waking up for a federer wimbledon final at 6am was never in question. although it pains me to see federer lose after pouring his heart out, his play was still amazing, matching his opponent shot for shot. in my heart he won the match because how unfortunate is it to lose three tiebreaks. i do however wish i had a chance to take a quick nap before a working a colour belt test. good thing it went smoothly and i can go home and use what’s left of the weekend to rest
gladly waking up early for another one of federer’s finals. this one is extra special as he’s going for his one hundredth atp title. i’m so happy to witness federer making another history breaking record and reaching the century club. it’s such a treat watching him on the court; he’s one of those players that explemifies finesse to perfection. watching him really makes me itch for some tennis. i hope he continues to play a few more years and chip away at more records. i only wish one day i can watch him play live and meet him in person
woke up at six to watch federer win his ninth wimbledon title. thought i would do something spontaneous before my hockey game. somewhere at the bottom of my sports closet is my dusty blades my parents got me back when i was in my early years of highschool. wasn’t sure if they still fit, wasn’t sure if they required a tune up, wasn’t sure if i remember how to roller blade, but didn’t think twice before strapping them on
i felt tremendous pressure going into this year’s us world open for so many reasons – definitely tenfolds more than last year’s. last year being the first go had its uncertainties, but because of my successes, it gave me extra stress and pressure this time around to live up to the unwritten expectations. nationals in the summer gave me one of the biggest blows in my competition career. it was one of my worst performances to say the least; it almost made me certain i was going to call it quits for taekwondo competitions. since then, i haven’t willed myself to step onto the mat again to do what i thought i loved. thankfully, my competitiveness fought through to cling onto my competition dreams and didn’t allow me give up on my passion. slowly i left canadian nationals 2015 behind and began training again. it’s almost a year since my last competition experience. the layoff has definitely triggered endless pre-competition jitters. i withdrew from a competition in february due to fear and at times i had the biggest urge to withdraw from this one as well. i knew this year’s division would be even tougher than last because i would be up against two teammates of mine. we’re a team that supports each other but there’s no secret that i’m a competitor at heart. i didn’t want to lose and really wanted to live up to expectations, expectations that i have for myself. for that reason, the pressure really got into my head and i was struggling to concentrate on my game. luckily, i have all the right people around me to give me all the support to guide me through these tough times and bring the best out of me. they gave me the strength to carry on even at my weakest times. days leading up to the competition and even minutes prior to going on deck, my mind replayed all the things that was said to me. i had a lot to prove and i did exactly that. just like last us world open, i was the last to go in my school and last to go in my division. everyone from my team including the grandmaster were crowding around my ring. the long wait for my teammates to finish built up so much tension. to make it worse, the opening ceremony coincidentally started as it was my turn to step on the mat. from the start of division, i was so focused i zoned out everyone and including the demo music; it was my time – nothing but myself. i didn’t dare watch any of my competitors’ poomsaes or scores. in fact, i didn’t even look at my own scores so i had no idea what to expect as the judges announced the medallists. all i knew was i stepped off the mat confidently feeling good about the performance i had put forth. getting silver for individual is the silver lining to this trip and a great way to cap off us world open 2016. i felt my mental game was the strongest it’s ever been heading into a competition and i owe that to a lot of people. i feel some confidence and self belief slowly coming back to me
there was no shortage of pressure at us world open with the presence of the grandmaster, team of students and their parents. little was said, but this competition would also determine my path moving forward and going to nationals next month. i went into this competition feeling undertrained because of all my commitments with the sunrun, dodgeball, playoffs, demos and coaching duties; too much time spent coaching the kids i left no time for myself. it was a mixed bag of feelings from being emotionally unstable to psychologically drained cause i knew what was on the line, physically fine for the most part other than coping with a bad groin that won’t heal and battling a week-long cold. the pressure was far beyond anything i’ve ever experienced since all my school’s competitors had already finished their events, leaving me last to go on stage so everybody hovered behind my ring. i am not a fan of spotlight and this certainly a lot more attention than i am comfortable with. what made it even more nerve wrecking is i was queued second last in my division meaning i had to go through the pain of watching and waiting for my fellow competitors. i was so nervous i didn’t dare watch any of my competitors or their results. i zoned out everyone who tried to talk to me and only focused on what i had to do. i went out there and did what i had to do, walked off the mats straight to my coach without even looking at my score. i was greeted by high fives and a “pretty good” which meant the world to me cause rarely does he compliment me. everybody was quick to tell me i secured at least a silver medal based on the scores of those who went before me. i didn’t believe it, but came to realization as the final results were announced. it wasn’t the medal around my neck that brought joy to me, it was beating my biggest rival from my own school and that proved plenty, more than words can say. most importantly i felt good out there doing what i thought was my best poomsae and best performance yet. the silver lining was i later found out the mexican who topped my score was the bronze medallist at this year’s worlds. thankfully i was told after the fact or i would be too psyched out, as if i didn’t have enough pressure
better believe it, we swept all our series enroute to claiming our title, but none of our games were really dominated. throbocops first season was a success and there’s no shame being tier 6 champ. i guess i am one step closer to being champions of every tier, four more to go. dodgeball season 18 officially comes to a close for me and that can’t be better news for my physio, kinesiologists and friends who worry about me and my ailing wrist more so than me myself. this also happens to be the day my blog turns 500 days old
what a way to celebrate my birthday and cap off my birthday weekend being tier champs. it wasn’t just any other birthday like the past. they announce my special day during the announcements and i received hundreds of birthday wishes, never in my life have i felt so special. team and teamwork is the reason that brought us this championship. hoisting the hammer to pose for the team victory photo, it was a truly amazing feeling that also earned many bragging rights. props to all my teammates playing off each other and sticking to the game plan, couldn’t have done it without any one of you. first playoff tier champ win in my seasons of vdl, winning never felt any better. another year older, another year wiser, looking to make changes, improvements and just make more happen this coming year
just thought this was worth sharing
as 2013 us open kicks off this week, it inevitably reminds me of what happened a year ago…
he had me at the first sight. from an explosive youngster to his prime and beyond, i watched him pound tennis balls on hardcourt. i watched him beat my then favourite player pete sampras, break fastest serve records, played marathon matches, held numerous titles, and won us open 2003. but most importantly, watched him grow into the player and competitor i came to love and idolized. without question, roddick played with passion and showed that he had a big heart, heart of a champion. i remember feeling the deep sorrow when he announced his retirement at last year’s us open. no matter what, roddick will always be my favourite tennis player of all time. thanks for all the memories and good times you have provided all your fans and wish you nothing but the best.
i miss watching and cheering for you.
at one point in your life you’ll have the thing that you want or the reason why you don’t
-andy roddick (on his career)