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

self belief

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over the past week or so, i have been receiving ample of coaching, advice and prep talk on what it means to have proper mindset. the idea that i must head into each event with the confidence that i will nail my every move as i imagined it to be. i have been told i have total control over what i can give and what i can do. i have been told countless times that i need to believe in myself and trust my skills enough to let it do the talking. my body has done each move more than enough times where thinking does no good; all moves should now be second nature. i can’t reiterate how important it has been to have these prep talk and guidance to ensure my mind is in its right place. it really puts me in a more comfortable spot heading in, knowing i am mentally stable and ready to take on what’s ahead. i can walk into the competition believing they are right there with me every step of the way. it’s true i can’t control the end results, but i will take all the things they’ve tried to hammer into my mind and put it to heart. all i ask of myself is to go out on the big stage, give it everything i got and let the rest take care of itself. that alone, will make me proud for i have conquered and accomplished what i was never capable of before. this has got to be the strongest mentality i ever had going into a competition. they have done so much for me and been so patient with me over the last little while. they stuck with me through my toughest moments and did all they could to instill calmness back into my mind. i owe it to them to put forth my best effort and bring it home

dream it

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it’s march, so time for a little self reflection and self motivation to get it together and get things done. but truth is, there’s never a bad time plus there’s always room to give myself motivation because i am really bad with sticking with it. first off, a little recap of what went on in the month of february. needless to say i strayed somewhere in between, but i am stoked i reached some big milestones on the last week of the month. moving into another month means going back to the drawing board to set bigger, better and more ambitious goals. in my calendar, this month is marked down as march madness because there’s a lot of craziness on the line that i cannot afford to lose. i say this with utmost seriousness that this month will really make me or break me. i do plan on achieving lots and making many breakthroughs this month. with my competitions on the horizon, i have to really gear down because there’s no room to falter. rest assured i will be working my butt off to ensure things happen. the two main ingredients i have on my checklist are staying focused on my goals and keeping my discipline in check. working on myself and taking a page out of walt disney that what i can dream up is what i can achieve. upping my self confidence and mental strength is a key factor to killing this march madness. the countdown is on which makes me ultra nervous and at times afraid, but it’s a challenge i must take on and a challenge i will own

fight for it

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very, very late last night, i finally gathered the courage and came to a tough decision to pass up on this year’s us open. this may be a rare opportunity in my lifetime to partake in such a massive event of exceptional calibre. i never ever in my life imagined myself being granted this opportunity but maybe because of that, it instilled so much fear in me. it would have been a superb experience, but not one that i felt i was ready to take on alone. i didn’t feel like my physical capabilities nor my mental game was ready for this level of competition. i can’t deny i am very disappointed i choose to back out of these opens because it’s something i’ve been really looking forward to for months and months. sometimes i think i would hate myself for letting this chance slip away, but it’s a decision i made and one that i will be able to live with. i know that this decision was as tough on me as it was for those who devoted so much time and energy in me – with their heart and soul and giving me only positive encouragements. there’s several individuals i want to single out for they were always around to listen to all my rants, troubles and everything in between. but none more so than the hardass nazi who never stopped believing in me, who listened to my many insecurities and tried to put everything into perspective in order to will me to take the challenge. i can’t express my gratitude for all the support i have received along the way. i am sorry i couldn’t make this happen, i wished i could find the inner strength. i may seem down and out at the moment, but with time i will recuperate and bounce back stronger than before. i haven’t lost my passion for competing, it’s simply a little setback that i must overcome. moving forward, i will work extra hard to better prepare myself for nationals. it’s going to happen

day 893 – tough decision

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alone late at night thinking long and hard about my decision. truly thankful for all the supportive feedback i’ve received from the people i’ve spoken with on this topic; it made this tough stretch a little less painful. i think i have made my final decision to pass up what i’ve been dreaming of the past half a year – a chance at us open. perhaps having this decision made will end all those nights of waking up at 4am feeling extremely stressed. i’m no doubt disappointed i chose to back out of this opportunity but i feel it’s the right decision at this point. i feel terrible for all those that put their time and energy into getting me ready for this event, i feel bad i couldn’t make it happen. maybe it’s a sign i need to work harder on both my mental and physical game to earn my ticket to a competition as grand as us open. i haven’t given up my competition dreams, it just means i get a head start to preparing and training for the future ones. next up: nationals

know no limit

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some things in life take a long time to learn, some things in life take a life time to adopt; many of which that takes longer are the lessons that are well worth the wait. i have been constantly hounded by motivated individuals that tells me limits only exist in the mind and that all records are meant to be broken and surpassed over time. their hard work and persistent ways of beating this concept into me has not gone to waste. i have been working hard on taking their words to turning them into reality, making progress every time i step in for whatever training it may be. i do have results to show for and certainly my mind has become stronger than what it once was not too long ago. being able to do what i couldn’t do last time is a step in the right direction, being what i thought i could never do is my ultimate prize. indeed, this is an important lesson i am still trying to drill into my mind, but i know it’s been slowly getting through to me. i hope my progress will be continual, that i will never stop short of striving for better every single time. one day, i ultimately hope to make them proud of me, to look back and see where i’ve been and how far i’ve come. i want no regrets, and i certainly don’t want to disappoint myself or anyone not having tried my best to achieve what i should very well be capable of

day 827 – temptations

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two bowls filled with halloween chocolate up for grab this morning. the past me would have hastily pigged out on it, but not today. today i decided to walk away from it cause i don’t want low quality addictives to ruin my system. i still can’t believe i resisted the urge to indulge in them but i know i made someone proud. i feel like my mental game is getting stronger already