conquested us world open

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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

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day 914 – leaf through

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came across this as i was leafing through my phone album for a kickass picture request. going through these pictures bring back so much memories, the times when i seemed to have a better grasp of competition. deep down i know i miss competition and really want to be back in the game, but knowing i will not return until i can step up my game. it’s been far too long since i last competed. the longer i’m away from the competition stage, the more scared i feel. i hope i’m able to control and improve not only my game, but my state of mind

day 799 – obyf groupie

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season 19’s best dressed team looking sharp once again geared up in our full home uniform. today’s memo was to neon it up which some of us failed to do, but then again i also neglected to wear my neon yellow shoes. good to see the entire team present for another season of hurling balls at each other. obyf back for another season and keep working on things now and make it all count in the playoffs

day 611 – day off

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first time since forever i have a day off which finally allowed me to sleep in for eight solid hours. getting in rest and having a party is a combo i never get enough of. nothing like having jenga and games competitions for drinks on a good friday. also first time i shotgunned cooking wine which was a unique experience but i would probably not do it again and i don’t recommend it to anyone. let’s get the party started and don’t let it stop until the night rolls by

poomsae uniform debut

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okay i am not going to lie, i am as tired as i look in that picture all due to plenty of last minute cramming. not to mention dealing with a completely battered body because of cramming in late night practices days before. had a severe groin pull and major pre competition mental crisis even my friend ben couldn’t help out this time no matter how many times i slapped it on myself. luckily the adrenaline carried me through my part of the competition, but my groin was immobile the rest of the way and i needed major help in every way. i was contemplating for the longest time if it was the right time to pull out my new poomsae uniform, simply because i don’t feel ready and worthy of wearing this just yet. given what i had to work with, i am satisfied with my performance and no one can deny that

day 463 – hamber pride

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much of my highschool highlights revolved around sports, teams and coaches; it’s safe to say i spent majority of my time in and around the gym. every practice and every game was full of hardwork and sweat, but we do it because we hold each other accountable for their own role. going out to tournaments shared a lot of special moments and memories that created lasting friendship. strong rapport was built amongst the group of girls and coaches, and that was a major reason we had the success we did. i am always glad to see we continue to uphold the tradition of alumni games, it brings me great pride to be a hamber alumni

day 132 – professional photography

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photos from dodgeball playoffs posted by a professional photographer and this particularly picture caught me eye. never knew what i looked like when playing in a serious match. i guess this is my in game body position and alert and focused game face. credits to peter so photography for all the sweet pictures