This is the first chance I’ve had to write a blog since I’ve been home so there is lots to talk about. I still haven’t had time to put my suitcase away!!!!! (maybe I’ll just leave it out so I can go on another trip)
After you’ve participated in something as big as the World Championships it’s really hard to settle back into reality. The last two years have been consumed with daily training, following a strict diet and mentally preparing myself for Spain. Suddenly in a few short days it’s all over and I feel lost. What’s the purpose of the day when there isn’t a huge goal to work towards?
Apparently it’s very common for athletes to go through even a bit of a depression right after something like this since there’s such a build up to it and you’re on such a high while you’re there. There’s such an amazing feeling when you’re surrounded by people who all share the same passion and then you suddenly feel very alone when you get home. My team mates are dispersed all around Canada again so we don’t see each other anymore and I miss them. We’re always texting each other but it’s just not the same. It’s hard for people to understand what we are going through unless you’re in the same situation. It’s a bond like no other!
Coming home was a lot easier this time since I had so much support from my friends and community. They all wanted to hear about everything since they were all part of the journey with me. Our house had a steady stream of people dropping in see the medals, look at pictures and videos, hear the stories and just hang out. It was so much fun to just relax and chill out with friends and family.
Mr. LeGrow and I told our stories and experiences with the other Team Blacburn students one night. It’s very special to be able to share this experience with Mr. LeGrow since he was not only a team mate and coach but more importantly he is my Instructor. Hopefully we can inspire some of the other students who also want to try out for the National Team someday. I know several of them have their sights on going to the Open World Cup in Jamaica next summer. They see how hard Mr. LeGrow and I train and then they get an idea of what it takes to compete on the world stage. There are always athletes out there training more than you, so you always have to find way to improve your own training.
My first day back at school was incredible. The staff, Link Crew and friends held a surprise breakfast party. It meant so much to me that they cared. Apparently my picture and newspaper articles are all hung in my Elementary School and my High School.
I’ve been back 27 days and I’ve:
- had 2 newspaper interviews
- given 1 TV interview – Rogers High School Sports Zone
- booked 3 keynote speaker engagements at schools for December and January (this requires a lot of preparation)
- applied for different scholarships which required a lot of paper work/essays
- been selected to be the Honorary Marshall for the Santa Claus parade in front of 30,000 people this weekend
- tried to get caught up with all the school work that I missed for being away for two weeks – that’s been really hard!
- decided which universities to apply for and what program to go into since the applications are due next month
- still worked two shifts a week at my part-time job and just increased it to three shifts a week
- helped build and decorate a float for the Santa Claus Parade for the West Barrhaven Community Association
- FINALLY signed up for my drivers ed course so I can be like a ‘normal’ teenager who can drive 🙂
Since my ankle is still sore from competing in Spain I have put my focus on coaching instead of training myself. Even if I can’t train the way I would like to, I still need to be in the dojang! I love sharing my passion while coaching and it is always lots of fun! Especially if it’s for an upcoming tournament since I know the students are serious and determined.
Team Blackburn is having a large tournament with over 130 competitors next weekend and I’ll be coaching the black belts since I won’t be competing. I’m really looking forward to seeing my friends from Quebec, New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and of course my friends in Ontario. The dinner banquet/dance after will be lots of fun too!
I love my life since there is always something exciting and fun going on. I just need to fine tune my next big goal since I’m the type of person who needs to have a definite purpose.