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

pressure is on

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just days before we hit the road for us world open in portland and i would be lying if i didn’t feel the pressure. experience does help a little, but no matter how many competitions i have competed in, the nervousness and jitters don’t go away. this time there is extra pressure to perform even better because of the competition in my division plus all the kids and parents around. i find myself sitting in front my line of trophies and medals, and hoping that my collection of hardware will continue to get bigger with every passing competition. training time remaining is limited until the big day and i must do everything i can cause my destiny is in my own hands. it’s time to train hard to give myself the best chance possible. now is the time is for me to shine so leave everything in the ring and have no regrets

day 575 – last one standing

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it was late at night and the gym was pretty empty but that’s my favourite time to be there. taking care of business being the last one on this side and having all the space i need is just the way i like it because i hate waiting for equipment. being at the gym during rush hour is the worst because i feel highly restricted and unproductive not being able to use the equipment immediately

day 238 – time to upgrade

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my spanking new whey and shaker order arrived at my door. can’t wait to get it on and take full advantage of these goodies. trying out a new powder because the last one wasn’t serving me too well. hoping this would taste better than the chocolate i have been drinking. better turn it up a notch and not let anything get in the way