June 30, 2012
It was amazing spending the day with my throwing buddies. The atmosphere at the track was different from school track meets. You know that all these competitors train year-round and take it very seriously. I was surprised that there wasn’t as many throwers as school meets but the ones that were there were all good. The goal of the meet was to place in the top two since the top two are invited for the Provincial Team try-outs in Oshawa next week. I love the fact that we are all competitive against each other but there is a definite respect towards one another since we all work hard and know what you have to do to get to a certain level. This is where technique really kicks in. It’s not good enough to just be strong anymore.
Since this was an older age division for me (U18) I’ve never seen any of the other girls I was competing against. I was kinda hoping that I had this summer to still be in the younger division for some more experience but that’s O.K. It just makes it that much more exciting and challenging. I just have to keep things in perspective a little bit
Shot Put: 2nd Place – Qualified for Provincial Team Try-Outs – Met National Standards
I’ve never thrown with this new shot put weight and it really felt different. The shot put was actually lighter but the National standard is a lot further and I found it a bit harder to control. I was actually surprised that it went so well and I know it will only get better once I get used to it.
Javeline: 1st Place – Qualified for Provincial Team Try-Outs – But Didn’t Meet National Standards
I was really discouraged with my javelin distance. I’ve never thrown with the new javelin weight and I didn’t like the ‘feel’ of it at all! Because it’s a lighter weight, it completely throws off the balance and it flies differently. I”m disappointed since my javelin training has been going so well with the old heavier weight. I felt great with the run up but then I wasn’t able to execute the throw well. Although I came first in this event I wasn’t excited since I know I have a lot of work to do in order to make the National Standards if I want to go to Nationals in P.E.I. for javelin. My biggest concern right now is trying to find a new javelin to train with this week before Oshawa. Buying throwing shoes and throwing implements is almost impossible in Canada. I know that once I get the proper javelin and put in all the necessary training I will be fine. There is just something special about throwing javelin
Discus: 5th Place – Threw my Personal Best by Almost a Whole Meter
Although I didn’t qualify for the Provincial Team try-outs or the National Standard I was sooooo happy with my throws. They were all consistent and I threw a Personal Best. This is the only event that the implement was the same weight that I’ve been training with so I obviously felt the most comfortable with it. I have been having really great practices for this event and things are starting to improve at a faster pace now. I have really tough competition in this event but as I said before, I have to keep things in perspective. This is just the beginning for me and I’m having a blast.
It’s going to be another fun week of training and I am also competing in the Twilight meet this Wednesday night for Javelin trying to get my distance further and get more practice before the try-outs next weekend in Oshawa. I’m pleased with the consistencies in all my events so now I just have to get used to the new weights. Good times ahead
June 29, 2012
This is what the track looked like today. It was scorching hot and the track was completely empty and it was absolutely perfect for me It was just the kind of training I needed before this Saturday’s meet. Everyone has their own little rituals and routine before they compete. I am used to training by myself a lot in Taekwon-Do so it just ‘felt’ right today. Just me and my own thoughts
I am competing in my first track meet for the Ottawa Lion’s Track and Field Club this weekend in the District G Region Meet. I needed to spend my own quiet time at the track today to get myself ready. I found out yesterday that I will be competing with a different weight for javelin since I am now competing in the U18 age division. The new weight is lighter. I’ve never thrown that kind of javelin before and I didn’t have one to train with today either. All I could do was practice with my current javelin and hopefully I will be able to throw O.K. on Saturday. I have to admit it’s a bit nerve wracking since the different weights of the javelin fly so differently. I’ve learned with all my years of competing in different sports that it’s how you handle obstacles like this that makes you stronger. I actually loved being at the track by myself. It was so peaceful and calm and it gave me a chance to figure some stuff out for myself. I kept hearing all the advice Bill has given me floating around in my head and I was trying to put all the pieces together. Especially the practice before, I just like to go and make sure I feel good, and that’s it.
All my other throwing buddies are competing in Calgary at the Senior National Championships competing and even trying to qualify for the Olympics. This is when I really realize how new this sport is for me and now much I have to look forward to. I keep thinking of them and hope they’re doing well. Somehow text messages from them just don’t cut it I wish I was with them.
Slowly some Shot Put and Discus throwers came and we spent a couple more hours focusing on those two events. I also found out that my Shot Put weight would be lighter as well but I at least I had the right one to throw for my first time. It went really far! Discus is also going a whole lot better too. These events are so technical and need so much repetition. That’s why I love them so much.
As I looked around the track I appreciated just how beautiful the facilty is and how lucky we are to live in Ottawa surrounded by water, trails and beaches. There is always something going on.
I am really excited about taking the bus to Brockville with the club and getting to know some of the other athletes that I don’t get to train with. Each event is pretty separate in the training process.
