My personal reflections of the week….
This was the perfect week for me. I came with very precise goals and I was happy to achieve them all and more.
My personal highlight was definitely performing my final patterns during the opening ceremonies. It was a defining moment for me that I will never forget. It made me realize that performing a pattern because I love it was just as important as winning the gold medal. I am proud that I could handle the pressure of being under a microscope of all the spectators, competitors, judges, Masters and Grand Masters. It was probably the biggest thing I’ve ever done in my life (so far).
The second highlight was being able to adjust my typical sparring technique in a hurry when I realized what I was doing was not working. I couldn’t have done that without the years of guidance from my Instructor Mr. LeGrow. Together we have travelled to spar with as many people as possible for this exact reason. I was proud that I stayed calm and fought smart to earn the points instead of trying fancy combinations.
When I won the gold back in New Zealand 2011 I really had no idea how it would affect other people. It opened so many doors for me and gave me opportunities that I might not have had without the World Champion title.
Over the last couple years I had some multiple time World Champions say…..”Anyone can win 1 title but you have to win a few to really prove to that you are a World Champion’. That thought has haunted me so I wanted to prove to myself that I deserved the title. My next goal is to prove to myself that I can win in the adult division too. There is always more to do, learn and achieve.
I realized just how small our world really is. I looked around and noticed that I had made friends from almost every continent over the last few years and here we were all sitting in the same stadium sharing the same passion. Thanks to social media like Facebook it’s so much easier to keep the friendships going. I was also shocked how many people came up to me and told me that they had been following my blog. That felt very cool that others were interested.
It’s been a week of emotional highs and lows. It’s impossible to not feel everything that my team mates were feeling too. For every person that you see up on the podium all happy and excited, you see several more in tears or disappointed.
Why do we put ourselves through this stress? The answer is simple…the need to challenge ourselves and for the pure love of it.
The amazing part is when you see someone who was eliminated in their first round but they are still on top of the world since they know they performed at their best. They were happy to have the experience of perhaps sparring or performing their patterns beside one of the TKD legends. They walked away wanting to start training immediately knowing what they have to do for the next time. That is the spirit of a true Champion!
It doesn’t matter if we won or lost a medal. We won the experience of a lifetime and the opportunity to grow from it. That is what this is all about – Personal growth as a person. The better we can be as a person, the more we can contribute to others.
It’s all the hard work when no one is watching, the daily sacrifices, handling time management challenges, dealing with injury obstacles, privately celebrating our own personal revelations and our perseverance and dedication leading up to the World Championships is what is important. It’s all about the journey. The medals are merely the icing on the cake.
I am eternally grateful for my family, friends and Instructor Mr. LeGrow who have constantly supported, encouraged and believed in me. Without the financial assistance of the Barrhaven community I would not have been able to go. I would like make a special thanks to Darrell Bartraw who was instrumental in all my fundraisers. I am so grateful that my part-time employer, McDonald’s Barrhaven became my Gold Corporate Sponsor. I share my two new gold medals with all of you! Thank You.
What’s next? Italy 2015!