short of expectation

i’ve been really down, stressed and frustrated as of late. on the surface, i always appear fine because i do a really good job containing all my emotions and keeping it together. so it felt stranger there were multiple times when i just couldn’t keep it together inside. i feel the frustration has been eating me alive so i decided to open up part of my story

all my life, i’ve been an underachiever, always falling short of everyone’s expectations. i can’t remember the last time i felt like i succeeded and made someone proud

in highschool, i was always living in the shadow of my brother who would get ninety nine percent in math, if not one hundred. as an asian kid, getting an A in math was never enough. i rewrote my provincial because it was not an A of respectable calibre. i get it, i’m nowhere near smart; i don’t get straight A’s like most asian parents wish for. i graduated and went straight into post secondary as expected. in university, my path was basically chosen for me based on process of elimination of what my parents didn’t want me to be. they got it all mapped out for me – i applied for environment design program, an honors program meant for architecture. i graduated from that and was expected to be an architect, but i failed to get into the masters program which accepts forty eight students out of the four hundred odd applicants

growing up, sports was something i loved dearly and what came to me naturally. i excelled in swimming, so much that two instructors granted me to skip two levels. i went on to take all lifeguarding courses before i had to wait until i was sixteen. i didn’t pick it back up when i turned sixteen which made my parents outraged. i went on to hear about it for the next six years. my parents enrolled me in skating and i did well to skip the ‘red’ level which was the first level. i didn’t enjoy skating much so i never continued onto figure skating. i was on the tennis court as a ball girl ever since i could remember. soon after, my parents enrolled me into lessons at indoor tennis facility where i played a few tournaments. at the crossroad where players started specializing and turning pro, my parents asked if i wanted a coach. i turned it down because i didn’t think i could be one in a million that turns into a tennis star. i also played basketball at starting in elementary school. i would play all recess and lunch forgo-ing eating, but my parents forbid me to join any school teams. i finally convinced them to let me in highschool and made the team from grade eight to ten. however, it came to an abrupt halt after three severe ankle sprains had me on crutches and one major career-ending knee injury. my doctor did not allow me to take PE in grade eleven. i worked hard at physio and was cleared for PE twelve and tennis team, but still not able to return to competitive basketball

taekwondo had it’s ups and downs but it did shine at some point. i started as a white belt thinking i’d have some fun one summer. one summer became many summers. in the early stages as a yellow-green belt, i would half-ass thinking matching the green belts’ level was adequate. it turns out it wasn’t; my instructor wasn’t having any of that and lectured me on how it was unacceptable not to be practicing up to my fullest potential. that next promotion test, i was the second student in school history to skip a belt level. i started competing and that changed everything. i became an instructor, a coach and eventually the branch head instructor. though there’s glory, there’s also a lot of burden and stress behind the scenes. from white to black, there’s been many bumps and bruises, breaking my foot three times enroute to my third dan today. two years ago, i thought i could handle hanging up my competition uniform, but i was wrong. deep down, i know that i didn’t experience and accomplish all that i wanted to in order to say i have no regrets. i carry a lot weight being in the position i am in today and i feel no matter how much i put in, it is never enough. being in the position that i am, i feel obligated to continue onto my fourth. if i don’t grow, how will my students grow? how will i keep my dreams alive?

tricking is something i picked up partially because i have the aspirations to compete again, but also because i liked it. though i’m neither talented nor daring enough like some others, i still try to do what i can. i have moves i need in order to have any hopes of competing again, along with a list of tricks i want to learn just for the sake of it, but progress has been slowed by my foot and the various injuries i live with. i tried to stay patient all this time, but my patience has a limit and i’m afraid it’s running low. i’ve been extremely frustrated recently because i still have to hold off on things i really need and time is ticking. little do people know, i often beat myself up when i don’t get something that is seemingly so easy for somebody else. with any ‘bad’ training session that felt unproductive, i’d lay in bed thinking it over all night long. i know i’m not a natural at this, but i’m hoping my hard work pays off. until i know the severity of my foot injury, i’ll still be pushing hard – even if it means being on one foot. i’m no stranger to pushing the limits. if there’s one thing i do well, it’s disobeying commands, pushing through pain and playing through all sorts of injuries; it’s something i’m known for and that likely won’t change. my physio, chiro and kinesiologists knows me well enough that very little will stop me

