August 26, 2012
I was already sore and tired from Ms. Cross’ sparring seminar all day Yesterday but my friend Alex was here from Montreal for the seminar as well and we always like to get in as much training together as possible.
We met Shane Lynch bright and early for some of Shanes great cross training. I’m learning so much from him about how to create a perfect circuit training and why certain drills work well for the type of conditioning we need for TKD as well as my throwing events at Track and Field. I never understood all the scientific background before. I always just did what my coaches told me to do so I find this very interesting. I love training in this atmosphere with loud music and everyone pushing each other to their limits. It’s great that every training session is completely different with modifications within the circuit depending on if we train at a park, beach or the dojang. It never gets boring and all muscle groups get exhausted.
Then we worked on patterns which is nice to do in a small group so you have lots of room. We really fine tuned little segments of each pattern.
Alex didn’t want to get on a 2 hour bus ride home and get all stiff so we finished off with some nice stretching and yoga. Before we knew it, three hours had flown by!
I’ve had the best summer of training and I just worry how I’m going to handle sitting at a desk in a couple weeks. All summer it’s been train, sleep and eat and it’s been HEAVEN!
August 26, 2012
Talented, Dertermined, Inspirational, Motivating, Wise, Strong, Humorous, Experienced, Skilled and Passionate. These are only a few words that describe Ms. Julia Cross. This weekend was extra special since I had the privilege of attending Ms. Cross’s TKD Seminar. She is a 6 time World Champion visiting from Scotland. I have attended several seminars and workshops over the years by other World Champions but this was my first seminar given by a woman. It was interesting that there were a lot more women in attendance than normal. In TKD, there are no genders, just martial artists.
Ms. Cross meant business, but made it fun and exciting for everyone. Her sarcasm and sense of humor stood out to me because I love joking around and having fun when I train.
It was great how she covered so many drills and concepts and I know everyone can take them and make them their own. It was a fast pace seminar which kept it interesting. I personally loved it and thought that the seminar was really unique. I also appreciated that she talked about the mentality for patterns and sparring. I paid a lot of attention to this part especially because I find it fascinating to hear different peoples perspectives on the mentality and philosphy for this martial art. It was also different coming from a woman as well. She talked a lot about passion and training from the heart. And for me that’s what it comes down to so I agreed with a lot of the things she said and listening to her talk was really cool.
The room was full of people and looking around, I saw Country names on the back of doboks. (Canada, USA, Australia, Scotland, Finland, New Zealand, Argentina). The room had so many international competitors. These were doboks that were traded with people from all around the world. You always take so much pride in wearing a dobok with either your own national team or one that you have traded after an international competition. There were 5 World Champions in the room! The Canadian National coaches and several of my national team-mates there too. I felt like it was a reunion in many way since I also saw competitors that I have seen in years.
As I meet and train with people from around the world, I get to learn about different training styles and mentalities from each country. Each place has their own idol, that they look up to. They each have a different philosophy on how to train, different intensities, and different personalities. I like to learn about how other countries are doing things.
I am so fortunate to get the opportunity to attend these seminars. I learn so much each time. You meet new people, get a new perspective from someone who lives in a completely different continent and you grow an appreciation for the sport, the martial art and the World.
I was able to spend time talking to Ms. Cross at dinner and lunch the following day and I wish I had had more time for questions. She has done and is doing everything that I want to do. Thank you so much Mr. Lim and Master Phil for organizing and hosting the event. Travel home safely Ms. Cross and I look forward to seeing you again in Spain next year at the World Championships.
August 22, 2012
All the local food cupboards really needed the help from the community and it was amazing to see the turnout of MPP MacLeod’s fundraiser. Everyone brought their bags of non perishable foods or donations. The Works Burger was extremely generous and donated free burgers on the BBQ and the local farmers cooked up corn for everyone. I think they cooked over 700 burgers last night! The place was packed
MPP MacLeod opened the evening with a powerful talk about how so many people in the community have had a hard year for various reasons and tonight was all about helping each out and celebrating some of the positive successes as well.
The community gathered enough food in the donations to feed over 300 families. I was so impressed with Ken Ross from Ross’ Independent Grocer. He literally brought a truck load of canned goods. The Legion was also a huge part of the evening by setting things up and delivering all the food to the surrounding Food Cupboards.
