day 2222 – fourth bound

after a full day at the dojo, i walked away with a fourth dan certificate. though i was satisfied with most, i was unhappy about one thing. i was bitter my x-out didn’t get the three attempts that all breakings get because he was worried i’d hurt myself. if held firmly, i was confident in breaking it. i’m still pretty proud i went for it considering the roller coaster i had been on the past few weeks. it was a good attempt and maybe the best attempt i had with boards. i’ll keep practicing and do it better one of these days for redemption. i’m just relieved this is all over. my beaten body full of gashes and bruises deserves the break after two long days at the dojo and of course all the work i’ve put into my x-out. definitely a smart decision to take tuesday as a flex day

day 2221 – dojo obliged

wasn’t too thrilled on working this quarter’s blackbelt test being well aware that i’ll be a long one. the test didn’t finish until 9:45pm and i walked out with many more cuts, scrapes and bruises from holding for all the board breaking misses. still, i headed to open gym without food because i said i would be there. i did some x-outs and reviewed some poomsaes before i called it a day. i couldn’t join the gang for late night food because i’ll need the energy for a full day ahead of me. this can’t be over soon enough; my soul needs a break

day 2217 – nothing left

i’m feeling upset and beat because it’s crunch time and i can’t seem to land anything, not even my basic back tuck. the test is in a matter of days and my x-out feels like it’s fallen apart. it’s not a required board breaking, but i have been yearning to do this and if i was only going to take the fourth dan test once in my life, i better make it be something i’ll remember. i wanted to be proud of what i did and not just do the bare minimum. at this rate, i’m not sure if it’s going to happen

day 2117 – vacation swap

picking up my parents from the airport this afternoon while getting ready to pack and swap places with them. right after dropping them off at home, i had to head out to another taekwondo blackbelt test. the only difference is this time i’ll also be taking my own pretest. i never once thought i would be going for another degree. this was a very late decision that he ambushed with so i didn’t receive the study guide until friday night

day 1915 – hockey is back

it’s good to be back at the rink after missing the past few hockey games due to overlapping schedule. i was afraid i’d be slow coming out of the gate but i held up and even registered an assist. the scoresheet isn’t really an accurate representation of the high scoring game. it was a fun game but man i’m tired from invigilating a blackbelt test that went wrong in far too many ways. being put in the spot to do something i haven’t practiced in three years isn’t exactly cool. good thing i managed to do it and come out unscathed

day 1685 – board cuts

the aftermath of a blackbelt test i didn’t want to work. it didn’t bode well from the beginning and only got worse when i’m told by the grandmaster to hold a board when he knows very well my hand isn’t healed for it. it really has become a hostile environment i’m tired of bearing his unreasonable and unethical ways. it has caused me too much grief and too much sleep and i’m no longer willing to go the distance to suit his needs while i sacrifice my happiness. either his attitude has to change and respect has to be there, or that’s the end of an era

day 1579 – sunday workday

it started off having a laid back sunday morning before getting into work. good that i don’t have a 7:30am start on sunday as well so i could sleep in a little after a late night of partying. had no urgency to sleep after a night like this, but once in a while is okay. worked another blackbelt test and the rest of my time spent completing a bunch of modules. banking these extra hours hopefully to pay off and gets accredited for in the future

day 1306 – exec social 

a vdl event that gathers execs so those who don’t do league ops nor play every night gets a chance to hangout. i am usually unable to make it out to these events, but i had a gap before working at blackbelt test. taking over most of steamworks eating and socializing while getting good laughs playing board games. the company was good but the food was horrible; i ended up eating my first hotdog since korean festival two summers ago. a laid back afternoon that momentarily got my mind off taekwondo where i was low key stressing out for my competition

day 669 – circuit

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haven’t been to gym for a while because i needed a recovery week and break after having completed my promotion test. no break between training for competition and blackbelt test so got permission for a well deserved time off. went through an exhausting circuit this afternoon and thoroughly tired. jumping back straight into a crazy workout usually gets me pretty sore next day. it is a good way to close off a successful month but the training commences again and nothing gets easier from here on

through it all

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with the completion of an ultra long blackbelt test, i went home and passed out from pure exhaustion. even after it’s all said and done,  i hadn’t really recognized what i had just gone through. it certainly took a few days not only for my body to recover, but also for my mind to digest what i just really accomplished. when i first took up this sport, i only thought of it as a short term activity with little or next to no goals. it’s funny when i began this journey, everyone questioned why i chose this martial art because my legs were already so beaten as it is. being my stubborn self, i did it to prove to those who said i couldn’t do it because my body won’t manage. thinking back, i do feel ashamed that i didn’t have much commitment from the beginning and set a very low goal going in; but a few unexpected circumstances and many small things propelled me to this point. little did i expect to still be practicing taekwondo so many years after and be going for my third dan today. what i also didn’t expect was to be an integral piece of the puzzle, in instructing, coaching and competing; and competing at a level that requires traveling across canada and even out of the country. through competitions, i have turned some heads, gained some respect and earned some recognition both provincially and internationally. i give my instructors a ton of credit for giving me that extra push and getting me to where i am now. i can comfortably sit back today and realize what i had just accomplished is far beyond what i, myself, and the entire population thought i could attain; something that many may never achieve. i know there comes a time when i must hang it up, but that time is not now. i still have some competitions and accomplishments ahead of me, i don’t want to call it quits and not use my skills to its fullest potential