i started lifting weights for rehab purposes, but soon grew to love it as something that compliments my sports and enhances my performance. i picked up olympic lifting four years ago only because i saw a trainer working out and thought it looked cool. for a couple years, i would always stay within my comfort zone just enough for maintenance. for that reason, i plateaued lifting the same amount of weight and wasn’t making the weight my kinesiologist expected. i remember disappointing him every time he checked on my progress, be it squats, deadlifts, bench, rows, pullups. it wasn’t until the beginning of this year i got serious about it and got into an olympic lifting specific program to improve my technique. through the program, my technique improved significantly and my strength really took off. only recently, i made a couple personal bests, but even those numbers are not quite the numbers that’s expected out of me. if i can one day exceed any of those expectations, i wouldn’t rule out a future competition

it’s really been a lot of back and forth with constant struggles. i know for a fact that my mom is disappointed i have yet to settle for someone. i’m disappointing them because it seems like i have no urgency to get into another relationship after being removed from one. maybe the previous brought bad experiences and many disappointments and the last thing i want is to get into one that will not make me happy. coming as a joke or not, it bothers me every time i’m being badgered or questioned about my choice; i’m more than positive of my answer and i need not to prove it to anyone. i can only apologize for the disappointment that it hasn’t happened yet, all i know is it’ll happen when the time is right and i meet the man of my dreams

my life has been far from a walk in the park and it’s been a rough stretch that’s consumed more of me than it should have. all my life i’ve been use to people being hard on me, pushing me and trying to bring the best out of me, and that’s okay because i can handle it. lately, it strikes me that i have more often than not fallen short of expectations. i’ve failed many people that had any hopes for me and i’m deeply saddened to have failed in so many regards. it seems i can’t ace any test given to me, but i can only promise i’ll keep trying. i know for a fact i’m not a person that settles for any less than what i want. believe me, no one is as harsh as i am on myself. in the meantime i’m just trying to keep it together

day 1960 – gaining or losing

trying something new and falling on my face is quite normal. i can’t lie about the disappointment i’ve been facing with my struggles as of late. i feel like i’ve lost the back tuck and aerial, both of which i’ve spent so long working on. the only thing i still have is my front tuck. i feel ashamed that i’m going through this struggle with my flips and tricks and very few people will understand. sports has always come rather easy all my life and my coordination has never been an issue, but for this i always second guess myself and kind of want to give up

day 1786 – thoracolumbar

img_20200204_190327344981603760484917.jpgnot how i had planned out my thursday. i had to leave work early, miss bootcamp and skip softball to visit my chiropractor. only then had i found out i injured my thoracolumbar junction. i’m in so much pain i couldn’t rotate, bend or reach. i wanted to continue with my sports, but there was really no range for that. of course, i tried to tape my own back and needed to prove it can be done. i struggled behind the mirror for over an hour before putting it with proper tension. only then i realized the jammed part of the vertebrae had a softball sized bruise

reflecting reality

img_20200203_1427116914704068731384794.jpghighschool really did feel like just yesterday. just like majority of highschoolers, i graduated and went onto university thinking i had it planned for the rest of my life. truth is, that thought couldn’t have been any more incorrect and far from reality. i went on to graduate just like how my parents had mapped it out, with an honours degree in environmental design. after a bachelor, i was suppose to do my masters of architecture and become a fully licensed architect. that never happened because acceptance rate was one in ten. i took a brief break but have been working since then. my point is, life is far from how i had imagined it straight out of highschool. i’ve chosen a less traveled career path unlike the stereotypical asian jobs. i’ve believed that my friends circle will remain unchanged. i’ve been misled that i’d meet someone who would treat me like a destination. i’ve learned that growing up requires unlearning the learned. it’s been a struggle as i continue to walk down this path establishing myself as a professional and finding where i truly belong. the start of the year has been really good to me; working my butt off has earned me respect within my peers. i’ve climbed the work ladder real quick liked my manager forewarned, and as a result have been delegated a lot more responsibilities. nothing was given to me; i had to step up and grasp all the windows of opportunities. because of the obstacles and challenges i overcame, i have become the strong woman i am today. i’m not where i want to be yet, but with my grit drive and determination, i’m have full confidence i will make my dreams a reality. i’m on a mission to finding myself and finding my strong. this is where it all starts and where everything will come together for me