The fundraiser was also to create more of an awareness for becoming organ donors. Yes, I am already an organ donor! If it wasn’t for organ donors we would not have been able to welcome home Helene Campbell from the first double lung transplant. It literally saved her life. It was so nice to meet her. I was inspired how much Helene has accomplished raising the organ donor registrations through her Twitter campaign yet alone surviving her major surgery and her positive outlook on everything. She was awarded a HUGE green ribbon for all her accomplishments.
There was always something going on during the entire night. There was a girl named Chelsea Kisil who wrote and sang a song and she was giving all the proceeds from the sale of her CD’s to Mental Awareness and DIFD. Being a teenager I see first how much this topic affects my peers. Mental Illness is finally not just associated with the older generation.
There was Zumba dancing, horses from the Carleton Raceway Track, Road Hockey Games and the Ottawa Lions Train rides for the kids.
I was honoured to be invited as a guest speaker and give a Taewkon-Do demonstration. The community helped me so much achieve my dream of going to the World Championships. I love having the opportunity to speak about my experience since I think it’s so important that people do dare to dream big and then work hard to achieve their goals.
It’s very difficult to give a TKD demo by yourself since you need a sparring partner. I improvised and had a lot of fun by asking some volunteers to be my ‘kicking bag’ as I demonstrated certain skills that you learn in TKD. I forget how much trust it takes for the volunteers to stand still and not worry about being kicked. It’s all about control
I thought I was going to be finished after give a demonstrating my 3rd degree black belt Pattern but I was so surprised how suddenly everyone wanted to do some kicking or show me all THEIR moves. Then I had questions about how/where to take self defense courses and where I teach. I had parents asking me to talk to their children about what it takes to get started and I had little kids ask me for autographs and have my picture taken with me. It was the cutest thing and I was also really impressed with the types of questions I was asked. I never know how these demos are going to be received depending on who the crowd the is but I think MPP MacLeod and her amazing staff (especially Kayla Fernet) set the perfect stage and atmosphere for everyone just coming out to celebrate our neighbours and also to help our neighbours. At some point in our lives, we all need a little bit of help. Congrats everyone for making it a night to remember!
August 17, 2012
“Explosive” seems to be a word that keeps coming into all my training whether it’s for Taekwon-Do or Throwing events. I need to be training for endurance, speed and agility so I mix up the trainings all the time. I’m lucky to have such qualified trainers to give me a lot of help. I spent the afernoon training at Mooney’s Bay with Shane Lynch. We were on the Canadian TKD team together and it’s great to work out with him since he knows so much about conditioning. I’ve been working a lot on my own for strength and explosive training but Shane just added more elements to my training and has taken it to another whole level He has designed a whole program for us geared for taekwon-do and it’s awesome. Normally we do our fitness in the dojang but it was amazing training outside at the park for a change – even if it was boiling hot!
We ran intervals on the beach. It’s so much harder in the sand.
After our running we did a strengthening circuit using the training bars that are at the park. We kept rotating the circuit as hard and fast as we could within the time limit. It’s so great having a park like this in the city. It just goes to prove that you don’t need expensive fancy gyms for a great work-out. I found this portion of the work out really hard since there was a lot of arm work which isn’t necessarily my strength Eventhough I could easily get discouraged trying to keep up with Shane, I prefer to train with men since it pushes me harder. I did the best that I possibly could and I feel proud of that. These tough work-outs aren’t the prettiest, but I can already feel a difference when I’m training in the dojang which is exciting.
To end off the brutal workout we gave it one last push with some sprints up the hill. It may not look like a huge hill in the pictures but believe me it was hard since my legs were burning.
August 16, 2012
Last night, I had the pleasure of training with a World Champion (1992) and instructor from Argentina, Mr. Ricardo Rieiro. Mr. Cabanas from Arcan TKD invited him to stay and train with us for a night. Mr. Rieiro had limited English but it was fine since Mr. Cabanas translated from Spanish. Mr. Rieiro was so expressive with his movements you could figure things out easily anyway. The night was full of great drills, tips, and pieces of advice. I love learning from people all around the world. It brings a new voice, opinion and perspective which I love. You can learn from absolutely everyone so this was a great opportunity. The three main things that really stuck in my mind were:
1. Explode! It’s important to explode when you are attacking forward but it’s equally to also explode when exiting an attack. Most people explode only when they attack.
