day 1187 – mat privileges

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what i’ve been stressing out about has finally arrived. stepping on the mat for my first competition this season. after an offseason of training, i feel more conditioned physically and mentally to have a stronger competition season. i felt i had my top game today; fueled myself properly and zoned in the second my pre-game warm up began. i’m happy with my shipjin, the best it’s ever been and came out with a bronze. i had a lot of fun this portland trip but four days running around at the venue is exhausting. it’s time to go home and get a good night’s sleep

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resolution series: [fourteen] personal space

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having a busy schedule is good because that means i am always productive and proactive. my schedule is usually packed seven days a week, twenty four hours a day, and often needing more time in a day to squeeze everything in to accommodate everyone. it can also be very tiresome because i am always stepping on the gas pedal as hard as i can dashing from one errand to the next. but is accommodating and meeting everyone’s needs my top priority and the sole purpose of living? sometimes, i do wish to have more time for myself away from the rest of the world. aside from taking care of business in the public scheme of things, there are also planning, thinking and number crunching tasks that goes behind the scenes that often gets overlooked. these things tend to be handled in my spare time, which so happens to be time sacrificed from eating and sleeping. i like my personal space and enjoy time alone but it’s very hard to come by. when i am alone, i am able to sit there in silence and reflect on things while putting things into its proper perspective. i find being at the gym gives me that sense of privacy where i can plug in my headphones and shut off the rest of the world. the same can be found when training at taekwondo outside of class time, when all those annoying people don’t interfere at all the wrong times. it’s one of those moments that i will do my thing so don’t you dare come into my bubble while i am in my zone focusing on myself

a-game at us world open

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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