day 2511 – squats and shit

morning squat session was a little ego damaging if i even had any to begin with. i set out to do one fifty five for three reps, but had to lower that expectation and couldn’t even manage two good reps on my own. what made it worse is i hyperextended my left knee again during tricking class on something i shouldn’t have been so careless with. i don’t know how damaged my knee and ligaments are, but all the bad thoughts went through my head. it could be a long, long time until i get to drink bubble tea again. i wouldn’t be able to land a new tricking move, i wouldn’t be able to cut down to my goal weight, i wouldn’t hit my two plate deadlift or my one eighty five squat. none of these can be achieved in order for me to lift my bubble tea ban

day 2495 – two hundred bound

how much difference two weeks of consistent deadlifting has made. prior to covid, i haven’t deadlifted for a few years. at the beginning of april, i was working with about one plate worth of weights. two weeks ago, i tried two hundred pounds the moment i brought two extra plates home and only managed to pull it an inch off the floor. fast forward two weeks, i surprised myself and did it for three reps. the form could still improve, but i’m pulling safely and not risking any injury. i owe it to my training partners for correcting my form and giving me that extra push. i’m looking forward to making it back to my two plate club soon

day 2492 – lifting duo

i did the best i could and tried not to let last night’s rough session affect my lifts, but can’t say i was too successful at hiding it. apex session was focused on clean and jerks. my lifts weren’t bad, but it took a lot to string together one good clean plus the jerk. i started off slow with the lighter weights but still worked up to a fifty kilogram clean and jerk. it was bench and row day for my second session back at my garage gym. i really wasn’t feeling strong with the shoulder, but surprised myself with a ninety pound bench for three reps. i’m really glad my friend comes to lift with meb he’s probably the reason why i push the weights i do

day 2450 – shoulder stability

i was off olympic lifting for more than week and i feel i’ve forgotten the tech and timing. private session had me stick with really light weights and concentrate much more on shoulder stability within pain free range. the high volume snatches of triples in power, half and full positions gasses me out real quick. the cleans surprised both coach and i; he let me work up to eighty percent. finished the session off with some heavy back squats and then i was off to my routine sprints. i appreciate just being back on the platform – just me and the barbell

day 2368 – beast kettlebells

what brentwood location needs is not one hundred and twenty one pound kettlebells, but simply ten pound bumper plates. in fact, they need to replace to whole set of bumper plates because it’s either nonexistent, missing, cracked or completely broken. i worked on heavy paused squats today and the weight didn’t feel like it was going to crush me. the same older gentleman i usually see there complimented on my squat form, gave me a few pointers hoping i could load the bar another ten pounds, and also tried to teach me how to low bar squat

day 2340 – century snatch

hit a high of forty three kilo snatch back in august and been stuck for the longest time. i matched that a couple times but couldn’t surpass it no matter how i tried. my goal of snatching the yellow plates was pretty much done for once the final week of the year rolled around. i walked in this morning thinking i’d give it one last shot and i’ll accept it knowing i gave it everything i had. i worked my way up to the century mark and took four attempts before i made it. good thing i didn’t pack it in before i succeeded or i would never have felt how fruitful the outcome was

day 2328 – lifting norms

the first week i can weightlift freely more like a normal person would. i don’t feel bounded by the many external factors; not doing modified snatches not banned from cleans, not using straps and not wearing a splint. i also didn’t have a weight cap because coach allowed me to go as heavy as i feel comfortable. my body was ready and surprised me with strong lifts. i ended the session with a forty two kilo snatch and forty nine kilo clean and jerk. these numbers are very close to my max pre-injury. definitely the highs i haven’t felt for the past three months

day 2300 – calling my name

the platform and the barbell was taunting me as i walked across. i couldn’t help myself but to stop and try my hands at some cleans today. i didn’t get very far in weight, but i think it was smart for me to stay within a reasonable range. my foot was a little uncomfortable at times just going through some of the motions, but i managed and didn’t do any further damages. step by step i’m testing the limits of my foot and hoping my full return to sports can happen sooner rather than later. being on the disabled list has sucked and staying patient has never been one of my forte

day 2239 – clean and jerk

third and final week of analyzing my clean and jerk to pinpoint where the weak point of the lift lies. in the previous two sessions, i was restricted to use only what i could strict press. i was given the green light today to test out what’s the heaviest i could safely clean and jerk. my initial thought was i wouldn’t be disappointed if i could reach forty kilograms. i kept adding the minis bit by bit and surprised myself with a fifty two kilogram max. maybe i should have set the bar a little lower but that would be selling myself short

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