day 1553 – splint change 

third time into hand clinic and fourth set of xrays taken within twenty four days. new specialist has taken over my case and i’m still confused with how i’ll be treated. he wasted no time; i get a new splint made right away and hand therapy begins. she assigned four exercises which i had plenty of trouble doing on my first set. i’m instructed these were to be done minimum five times a day. by the end of the day i made much improvement with two of them, but still struggling with the other two. these are very basic motor skills that i’ve lost made me feel useless. i can only hope that if i keep at it, it will get better day by day

day 1517 – ruined

nothing but disappointment missing my monday workout, missing dodgeball but that’s exactly what happened today. this forces me to rearrange this week’s workout schedule. i haven’t cramped this hard in a long time, but it was more than that which made it worse than waking up on the wrong side of the bed. it was an unrestful night where i laid in bed for hours not being able to fall asleep and when i finally do, i get woken up several times in sweat. even in terrible condition, had no choice but to to go to work because i had stuff to hand over

day 1236 – hit hard

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i think i made a bad decision to go in without adequate rest, and one little mental lapse was all it took. i was hit hard and my workout ended prematurely; that’s one way of driving me out of the gym. the rest of the day was a struggle and slightly blurred. in hindsight, i’m fortunate i wasn’t knocked out and could still walk out under my own power. i know i need to do something, but clueless as to what i should do and which physician to consult

fulfilment

img_20200204_2259236988350126470173169.jpgheaving a ten tonne rock off my shoulders is an appropriate representation as i haven’t felt so relieved in far too long. it may not mean anything to others, but to me, no words can describe how much receiving that call means to me. for the past year, i struggled to find myself, to accept myself and to be myself. i would hate myself for never being good enough at everything and for anything, often had internal war within. i went though down times that caused eating problems which consequently wrecked my body in too many ways. i bottled up all my problems and feelings, and avoided sensitive topics at all costs. it got to the point where i lost interest in a lot of things and wanted to confine myself in my own space so i didn’t have to talk. at last i opened up to a selected few; i need not to mention any names as you know who you are. i’m thankful that while i was going through my wildest and worst times, you came to the rescue and stood by me. thank you for being patient with me when i was going through some of the roughest times. for piecing me together and keeping me together when i was self destructing. for not rushing me to become something i wasn’t ready to become. for supporting me to find what i truly wanted. for accepting me with open arms and caressing me when i needed you most. it’s you that kept me afloat and a good reason why i’m still alive and striving to this day. through this process i’ve learned an abundance of things –  it’s okay to have weak moments but i’ve learned to be strong. many times i thought i had turned the corner, only to stumbled back in. today i can safely and assertively say i have found my way out of this gigantic hole, and i will only move forward in the direction i’ve always wanted to go but didn’t dare to go. i have a very good reason to smile as i’m leaving everything behind and starting my new episode fresh. i have found myself and i’ll be chasing whatever fulfills my heart

day 871 – lift a little

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soreness amassed from this week’s training and physio exercises shouldn’t stop me from my scheduled workout. i went to the gym as planned and was prepared to struggle mighty hard. as i had the weight on my back, i thought the bar felt extra heavy today. it was difficult, but somehow forced myself to finish it and walked off still intact. i was randomly thinking back on my squats this evening, and suddenly realized the weight i had mounted on my bar exceeded what i thought i had. i felt dumbfounded i hadn’t realized it at that time, but pleased that i had done it anyway. it goes to show that the mind likes to play number games and sometimes ignorance is a good test for the body

day 784 – regular correction

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going for regular maintenance to fix whatever needs to be fixed. there’s definitely progress and improvement in upholding itself for a longer stretch. recent experiments to stretch out the length between appointments and it’s mostly provided positive feedback, but there’s still shortcomings to maintain it completely. felt so weak today for some odd reason, struggled the whole way through and didn’t make it to the finish line for some. today the weights i normally do just wasn’t going to happen. must work harder, can’t let it slide anymore