day 2432 – garage gym

starting the new home workout program because covid situation is forcing apex to change. i still get to go in once a week, but the home workout program is tailored to a lot of technical work. it was rough on my grip and forearm because i’m not used to the diameter of the men’s barbell and a lot of the drills starts from hang position. i’m told i can use straps next time to save my forearms and get. i finally got a chance to use the plyo boxes i built a while back

2019 year at a glance

the recap of the past 365 days could easily be all negative, but instead of going down the rabbit hole of saying everything that went wrong, i also want to recap on all the things that went right. sure, my ankle injury cost me nine months of the year to diagnosis, but it didn’t stop me from carrying out the things i can still do. weightlifting was a big plus this year for i joined apex and dove back into olympic lifting. i got pretty good progress despite the many physical road blocks; a seventeen kilo improvement and making the yellow plates for a personal best. in the mere two months i was introduced to clean and jerk techniques, i’m happy to be just shy of the blue plates. tricking has caused me the most grief. there were so many flips and tricks i wanted to land, but couldn’t mostly because my injuries didn’t allow me to do things i should be able to. i’ll have to accept the fact there’ll be some specific moves i’ll never be able to do again, forever. i had a serious debate inside telling me to quit because everyone has given up on me, even me. at one point i had a deadline in mind to land one of the three moves i’ve been working on. low and behold, i did not land one, but i’m urged to give it a little more time because i’m really close. taekwondo became really stressful having to train a new set of teaching staff. i never once thought i’d test for my fourth degree, especially not with the ankle i was on. sports aside, i also traveled to europe, met some new people, got rid of toxic ones, changed departments and tried new things. i had some very low moments throughout this year where i really wanted to give up, but i kept my head up as hard as it was. i told myself because i never have up, 2020 will be the year for me where everything will fall into place and it’s my year to shine

day 2335 – fondway cafe

didn’t want to work at all on christmas eve, but good thing it was only half day. i rushed off to apex for a full session only focusing on snatches. all makes in my snatch wave; it really helps that i’m practicing more frequently the past two weeks. after a quick lunch, i hit up fondway cafe to catch up with old coworkers. it’s always fun hanging out with the two girls because the best stories come out. we had a lot of good laughs all the way to cafe’s closing

day 2204 – pause snatch

it feels weird to be ay apex on thursday instead of tuesday, but it’s better to give my back and neck more time. to be honest, both were still so stiff and tender than i didn’t think i could snatch. week one of tech week working on pause snatch and front squat on the minute style. it felt pleasantly strong and worked up to thirty eight kilogram pause snatch complex. it was a busy day – i had three back to back activities today, all half an hour apart. after olympic lifting session, was softball playoffs round robin and massage appointment. needless to say i didn’t get home to eat dinner until 9:46pm, and at that point i had fourteen minutes left to eat before my window closed

short of expectation

i’ve been really down, stressed and frustrated as of late. on the surface, i always appear fine because i do a really good job containing all my emotions and keeping it together. so it felt stranger there were multiple times when i just couldn’t keep it together inside. i feel the frustration has been eating me alive so i decided to open up part of my story

all my life, i’ve been an underachiever, always falling short of everyone’s expectations. i can’t remember the last time i felt like i succeeded and made someone proud

in highschool, i was always living in the shadow of my brother who would get ninety nine percent in math, if not one hundred. as an asian kid, getting an A in math was never enough. i rewrote my provincial because it was not an A of respectable calibre. i get it, i’m nowhere near smart; i don’t get straight A’s like most asian parents wish for. i graduated and went straight into post secondary as expected. in university, my path was basically chosen for me based on process of elimination of what my parents didn’t want me to be. they got it all mapped out for me – i applied for environment design program, an honors program meant for architecture. i graduated from that and was expected to be an architect, but i failed to get into the masters program which accepts forty eight students out of the four hundred odd applicants

growing up, sports was something i loved dearly and what came to me naturally. i excelled in swimming, so much that two instructors granted me to skip two levels. i went on to take all lifeguarding courses before i had to wait until i was sixteen. i didn’t pick it back up when i turned sixteen which made my parents outraged. i went on to hear about it for the next six years. my parents enrolled me in skating and i did well to skip the ‘red’ level which was the first level. i didn’t enjoy skating much so i never continued onto figure skating. i was on the tennis court as a ball girl ever since i could remember. soon after, my parents enrolled me into lessons at indoor tennis facility where i played a few tournaments. at the crossroad where players started specializing and turning pro, my parents asked if i wanted a coach. i turned it down because i didn’t think i could be one in a million that turns into a tennis star. i also played basketball at starting in elementary school. i would play all recess and lunch forgo-ing eating, but my parents forbid me to join any school teams. i finally convinced them to let me in highschool and made the team from grade eight to ten. however, it came to an abrupt halt after three severe ankle sprains had me on crutches and one major career-ending knee injury. my doctor did not allow me to take PE in grade eleven. i worked hard at physio and was cleared for PE twelve and tennis team, but still not able to return to competitive basketball