I am excited to now officially be a member of Athletics Ontario which means that my distances will be recorded at sanctioned events. I was wondering why my results had not been posted from past school events and now I know why. I have so much to learn about the Track and Field world
I just hope I can do my best and realize that it’s only going to get better each week. I have a whole summer of meets and I really want to qualify for the Youths Nationals in P.E.I. this August. I’m still learning how the whole elimination process works but to be honest I don’t want to think about that. I just want to keep improving each week and eventually I know I will get the results I want. I only hope that my coaches know that I am doing my very best. Wish me luck
June 23, 2012
What a perfect day!!!! I spent the morning at the track and my discus throwing went really well. I am still trying to figure out how this particular event went so badly at OFSAA for me but Darrin, my coach told me to not be upset and that it takes at least 5,000 throws before I get the real ‘feel’ for it. It’s all about consistency. I am pretty consistent with my javelin and my shot but I think it’s because I’ve spent more time on those events. Now that the TKD Pan Am Championships are over I can focus on track for the summer. Of course, I will always do TKD I was also really excited since my discus/shot put shoes were ordered and I’m hoping that will make a difference too.
Then I raced to Blackburn for an afternoon seminar with Master Laquerre. I had the unexpected pleasure of having lunch with him before everyone else arrived. It was so nice to have a conversation about sports psychology and other training tools. I’ve really enjoyed getting to know him more over the years. Since he is the Technical Director of Canada I always love the opportunity to train under him to make sure my techniques are correct. I was really looking forward to some critiques for my 3rd degree patterns.
The first hour of the seminar was all on physical strength/conditioning and kicking/punching drills. I was really happy that I’ve been keeping up with my fitness. I always get so shocked and impressed when I see the strength, flexibility and power that Master Laquerre has. It just goes to show that you can do TKD your entire life and it will keep you in great shape.
The second hour focused on coloured belt patterns. We did patterns while he walked around the room making corrections.
The third hour concentrated on self-defense movements. I found it a lot of fun since I know I will be teaching a group of girls this summer these techniques so it’s good to learn from the best.
The fourth hour only concentrated on the black belt patterns. By this time my legs were shaking from working so hard all day but I really wanted to do my best. It’s not everyday that you have a Master to help you with your patterns.
At the end of the seminar Mr. LeGrow surprised me by presenting my official 3rd degree certificate. Although I tested back in March it takes several months for the certificate to go through a full process.
Just a great great day. Thank you Mr. LeGrow for organizing the seminar and thank you Master Laquerre for coming from Trois Rivieres for the day. I look forward to training with you again soon.
For more photos of the seminar click
June 21, 2012
What a great experience!!!! Getting together with old friends and making new ones is a huge part of Taekwon-Do tournaments. I was especially excited for these Pan Am’s since I knew would see some people that I competed against in New Zealand at the last World Championships. The only disappointment was that they have all moved into the adult division and I’m STILL a junior so I couldn’t compete with them. I’m always too young!
The weigh-ins on Friday night are always fun since you see everyone for the first time. Nerves are usually running quite high so everyone reacts differently. Some are talkative and some are very serious and quiet since they are getting in their competing head space. Fortunately for me I never have to worry about ‘making weight’ since I’m a hyper-weight but there is always a lot of drama around people having to lose weight during the last week by fasting and doing crazy things in order to make weight. Then they slowly have to introduce the ‘right’ foods into their system so they gain their strength back without upsetting their stomachs.
Saturday was great since it was for coloured belts and adult black belts. That meant that I could spend the entire day focused on the students that I have been coaching for the last winter. I was sooooo proud of them. They all medaled but more importantly they all showed their ‘Indomitable Spirit’ throughout their day. They showed great sportsmanship and never gave up. I think I now know what a parent must feel like when their kids do well They all performed really well, and I was impressed with how they dealt with the bigger and more professional environment. I was also a judge for the adult black belts in the afternoon. I was really pumped after watching the adult black belts compete too. They are awesome!!! You really have to look through all the pictures that my mom took to get an idea of how good everything was
After 11 long hours in the arena I just wanted to have a quick pasta dinner and then get myself ready to compete the next day. I need my alone time before I compete. My friend Alex Matta and I found an open field where we could just spend quiet time going through our patterns. We did patterns until it was too dark to see but I felt better going to bed having done them. I also did some yoga which really calmed my nerves and got rid of any aches from the long day at the arena. I don’t go anywhere without my yoga mat.
Sunday started early and I had huge butterflies in my stomach. I’ve been working really hard learning my new 3rd degree patterns and working extra hard with my fitness and different sparring techniques. I wanted the opportunity to try everything out. It’s funny, I feel more pressure now to compete well since I never want to lose the respect of my peers and instructors if I don’t do well in competition. I also don’t want to let myself down after all my hard work.
