every emotion

2020 has undoubtedly presented a crazy challenge to many, myself included. the coronavirus has brought forth many changes in my life i never once thought about. it introduced “social distancing”, a new term we can’t go through a day without using. it mandated the use of face masks in order to complete our daily routines. more importantly, never have i once thought it was possible for me to deviate from the gogogo lifestyle i’ve gotten so accustomed to. the combination of everything was no shortage of an emotional roller coaster where i found myself at an all-time low. in midst of this pandemic, i’ve had time to reflect on all that i have and be grateful for what i do with passion. if i look closely, there’s still blessings during the covid times

i can only speak for myself, but the lockdown has been unreal from the very beginning because my life was flipped upside down. i was removed from basically everything that represented me. the world was full of uncertainties and the only thing i was certain about was i still had a heartbeat. it left a huge void in my life and i felt like i was deserted. some days getting out of bed was a drag because the purpose was so unclear. without the community engagement aspect, i lost touch with a lot of people and my friend’s circle inevitably shrunk. the roller coaster of emotions was far from normal for someone who normally keeps everything inside. initially i gained a bit of weight, but soon followed by an unexplained weight drop and then a loss of appetite. at times i felt beyond overwhelmed, but still, i didn’t think it was necessary to reach out to others. i had some time for self development and self discovery. i developed some coping mechanisms to get me through these tough times. the learning curve has been steadily steep and painful at times, but i’m grateful i’m still healthy and breathing. the world has slowed so i can rediscover myself

i made one of my biggest decision to step down from a position i held for many years so that i can start writing my own taekwondo legacy. it took an immense amount of courage to make that all important phone call. if it wasn’t for this covid situation, i would never have picked up the phone. there’s been many delays and obstacles that sometimes makes me question my next move, but every small step in the right direction is a small victory. i’m ever so grateful that i have the support of my many friends, students and parents alike. in retrospect, the removal of this band-aid should have been done much earlier and do what’s best for my personal growth. my time as a caterpillar has expired. my wings are ready

after dealing with a ‘bad ankle’ all of last year and spending nine months on the waitlist before learning late last year that i have a fully ruptured ligament. i was denied of surgery by physicians and was given two options: pull out of some of my sports and activities, or accept only performing at a compromised level. i was totally convinced there are things i’ll “never be able to do again” and bought into the idea this is the end. for those who know me, know where my passion lies. i wasn’t going to accept that i’ll no longer be the competitor i once was. in the darkest days, i decided i was going to quit taekwondo, give up tricking, pull out of ice hockey and stop dodgeball. giving up taekwondo was a big deal because over a decade is no small commitment. at that time very few people knew the verdict of my ankle because i wasn’t prepared to let it be known. i was simply going to remove myself without disclosing the real reason. i guess lucky and unlucky at the same time, covid put a halt to everything which forced me to prioritize my health and have urgency to do my rehab instead of blindly beating it up with nonstop activities. after three hundred and sixty five days and a lot of time and patience on rehab, i can smile and say i’m still involved in things i’m passionate about and doing things i didn’t think was still possible. i wouldn’t have imagined life if had i walked away from my passion. dedication doesn’t have an off-season

the ever-changing situation of this pandemic, no matter which phase, had a little bit of everything that caused so many disturbances and uncertainties. 2020 life has had many struggles and no shortage of anxiety, but there’s also been rewarding opportunities and important self discoveries. the fact it was not all smiles behind the mask made me appreciate the little things more. everyone is going through their own set of obstacles, but this is not forever. once this is all over, be grateful we survived

day 2557 – hurts internally

i was told if my cartwheel looked good during warm up, i should try to land it on the floor tonight. it started off really promising, the first cartwheels felt good and my first blue attempts also felt decent. as i did more warm ups, they started declining and before i knew it, my chances were basically gone. i went home feeling ever so disappointed because i’m hovering and getting close, but still not there yet. it’s really upsetting that i was finally given the opportunity, but i didn’t take advantage of it. i’m disappointed it didn’t happen tonight; i didn’t earn it. it really hurts inside and i’m scared i don’t have what it takes to get it

day 2331 – no headway

i carried around a heavy heart today because i’m not sure what my tricking future holds. today is technically the last class day of classes and i haven’t made any headway. i couldn’t say anything while i was with the gang, but i broke the moment i got home. for the first time, i spilled what my mind and body has been intending to do. it made me think back on all that’s happened and all that didn’t. it hurts me so much that it may have come to an end. all i could do is cry myself to sleep

day 2290 – google toy

the first of five package to arrive is my newest google toy. during my recovery phase, i’ve got nothing better to do but to invest in online shopping. i’ve already missed my original targeted date in returning. the recovery progress is slowed and sometimes nonexistent. i’ve received four or five different diagnosis without a verdict. i can’t lie, but i’ve started to lose hope that even after resuming my activities, i will not do things nearly as good. part of me wonders if my ride is over and i’ll have to give up certain things that i really like

day 2233 – flip talks

during the late night dinner with the crew, had a bit of a truth moment when the topic of competition came up. deep down i know i want to compete, but being removed from the competition field for quite some time is a big obstacle. i know for me to make a comeback, i put a lot of pressure on myself to only compete when i’m confident i can do well; i just want to ensure i’m at my best. but as of right now so many factors are standing in my way and instilling so many doubts. for one, my foot is a problem because it’s not letting me have my preferred techniques. i can’t work on my roundoff combos and i avoid kicking combos whenever possible

day 1955 – flips for food

mvimg_20181210_1947011996274191277911512.jpgdoing lots of flips before going for late night sushi at koto. i was working on a lot of butterfly twist, something i tend to stay away from because i simply don’t feel like i understand. i guess i’m embarrassed with the struggles of not understanding what the motion needs to be after take off. some days i feel really down and think that maybe i’ll never get it, and be the only person that won’t have a chance to land one on the floor

林奕匡 – 一雙手

a song that’s been looping endlessly especially when i’m at loss of words. sometimes i think i have found what i’m looking for, i have what i want, and then those thoughts vanish. these thoughts leave me hanging and instills a lot of self doubt. lately i’m feeling a little upset at myself and i’m trying hard not to let that to spill over to others. this song resonates for me; it gives me a boost and a reason to continue even when i’m uncertain

day 970 – kukkiwon validated

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this is an expensive paper that is proof that kukkiwon has another holder of taekwondo third dan status. it’s definitely a distinction i can be proud of because it’s an achievement i can safely say i worked hard for. it certainly wasn’t an ambition i thought i would ever attain in my lifetime when i first began my taekwondo journey. and one that had ample of obstacles along the way, but found a way to knock them down one by one. i waited ever so patiently for this certificate and card to arrive, and it couldn’t have been anymore timely. i needed my kukkiwon card really badly otherwise going to this year’s nationals would be an issue

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

day 891 – major crossroad

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training tonight was unlike any training i have been to for the past several years. i’m afraid there’s so much to work on and not enough time to get myself up to his standards, or even my own standards. i can only promise to try my best, but no guarantees i will get it down pat. the fear of undertaking this daunting endeavour alone is frightful, i’m afraid i won’t live up to expectations and disappoint those that invested time in getting me there. i don’t know how long i’d last or if this is the right moment to jump off the train now