My TKD Training in California

It fascinates me what opportunities we get in life.  As I sit in the airport waiting for my connecting flight home from an amazing training week in California, I am so thankful for everything that TKD has given to me.  When I first started 16 years ago I never anticipated that it would allow me to travel to some of the most beautiful countries around the world and meet so many amazing and inspiring people.

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I had the privilege of traveling to train with Mr. LeGrow in San Jose with Mr. Jason Morris from  Mightyfist TKD as a final piece of the puzzle before we both compete in the World Championship in Italy at the end of this month.

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I have to admit it hasn’t been the same preparing for this Championship without Mr. LeGrow so I was really happy I got to spend the week training with him.

The week had the ideal format because we trained early in the mornings for a couple hours working on individual drills, did site seeing or some kind of outside adventure in the afternoons and then trained all night from about 3:30-9:45. It was a perfect mix of training and relaxation. It was also nice to escape for a week after my exams finished and be able to completely focus on the training. I wanted to re-center myself before Worlds.

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I really enjoyed getting to meet all the students of Mighty Fist Taekwon-do school too. There was a tight group of about 9 people who all came and trained with Mr. LeGrow and me after hours in addition to the classes.  I appreciated having a solid variety of sparring partners and people to do patterns beside. Finding new people to spar is so challenging but it’s so important in order to be more prepared for different body types and styles that I might encounter in Italy.

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Training alone can often toy with ones confidence so I found it very helpful having this group of people to train with. Many of them have either gone to past World Championships or are competing this year as well.  I picked up a few things to polish and continue to work on when I get home. Thank you to everyone who came to train with me and made me feel so welcomed. I am so happy that I have made some new friends 🙂

California is beautiful! As soon as I landed, I was surrounded by mountains. Everywhere I looked, there was a new breathtaking view to take in. The sun was blazing but the air was nice and cool. Each day, Mr. LeGrow took me somewhere new.

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The first day, it was nice to relax by the pool and read my book by Oprah after our morning training.
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Everywhere you looked, there were amazing trees and greenery.

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The next day, we took a drive into the mountains and went for a nice long walk in the trails when we got to the top.

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The drive up the mountains was stunning.
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The trails were gorgeous too. There were a few moments where all I could hear was my own breathing.

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Then it was off to Santa Row to window shop and see one of the classiest parts of Cupertino, San Jose. I love seeing all the palm trees everywhere.

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All the boutiques, walkways and restaurants were so classy. I loved people watching too!
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The outside bars and patios were so pretty and quaint

On Saturday, the 9 of us did a really intense training in the morning for three hours. By this point my legs were feeling like lead!  For a treat we all went to the beach for rest of the day and evening.  I haven’t been to a beach in a really long time so it was quite special for me! Listening to the waves crash down into the sand was relaxing.  I loved it there.  The weather was actually too cold to swim but we played beach volleyball, walked the board walk and had a bbq on the beach.  How cool is that?  Yes, I even indulged in s’mores 🙂 On one of the piers there was a huge amusement park that we went to at night and had fun spending time in the arcade.

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By Sunday, my body was in need of a little break so Mr. LeGrow took me to San Francisco for the morning! I absolutely LOVED it there.

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Alcatraz was a lot closer to shore than I thought. It was surreal to see it in person.
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I was really excited to get to see the Golden Gate bridge!

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All the houses were really unique down each street. The steep rolling hills with all the colourful row houses were just like you see in the movies
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The views were incredible!
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We even went to Twin Peaks  which is the highest point of the area where I could see the whole city! It was breath- taking. I felt on top of the world.

In the last month of training…there is a specific moment that appears. It’s the moment where you think to yourself: “hey, I can do this. I am ready.” It’s not positive self-talk, or your ego trying to boost your “fake it till you make it” confidence. It’s a subconscious feeling you get that isn’t forced or analyzed in anyway. It’s a crucial moment for me, because THAT moment, starts the interconnection between preparation (training) and confidence (sports psychology).

My moment, happened in my last training in California. I felt no stress, no tension, no anxiety about the World Championships, just sheer passion and joy for the sport, martial art and journey. When I am in that state of mind, I perform at my best. I left that training feeling inspired, rejuvenated and ready.

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When I step into the ring at the World Championships, if all my ducks are in a row in terms of my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, for that one moment, magic can happen. That’s when I am in my happy place, where I have been able to turn my brain off and completely let go. At THAT moment, my body and soul turn into autopilot and do what they have trained for.

This World Championship preparation hasn’t followed nearly ANY of the same patterns as the last two. Every journey is different so I worked really hard at not comparing and just taking things one day at a time, trusting the process.

It’s so true that if you want to BE different, you have to DO things differently.

Thank you to everyone in California that made my week so incredibly special. I can’t thank you enough. I’m so grateful for having a place to stay, train, getting to see different parts of California and for getting to train and spend time with old friends and some new amazing people.

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Two more weeks until I leave for Italy! The countdown continues…:)