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

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day 942 – pr’ed it

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clearing this height was a goal i had set out to do two months ago. after one month of hardwork and relentless plyo, i made it happen. my mind was slow to register what i had just done, but believe me, i was way more stoked than the immediate reaction i exemplified. this wouldn’t have been made possible if it weren’t for the positive encouragment, endless invigoration and belief i have received. more importantly, they did the believing for me because they believed in me more than i believed in myself. definitely a confidence booster knowing i can fulfill a lot more when i set my mind to it. what goals should i set next??

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

rebuild in motion

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i took a tumble recently, literally and figuratively, and really hit rock bottom but that doesn’t mean i am allowed to stay down forever. thought long and hard and now it’s time to take action and do it for myself. sometimes all we need is a fresh start to revive and the best way to restart is to begin with a blank piece of paper. i took it upon myself that i would wipe off all the unnecessary and negative influences and only focus on the positives that would get me to where i want to go. clear my mind of clutter, always remember to stay humble and accept criticism as more reason to work harder and find my strong. as far as i am concerned, there only one thing standing between me and my goal, and that’s will. willing myself to be accepting to change, to be confident, to be disciplined and to be happy with who i am. there’s no other time to start but now and i don’t want another opportunity to slip away, because it’s now or never. it’s time to train harder for the things i want to achieve, eat smarter to give myself a boost and make the right choices to live better and healthier for my mind and body. the key is to be disiciplined and stay that way, and only then will i feel proud to be who i am. expectations are meant to be met, not lowered. it’s never easy, but i am about to take my first step

day 676 – belt stitching

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my new belt came in today nice and stiff. it’s not much different than my previous belt, just a little darker shade of black than my worn one with a nice tint of faded black. it will still take some time to break into and get used to it and i must admit i do miss the feeling of my second dan belt. this is the beginning of another stage with lots of learning and growing to be done before i can say its fully earned. i will stay humble and continue to learn and train even harder

resolution series: [eighteen] connections

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i have said it again and again, and i will say it again. first decade of your life everyone you meet is either your friend or your enemy. second decade is when you learned a little better, have a large group of friends even though you learned not to hastily call everyone friends. beyond the first two decades is when you have to figure out who your friends really are as you will no longer have a ginormous list of friends. because you will soon realize that people will start disappearing and there isn’t enough time to go around for everyone. don’t get me wrong i am not an introvert; i do believe in networking and i find ways to develop my network whenever i can. with that said, i value all the different social groups and population i meet through an assortment that stretches across many breadths and fields. i am completely aware that my list of friends are shrinking but i have now realized that i only need a handful of close buddies that i can turn to in any situation at any point in time and they will be there for me no matter what happens. working hard to surround myself with the right people that will be a positive impact to my life and stay true to my real friends because they are the ones i want to grow old with. i am working hard to becoming a greater influence whenever my friends are in need of a pick me up moment. true friends don’t let you fall alone, i would know because they picked me back up countless times

resolution series: [fifteen] confidence

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i have never been a confident person and i still am not, but i have taken strides in this area. i have very high expectations for myself; the fearful part is when i do not meet those standards, it becomes detrimental to my already lacking and wavering confidence level. playing on teams definitely helped just knowing my teammates will always be there to back me up. i have been fortunate to be a part of numerous teams with awesome teammates that support each other so well and prides in teamwork and team building activities. team chemistry plays a big role in bringing home championships – i experienced that first hand. becoming a part of the vdl exec team has made me more vocal; part of the package requires speaking in front of large groups of people, constantly meeting new people and putting myself out there in a bigger community. taekwondo has provided me more than i could have ever imagined. having met a close knit family where we train together and sweat together. through instructing, competing and demonstrating, it has forced me to speak and demonstrate in front of students, parents and spectators alike. i am glad that many moons ago, my instructor pushed me out into competition because it has been, by far, the biggest difference maker. being alone in the ring with all eyes watching can be fearful as hell but when time comes i have no choice and just have to go on stage and finish what i started. no doubt i have gained a lot experience, respect and approval through being both an instructor and a competitor, but that also comes with responsibility and pressure. not only have i developed my own standard that i must live up to, but others also have high expectations for me that i’d hate to disappoint. all of these undertakings were a leap of faith that required me to step out of my comfort zone and into a completely new territory not knowing what to expect. from a person who is unwilling to speak up, i have evolved to being capable of stepping up in front of large crowds and audiences. this is not to say i am comfortable being in the spotlight because i still get nervous every single time, but at least i am willing to take that step forward. even today i still shy away from attention and hide in the background. i am still quiet by nature, and only when i feel comfortable around you will i start to open up and express myself. that’s when you will get to know me better as a person, my values, the driving force and reasons behind the things i do. there’s a lot hiding inside if you manage to crack my shell