short of expectation

i’ve been really down, stressed and frustrated as of late. 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. 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 starting in elementary school, but my parents forbid me to join any school teams. i finally convinced them to let me in highschool and made 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 the basketball team

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’ levels was adequate. it turns out it wasn’t; my instructor wasn’t having any of that and lectured me on how it was unacceptable to not use my full 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. 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 often have. 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. 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 and disobeying commands, pushing and playing through all sorts of injuries is something i’m known for and that likely won’t change. my physio, chiro and kinesiologist 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 the weight i pushed, be it squats, deadlifts, bench, rows, pullups. it wasn’t until the beginning of this year i got serious about it and started an olympic lifting 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. 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. in the meantime i’m just trying to keep it together

day 1945 – nappy

no point in staying at work when my eyes wouldn’t stay open even under the influence of caffeine. from past experience, the jetlag usually hits me hardest on the second day. everyone told me to set an alarm clock, which i did. i went home intending to take a short nap, but i passed out for four hours only to notice my parents were already eating dinner. good luck trying to fall asleep tonight

day 675 – messy me

image

all i wanted to do was have my recovery drink but turns out i spent a lot more time cleaning up the mess i made than the time required to finish drinking. what made matters worse was i didn’t just fail once, but twice. the first scoop, powder flung out all over my table. then second scoop, i dropped the scoop and scattered on my lap, chair and floor. turns out to be too much work

day 645 – packing troubles

image

this is the status of my packing situation in hour into my attempt. things are always harder to find when i need it most and then reappear in my face when i don’t. what’s frightening is this pile is not the only things i will be packing for this trip. as if finding everything i needed wasn’t hard enough, fitting everything into my duffel will be an even tougher task. the whole packing process took over three hours and in the end i gave in to using a suitcase because i failed to fit everything into my duffel

day 583 – pre comp syndrome

image

at the school the night before competition doing some very last minute cramming. soreness finally easing off and i am finally able to do my full poomsae for the first time in a long time. it might be a little too late because i feel the pre competition crisis taking over. one side of my sidekick is very concerning but i know i need rest so i don’t overdo it. so i will just call it a day and hope that when i wake up tomorrow morning everything will be back to normal

goodtimes

late night training on christmas day is a mixture of goodtimes and epic fails. i have no idea how many times i have watched this, but it always cracks me up rewatching all the bloopers and thinking of all the times we made mistakes in front of critics and highly unsatisfiable coaches and instructors. mistakes are why trainings exist and reasons for us to keep training, keeping it real and taking it one step at a time