taekwondo had it’s ups and downs but it did shine at some point. i started as a white belt thinking i’d have some fun one summer. one summer became many summers. in the early stages as a yellow-green belt, i would half-ass thinking matching the green belts’ level was adequate. it turns out it wasn’t; my instructor wasn’t having any of that and lectured me on how it was unacceptable not to be practicing up to my fullest potential. that next promotion test, i was the second student in school history to skip a belt level. i started competing and that changed everything. i became an instructor, a coach and eventually the branch head instructor. though there’s glory, there’s also a lot of burden and stress behind the scenes. from white to black, there’s been many bumps and bruises, breaking my foot three times enroute to my third dan today. two years ago, i thought i could handle hanging up my competition uniform, but i was wrong. deep down, i know that i didn’t experience and accomplish all that i wanted to in order to say i have no regrets. i carry a lot weight being in the position i am in today and i feel no matter how much i put in, it is never enough. being in the position that i am, i feel obligated to continue onto my fourth. if i don’t grow, how will my students grow? how will i keep my dreams alive?

tricking is something i picked up partially because i have the aspirations to compete again, but also because i liked it. though i’m neither talented nor daring enough like some others, i still try to do what i can. i have moves i need in order to have any hopes of competing again, along with a list of tricks i want to learn just for the sake of it, but progress has been slowed by my foot and the various injuries i live with. i tried to stay patient all this time, but my patience has a limit and i’m afraid it’s running low. i’ve been extremely frustrated recently because i still have to hold off on things i really need and time is ticking. little do people know, i often beat myself up when i don’t get something that is seemingly so easy for somebody else. with any ‘bad’ training session that felt unproductive, i’d lay in bed thinking it over all night long. i know i’m not a natural at this, but i’m hoping my hard work pays off. until i know the severity of my foot injury, i’ll still be pushing hard – even if it means being on one foot. i’m no stranger to pushing the limits. if there’s one thing i do well, it’s disobeying commands, pushing through pain and playing through all sorts of injuries; it’s something i’m known for and that likely won’t change. my physio, chiro and kinesiologists knows me well enough that very little will stop me

i started lifting weights for rehab purposes, but soon grew to love it as something that compliments my sports and enhances my performance. i picked up olympic lifting four years ago only because i saw a trainer working out and thought it looked cool. for a couple years, i would always stay within my comfort zone just enough for maintenance. for that reason, i plateaued lifting the same amount of weight and wasn’t making the weight my kinesiologist expected. i remember disappointing him every time he checked on my progress, be it squats, deadlifts, bench, rows, pullups. it wasn’t until the beginning of this year i got serious about it and got into an olympic lifting specific program to improve my technique. through the program, my technique improved significantly and my strength really took off. only recently, i made a couple personal bests, but even those numbers are not quite the numbers that’s expected out of me. if i can one day exceed any of those expectations, i wouldn’t rule out a future competition

it’s really been a lot of back and forth with constant struggles. i know for a fact that my mom is disappointed i have yet to settle for someone. i’m disappointing them because it seems like i have no urgency to get into another relationship after being removed from one. maybe the previous brought bad experiences and many disappointments and the last thing i want is to get into one that will not make me happy. coming as a joke or not, it bothers me every time i’m being badgered or questioned about my choice; i’m more than positive of my answer and i need not to prove it to anyone. i can only apologize for the disappointment that it hasn’t happened yet, all i know is it’ll happen when the time is right and i meet the man of my dreams

my life has been far from a walk in the park and it’s been a rough stretch that’s consumed more of me than it should have. all my life i’ve been use to people being hard on me, pushing me and trying to bring the best out of me, and that’s okay because i can handle it. lately, it strikes me that i have more often than not fallen short of expectations. i’ve failed many people that had any hopes for me and i’m deeply saddened to have failed in so many regards. it seems i can’t ace any test given to me, but i can only promise i’ll keep trying. i know for a fact i’m not a person that settles for any less than what i want. believe me, no one is as harsh as i am on myself. in the meantime i’m just trying to keep it together

day 2190 – pr clean

since i’m expecting deloading week to come soon, i just went for it. this would be the heaviest clean i’ve ever done and i’m truly proud of it. in the past i’ve only hovered around one hundred fifteen, rarely get into the twenties because i struggled to get out of the bottom position. my front squat have improved so much since joining apex that this weight was easily handled. i have had my eyes set on the one plate ever since i started getting the hang of olympic cleans, but who knows, maybe one day i can even make the reds

day 2174 – squinty park

a lifting session at apex before a softball double header. despite my back and neck not feeling normal, i still felt strong on front squats and lighter muscle snatches. not a fan of squint lake park because there’s so many mosquitoes around. even though i had bug spray on, i still got bit in the leg. hopefully i get to the bottom of this back and neck issue that’s causing so much discomfort becuase i’d hate to go through another week with so much unexplained back pain

day 2146 – rusty snatches

second apex workout since returning and i’m still trying really hard to get back to proper snatching. i’ll be the first to admit i’m pretty disappointed in the missed snatches that shouldn’t be missed. when the lifts appear to start out wrong, i give up on it far too early and clearly don’t try hard enough to save them. i was told off for doing so and smartened up after that. at least i made up for the lackluster lifts with some better back squats