2. There are different ways of training when doing kicking and sparring drills.
- For explosive drills, it’s more like sprints. You do less repetition but with more explosiveness.
- When training for cardio, you can use intervals and more reps with less explosiveness.
- With more complex drills, the number of repetitions should be decreased.
3. Class schedules and teaching techniques
Since most of us in the room are instructors as well, he explained how they planned out classes in Argentina, and how he sets up his classes. He likes to focus on one thing each class. For example, a full class of sparring or a full class of patterns, or a full class of kicking drills. I thought that was an interesting and a cool concept.
Nights like this reinforce that there is such a strong unity amongst TKD practitioners all around the world. We might do some things a bit differently but we all have the same passion for the Art.
August 9, 2012
I was soooo happy to have my P.B. in Javelin at this final Twilight track meet tonight. It was an extra bonus since all throws were almost the same distance so I know I’m ready for another big jump. I threw 36.91 and my goal was 37 metres since 37m is the National Standard. I have been consistently improving in all throwing events every week this summer so I find that really exciting. I have to admit it’s a slower improvement than I expected and hoped for but that is also what makes the P.B.’s that much more satisfying. For me, it was just such a great way to finish off the season because I have worked hard all summer and tonight, it all paid off. I’ve been working with a group of ladies and we are all trying so hard but somehow tonight was different. We all just wanted to have fun and enjoy the last meet.
At the beginning of the summer I made a goal to qualify for all three throws (javelin, shot put and discus) so I could go to Nationals. I qualified for Shot Put and I was told by the coaches that I could probably compete in the other events since I am just shy of the National Standards for javelin and discus. I have decided not to go to Nationals. Since I will still be a Youth again next summer I know I will do much better with another year of training under my belt. I don’t want to go to Nationals until I feel like I can go and be as competitive as I want to be. I can’t wait for an intense winter program for strengthening and technique so I’ll be completely ready for next summer. This summer has been a blast so it was also a bit sad tonight since it was my last meet until next Spring.
So much happens on at the track that I miss since the throwing events are off to the side of the track. I couldn’t help notice that there was a lot going on with all the announcements on the P.A. system.
It’s cool to see the athlese that are competing in the para olympics in London later this month. I see them train all the time but it’s nice to see them in competition. Good luck to you all in London!
The CTV news crew was there to cover the victory of Jody Graham. Jody was a soccer player who was in a bad car accident 6 years ago and she suffered severe brain damage and was left unable to walk. They didn’t even expect her to live. Tonight she walked with her walker the full 100 metres distance. Her mom was right there with her. Everyone was going crazy cheering her on. I wanted to get closer and watch but I was just about to compete so I couldn’t leave. Her next big goals are to be able to talk and eat on her own. It was so touching. Everywhere I look at the track I see so many inspiring athletes and that is why I love being there.
I am going to take a couple weeks off from track so I can focus more on my Taekwon-Do. I am looking forward to train with the 6 time Taekwon-do World Champion (Julia Cross) from Scotland this month and then competing in New York City in September. I really need to spar against new competitors as much as possible so I can keep improving for Spain. With the throwing events I can keep improving since I have a distance to measure against. It can be hard at times balancing all the different sports but it’s definitely worth it.
August 7, 2012
In 1982 my Uncle Doug competed in the 3rd ever Ironman Triathlon World Championships in Hawaii. The official distances are a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike and a 26.2 mile run. Uncle Doug was visiting from California and I spent this weekend with him. He was asking me about the my World Championship experience and then we started to talk about his Ironman experience. He was telling me all about the differences between then and now in terms of training, equipment, coaches, and knowledge. It’s the previous athletes that have lead the way for the new generations.
When I asked him what made him decide to do an Ironman (remember, no one really knew what they were back then) he said it was because he was tired of running marathons and wanted a bigger challenge. Since it was such a new event there was no coaching to help with a training plan.
He recalled how all the legs and arms flailing around at the beginning of the swim in the ocean and how small the huge boat looked in the distance that they had to swim out to. He told me how his mind was playing mind games with him during the bike portion in the extreme heat and how hard the hills were. He told me about the food and hydration he had on the course and it’s so different compared to what athletes eat and drink now. He ran the last whole mile with his arms above his head and he was yelling with excitement since he really had no idea at all if he was going to be able to finish it. You could tell that even after 30 years he was right back in the moment. He finished in 11 hours 55 minutes and finished 178th out of 900 which is more than incredible!!!! His goal was to complete it in under 12 hours.