For patterns I felt really strong and just wanted to keep doing them! For sparring I was really excited to meet three new Canadian hyper-weights that were really good. I kept thinking of the great National team we will have going to Spain.
Then we had team sparring and I was hooked up with 2 of the girls that I just competed against in individual sparring plus another girl from Quebec. It’s so weird how one minute you are competing against someone for individual events and then right after you are best friends cheering each other on while being on the same team for team sparring :)
The awards banquet Sunday night was amazing!!!!!!!!! The banquet hall was so perfect and had a real party atmosphere. The food was great and everyone had such a good time. It felt nice to get all dressed up and receive our medals in front of everyone. Unfortunately since so many people had to either catch their flight or drive home, not everyone was there but they got their medals at the tournament.
I was so proud to win Gold in 3rd Degree Patterns, Gold in Individual Sparring, Gold in Team Sparring and Overall Best Junior Female Athlete!
I would like to thank my mom taking 1,000′s of pictures during the weekend. Click here to view all the photos of all competitors.
Here is just a sample of all the photos that she took. Enjoy
June 10, 2012
Sometimes it’s really hard for kids to remember patterns if they are visual learners and they need to ‘see’ the direction that they are supposed to be going in a sequence.
Today we had a breakthrough….I showed a junior belt the diagram of their pattern with tape on the floor. As soon as he could ‘see’ where he was supposed to go he could suddenly remember the pattern
For an additional visual aide, I filmed him doing his pattern since we often think we are moving differently than we actually are
After 2 hours of coaching I was able to work on my own patterns with Mr. Lynch and Mr. LeGrow. Now that the OFSAA track meet is over I can spend this week really concentrating on TKD until the tournament.
We are all competing next week so we all want to perfect our patterns as much as possible. It’s great to work with other people who love patterns as much as I do
June 10, 2012
There were way too many exciting things to tell you about OFSAA this year but I did have my 10 favorite personal highlights
1. Qualifying for all three throwing events. There was only 1 other junior girl in all of Ontario that did as well.
2. Throwing a PB in Javelin and winning 3rd place. I had to forfeit my javelin last year because of a conflicting soccer game and then an injury and I always wondered how I would have done. This is just the beginning of javelin for me and I’m in it for the long haul. I love the javelin! When I threw my BP it felt soooo amazing and I can’t wait to to throw again
3. Having my javelin coach Bill Heikkila there for support was extra special. I felt so much more comfortable having him there. He was also the official who gave out several of the medals. I am proud to call him my coach!!! Everyone at the track knows who he is and they all respect his Javelin knowledge and kindness.
4. Throwing a BP by almost 20 cm in shot put. I only lost the 3rd place by 2 cm! So close but so far I was so happy with my distance and it’s something that I know will only get better too with more practice.
5. It was awesome having my parents and my teachers at all the events cheering me on. They are such a great group of caring people. They make it so much more fun. I couldn’t believe they even stayed after an hour delay from a lightening storm.
6. JMSS had 10 students qualify for OFSAA this year which is the most students ever so that was exciting in itself!
7. Having my grandpa there for the last event. I know it meant a lot to him when he was reminiscing of when he competed in OFSAA for basketball for Ottawa Tech when he was in high school. I was so lucky to have him there.
8. It was more fun this year since I knew more people from last year’s OFSAA and the other competitors and coaches from the Ottawa Lions Club. I felt like I belonged more this year. Everyone was so nice and helpful.
9. My discus was a disaster but it’s a good reminder how important the training is. To be honest I couldn’t tell you what happened. It just felt all wrong. Of all my three events, it’s the one that I’ve had the least amount of experience and it’s one of the more complicated throws. When it comes to competing, you need to rely on the muscle memory and experience to be a consistent thrower. It’s so weird since I’ve been in second place for the last three meets. I was initially frustrated and disappointed but it motivated me to do better in the other two events! I was proud of myself for being able to shake it off and focus on the other events instead of dwelling on it. I wasn’t going to let it ruin my javelin. The other thing that was so cool was that when my teacher at school heard that I hadn’t done well with discus she gave all my friends permission to text me motivating text messages. Now that’s school spirit!!! It was really sweet and helpful. Then, right out of the blue just before my Javelin event I received a beautiful email from Master Suarez who is a taekwon-do Master in New York that I trained with a few months ago. It came at the perfect time. All these little things were perfect. Thanks guys
10. Met so many throwers and now I’m really looking forward to training all summer since I will seeing them again at meets throughout the summer. I was inspired by so many amazing athletes all in one area. Everyone had their own event but we were all there for the same great experience. It was awesome that so many records were broken and so many PB’s were achieved. Until next year…..
Now it’s time to get more focused for the Pan Am Taekwon-Do Championship next weekend!!!
