think when things aren’t going amazing or if I’m injured. They help keep me motivated and pumped up. I may keeping adding new words but the original ones are still just as important. All these words and phrases have meanings on different levels and when I look at them I feel like ’me’. I’ll be good as long as I can keep fitting more bracelets on my arms.
February 15, 2012
Click on the link below….
For more information on TKD-Tremblant
February 12, 2012
Mr. Charlebois from TKD -Tremblant invited me to his dojang to lead some training sessions for patterns, sparring and a talk to share my World Championship experience to help prepare his students for tournaments. I jumped at the opportunity because this is something that I’ve always dreamed of doing. Tournament season is starting and if I can motivate someone to train harder, inspire someone to compete or just share my passion for the sport so they enjoy taekwon-do for their own pleasure then I’ve accomplished what I set out to do.
Being in such a beautiful setting was amazing and I felt so happy and calm.
I was so impressed with all the students at his school. They were all really disciplined and determined to do their best. I wasn’t nervous at all about instructing but I knew it was going to be a challenge to entirely speak in french for the two days. I was also nervous about my ankle holding up for the two days.
The first session of day 1 was for coloured belts under the age of 12. I think it’s so important that coloured belts get all the same training opportunities as black belts. First of all it keeps them motivated and if they are challenged they will want to continue. Since most of the kids have never competed at a tournament we did a ‘mock’ tournament so they know what to expect. I competed in my first tournament at the age of 5 and I remember being overwhelmed with all the protocols and what was happening around me. I think it’s important that both the kids and the parents know the ediquette of a the ring so they can just concentrate on competing instead of worrying about when and how to bow and all the other protocols. I have written a little booklet of ‘What You Need to Know Before Your First Tournament”. Mr. Charlebois is going to translate it for me and pass it on to his students.
Mr. Charlebois wanted me to tell them about my experience and the journey leading up to New Zealand. I was shocked by the amount of really good questions they asked. They asked questions about my diet before competing, how many hours I trained, what was the hardest thing for me to learn, what my biggest fears were and what I wanted to do next. My heart melted when the last question was “when are you going to come back?” It made me feel soooo good.
The second pattern session was for adults. My objective was to explain the importance of having ‘charisma’ while doing their patterns. Everyone works so hard on the technical aspect of the patterns but the ‘feeling’ part of the pattern is so important as well. I know that I always ‘feel’ better after I’ve done my patterns. When you are competeting you want to have so much charisma that the judges are compelled to watch you and get engrossed in your pattern with you. Charisma is a taking outsiders on a journy with you while doing your patterns, it can also be a way of communicating your feelings.
I had the adults do their patterns with their eyes closed. They were shocked how much harder it was, not only for their balance but it was hard to remember where they were in the pattern. It forces you to ‘feel’ your pattern and not just become a robot. If you can do that, doing patterns will be that much more satisfying.
Mr. Charlebois took me and my mom to the top of Mount Tremblant on the gondola and out for lunch.
Mr. Charlebois led his Little Dragons class for the 3-5 yr old. The kids were adorable! I have to say that I was extremely impressed with how Mr. Charlebois runs his program. I started TKD in a similar program at 3 years old and it’s so important to enforce the respect, discipline and order in the young kids. That way by the time they graduate to the 5 yr old TKD they already know what is expected of them. I’ve never seen such a large group follow instructions so well and take so much pride in what they are doing. They have their own student oath that is geared for their age and they were so excited to tell what they did to help around the house and school during the day. Great job Mr. Charlebois!
The last session was my favorite session since it was sparring. My main focus was to have people think of sparring like a game. One that requires anitipation, strategy and creativity. I showed some of my favourite cardio drills while I was preparing for New Zealand.
I was pleased when they asked to stay longer to spar some more after the session was over. We sparred until they had to close the gym. It was a great way to end the day.
Unfortunately it was time to go home but I had so much fun with this amazing group of people. Mr. Charlebois has done a great job running his school and his assistant Tamy is so friendly and good with the kids. Thanks again for this great opportunity Mr. Charlebois and making me and my mom so comfortable. It was so nice meeting Mrs. Charlebois and the rest of your family. Hopefully I will see some of my new friends at the upcoming tournaments. There is so much potential in all of them. Good luck guys and please keep in touch.
For more pictures on the two days click the images below to open up the gallery…
February 5, 2012
Mr LeGrow asked me to join him at an interview on Rogers TV for the Daytime talk show. The purpose of the interview was to promote Team Blackburn Taekwon-Do. We only had a 6 minute time slot and there is so much I would have loved to talk about why our dojang is different from other dojangs around and the benefits of TKD but they really wanted to focus on the board breaking so there wasn’t enough time. We have so many amazing things happening in the upcoming year that I wish we could have talked more. Maybe next time…..they said they wanted to have us back.
Waiting in the Green Room – we were both so excited and a bit nervous since you never know what they are going to ask.
Getting our instructions and getting wired up with microphones – everyone was so nice and friendly
I just wanted to take everything in. I liked looking at all the lights, cameras and everyone was running around doing things at a million miles per hour. So much happens behind the scenes.
I love the symbolism of these two pictures taken a year apart but both times we are preparing for the next World Championships. I like to see the light at the end of the tunnel
If you want to watch the 6 minute interview click here….