day 1473 – game development

a steady development in my game lately as a result of playing with the higher tiers, receiving pointers, and just getting more ice time. a good day of hockey for me that started off well in britannia, but drop in is where it clicked; even with my aching body and tired legs, i felt strong on my skates. i thought i played a solid game gaining more confidence on the ice whether carrying the puck, driving to the net and playing good positioning. it’s nice when the opposing players compliment on your game, especially the goalie on my shot. it makes me smile a little he said i have a dangerous shot cause both speed and accuracy is there. i hate it when opposing guys take my lightly just because i’m a girl, but the fact they check me harder is a sign of gaining respect

day 1017 – semifinals first

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day two at calgary olympic oval is a big day – it’s competition day. the division is stacked with many torontonians who tends to lead canada’s competition. having said that, i went through all my pregame preparation like i set out to and only concentrated on what i had to do. the focus is getting into finals; that itself was my first big challenge of this year’s nationals. toronto owned the podium once again, but i gained lots of valuable experience  and knowledge through it all. it was a performance i could be satisfied with for i knew i made vast improvements from last year. lots to do for offseason training, but i’m ready and willing to work hard to take it to the next level

my many doubts

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i have been troubled and drowning in my own thoughts which has me staying up late and thinking a lot lately. over the years, taekwondo has given me a lot to look forward to and a lot to be proud of, but that’s not to say it hasn’t given all sorts of pressure and stress. one could say competition has given me a sense of belonging, because it’s also where i found out that i too, could succeed. it’s taken my next to zero confidence and upping that to a level of being confident enough to step out on the mats alone and get things done. somehow, i feel competing is not what it used to be for me. i always felt the pressure leading up to each competition, but never have i felt it so intensely that i’ve become super stressed out and almost numb. is it a sign that i’m not doing it as a passion? is there such thing as a “martial arts block” like a “writer’s block”? sometimes i can’t differentiate if i am fulfilling my job to compete just because i’ve been doing so all along. i’m unsure whether it’s expected of me, or if it’s a self chosen decision. what makes this one different than the ones in the past that gives me so much more undue stress? a lot to be honest. first of all, i’m no longer under the coaches i’m used to, but directly under the watchful eyes of the grandmaster. second, my parents play a big factor. they seemingly have no expectations for my competition game because they have doubted me from the first day i took on taekwondo, but somehow still appears to have so much expectation. they never expected me to get anywhere close to blackbelt and even sought every opportunity to pry me away from the sport. the results at nationals really isn’t my focal point nor the reason i go to nationals. it wasn’t in the past, and this year’s isn’t any different. competing at such a high level is definitely a privilege i don’t take lightly. it’s an eye opener that’s all about the experience and through that i’ve gained so much more. i hope the grandmaster and others see it in the same light, but sometimes i am afraid of those who put a lot more weight in results and standings. i hate not living up to expectations and i hate letting people down; maybe i’ve done it way too much in the past. luckily, i am still able to find bright spots of supportive casts to put everything into perspective and make sure i keep going strong. they let me know that as long as i do everything within my powers and give it everything i got, i should have no regrets. so bottom line is – stop self doubting and stop second guessing, just get my shit together, work my ass off and let the rest play itself out

hiking adventure – quarry rock

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wouldn’t have been a fulfilling long weekend if i didn’t get to go out and enjoy the sunshine we’ve been blessed with. got the first hike of this summer out of the way. it’s a fairly short hike and rated one of the easier trails of vancouver so it’s definitely a good place to start. the roundtrip there and back was completed in under one and a half hour, in addition to the time spent taking photos and enjoying the scenery. the view at the peak is beautiful overlooking north vancouver. kayaked at this location a number of times but never have i gotten the view of deep cove from up top. hoping i would be able to go on a longer one with even greater rewards. good thing its just the beginning of august and there’s a whole month left before summer season starts to wrap up

resolution series: [fifteen] confidence

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i have never been a confident person and i still am not, but i have taken strides in this area. i have very high expectations for myself; the fearful part is when i do not meet those standards, it becomes detrimental to my already lacking and wavering confidence level. playing on teams definitely helped just knowing my teammates will always be there to back me up. i have been fortunate to be a part of numerous teams with awesome teammates that support each other so well and prides in teamwork and team building activities. team chemistry plays a big role in bringing home championships – i experienced that first hand. becoming a part of the vdl exec team has made me more vocal; part of the package requires speaking in front of large groups of people, constantly meeting new people and putting myself out there in a bigger community. taekwondo has provided me more than i could have ever imagined. having met a close knit family where we train together and sweat together. through instructing, competing and demonstrating, it has forced me to speak and demonstrate in front of students, parents and spectators alike. i am glad that many moons ago, my instructor pushed me out into competition because it has been, by far, the biggest difference maker. being alone in the ring with all eyes watching can be fearful as hell but when time comes i have no choice and just have to go on stage and finish what i started. no doubt i have gained a lot experience, respect and approval through being both an instructor and a competitor, but that also comes with responsibility and pressure. not only have i developed my own standard that i must live up to, but others also have high expectations for me that i’d hate to disappoint. all of these undertakings were a leap of faith that required me to step out of my comfort zone and into a completely new territory not knowing what to expect. from a person who is unwilling to speak up, i have evolved to being capable of stepping up in front of large crowds and audiences. this is not to say i am comfortable being in the spotlight because i still get nervous every single time, but at least i am willing to take that step forward. even today i still shy away from attention and hide in the background. i am still quiet by nature, and only when i feel comfortable around you will i start to open up and express myself. that’s when you will get to know me better as a person, my values, the driving force and reasons behind the things i do. there’s a lot hiding inside if you manage to crack my shell

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

day 359 – flashback

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looking at this photo of me back in the day makes me laugh. this was my first ever competition years ago and i have never looked back since and have gone on to many more. who knew this competition kickstarted my interest in competition and to this day still continue to compete whenever possible. seven years and counting, i have risen to and accepted many challenges along the way. been plagued with numerous undesirable injuries ranging in severity, but nothing stops me from doing what i care about. i have learned and gained so much, transformed from a girl who didn’t have the confidence to speak up in front of people to now having the confidence to step in the ring alone and perform in front of a large crowd. this is not to say its in my comfort zone because i do get nervous every time, but at least i am willing to take that step forward and do what needs to be done