June 5, 2012
Bill is so helpful with my javelin training. I got to do some one-on-one training with him yesterday to get ready for OFSAA. He always finds good ways to fine tune and tweak things. He films my throw and then instantly makes corrections or he uses different props to help get the right ‘feeling’ when I throw. I wish I had more time before OFSAA but at this point I can only do the best that I can.
Swinging the baseball bat uses the same hip action and emphasis on the left leg as in javelin. I also worked on the separation.
Extending the shoulder and arm is the hardest thing for me. Bill pulls on a towel so I know when and where to release the javelin. It’s such an un-natural movement for me. That’s why I have to keep repeating it but not over-use my arm at the same time. The towel works well to get the motion without putting stress on my shoulder.
Then it was time to put all the elements together with a full run up and throw.
It was awesome. After doing these drills for about an hour I was starting to throw a lot better already. We were both so happy. I was really starting to convince my body to do what I wanted. It was really cool I just hope I can put everything together Friday! It’s such an incredible rush when you have a good throw After an hour of javelin I worked on my Shot Put for an hour and then did another hour with the Discus with Darrin. John McCrae high school has never had so many students qualify for OFSAA so it’s pretty exciting. There are 10 of us going and it would be awesome to bring back some medals for the school.
Based solely on last week’s distances I am ranked 3rd for shot put, 7th for discus and 7th for javelin in the province of Ontario for all grade 10, so I really have to work to throw well this week to place in the top 3. I will be throwing against the top 24 throwers in the Province for each event. I’ll be so happy if I make a PB in all events.
Right after track practice I raced to the dojang for another couple hours since I also have to get ready for the Pan Am Championships next week as well. Once these two major events are over I will be able to balance my training more throughout the summer. I’m really looking forward to competing at track meets this summer for more experience. Oh ya, then there is those final exam things at school I wish I could just be a full time athlete! Yesterday I trained from 4-10pm and I loved every second of it
One of my favourite quotes is ”
“The vision of a champion is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when nobody else is looking” – Mia Hamm
Bill wants to make sure that I’m throwing the javelin because I love it and I’m having fun with it. Nothing could be more true for me. I’m practicing for myself because I do love it – not for a certain distance or a medal. I do it because it’s fun and I love the challenge. The results will come in due time.
June 5, 2012
I was involved in a huge TEAM project for the last 10 days. T.E.A.M. = Together Everyone Achieves More.
Team Blackburn has moved location! A big group of the parents and students worked around the clock for the last 10 days to get the new location ready. We had to tear down walls, build new walls, paint, rip up the floor, put in a new ceiling, lay the mats, take down mirrors, put up mirrors, sort through everything from the old dojang, organize the new place and still keep classes running in the old location. We only had to cancel classes for 3 nights which was pretty impressive. We used all our little bits of expertise and together we pulled it off.
I don’t know how to do a lot of the actual building of walls so I took the kids to the old dojang and taught more classes so the parents could work on the new dojang. I think the new place will be awesome and it too will be the home of future World Champions!!!!!
I have to admit I found it emotional to kick down a wall in the old dojang since it was like a second home for me. I spent so many hours training in that dojang, but this is a new beginning with endless training possibilities.
Thanks to everyone who put so much time and work into OUR new home. Let’s make it a huge success so we can all benefit from it. Having Jody Rubino work with us is going to be a huge help. Go Team Blackburn!
Tonight was the first night of classes in the new dojang and everyone was excited. The dojang isn’t completely finished but it will be by the time of the Grand Opening in July.
Once the classes were over Shane Lynch and I worked on patterns for a couple hours. We went through every single pattern, competition style. I can’t wait for more training sessions like this. It’s so important to review the coloured belts too so you don’t forget them.
Check out the transformation of our new dojang.
June 4, 2012
Last week at the East Regional Track and Field meet I was really happy to qualify for al three throwing events. The top 16 competitors in Eastern Ontario were there. I’ve been working hard and it’s a good thing since the competition is a lot harder as a Junior (grade 10) than it was last year as a Midget (grade 9) and I can only imagine how much harder it will be next year as a Senior when it’s both grade 11 and grade 12. The top 4 competitors in each event move on to the finals at OFSAA next week. I think I’m the only girl that qualified from Eastern Ontario to qualify for all three events.
- 1st for shot put
- 2nd for discus – set a PB
- 3rd place javelin
I was excited to throw a PB in discus. I’m probably more comfortable throwing the shot put since the motions are more similar to to some of the motions in Taekwon-do but I absolutely love the javelin. It’s such a big challenge for me and I’m determined to improve my distances. I love all the technical aspects of it. The bigger the challenge, the more I like it. The discus is starting to get a bit better but I need so much more practice.
It was nice to see most of the same girls from last year and I’m sure at OFSAA it will be the same. Everyone was a bit nervous but we still had a good time together – even in the pouring rain
This is only the beginning for me…I want to compete in track meets all summer and hopefully qualify for the Junior Nationals in P.E.I. this August