As we were watching the Olympics this weekend we talked about how all the technology, training, coaching, nutrition and gear has changed over the years. It seems even more impressive that he was able to complete it with what he had (or didn’t have) to work with.
Uncle Doug still wears his custom ’IRONMAN’ ring with pride. Completing something so monumental in life changes you forever. Looking down at the ring reminds him that he can do anything he puts his mind to. He said whenever someone says that had a hard day at work he remembers how hard those 11 hours and 55 minutes were and everything else seems easy
That is why they say….’Once an Olympian, always an Olympian’, “Once a World Champion, always a World Champion’, and ‘Once an Ironman, always an Ironman’.
I always want to surround myself with people who have done great things so I can learn from them. It’s cool that my mom still has this newspaper clipping from the event.
August 2, 2012
I’ve been working on all kinds of different strengthening drills and it’s really starting to pay off. Last night I had the best javelin training ever.
I love running circuits using the same muscle groups to the point of exhaustion. As the lactic acid builds up it get’s harder and harder. I love how it not only pushes me physically but mentally too. My goal is to be as explosive as possible and leg strength is key.
Today was the kick start of a new and different 4 week training program. I like the variety to keep things interesting. I went to a park near my house and used what I had around there for my equipement. It was a combination of spider-man crawl, long jump, box jumps, burpees, sit-ups and between every set I ran 100m sprints. The fact that your muscles don’t get any relief between each set is what makes it so hard. I did four sets of each of those exercises. I start at a high number of each and then after each set the number goes down by a bit. I have been throwing a lot this summer, but now I’m getting back to TKD shape which is completely different. It’s not going to be easy or pretty at the start, but I will get there!
I also do a lot of work with 10lb medicine balls at the track. I finally bought my own ball so I can use it more on my own. My dad and I work together on this since I need his resistance to make the drills even more effective.
I want my entire body to be as strong as possible. TKD World Championships Spain 2013 here I come!!!!!!
August 2, 2012
Like everyone else, I’m glued to the TV watching the Olympics. I get so excited seeing the successes and I love to hear all the stories behind the scenes about what the athletes go through to achieve their goals. It totally inspires me.
I have to admit I get so angry when I hear the commentators and fans criticize the athletes who don’t perform as expected. I can say first hand that competing on the International Stage can be extremely stressful and the athletes don’t need to be put down - they need our support. They have sacrificed so much for their entire lives and it’s such a huge achievement just to be an Olympian. The average person has no idea what athletes go through on a daily basis mentally and physically to reach their goals. If you ask any athlete they will tell you it’s totally worth it but everyone is human and everyone has moments when things don’t go as well as hoped.
You don’t have to be an Olympian to have ‘Difference Makers’ in your lives. Who is your ‘Difference Maker’ and have you acknowledge them so they know? If not, take the time to acknowledge them now!
I have had tons of ‘Difference Makers’ because I have so much support. I have great friends, understanding and supportive school teachers, incredible coaches and the most amazing community behind me. If I had to pick a certain person or people I would have to say that my ‘Difference Makers’ are my parents though. They have been there for me every single day but more importantly they have taught me that I can learn from every situation and every person that I meet. They have taught me that if I set a goal for myself it’s important to work with the ‘right’ people to reach my goal. They have taught me that everyone in the world has something special to offer and I just have to have an open mind and be ready to learn from others. They keep reinforcing how important it is that I only use the information/instruction that will be good for me and ignore everything else. Being ‘good’ for me doesn’t necessarily mean I like it but it’s what I need :) I’ve had some of the best world class instructors, coaches, personal trainers and training partners, doctors and physio therapists. My parents have been the best Sports Psychologists and Life Coaches for MY needs. They know when to push me and when to let me do it ‘my way’. My parents have taught me that I have to think for myself and stay true to myself. They have helped me through good times and difficult times. They taught me that if I want something, I need to work for it and put my heart and soul into it. More importantly my parents have been there when I was standing on the podium and they have been there holding my hand when I lose and helped me move forward. That is true support. Thanks Mom and Dad xoxoxo