Had a pretty busy weekend of mostly running around and moving out of my current apartment. However, the weather cooled down a bit so that made the entire process a lot easier. It’s been really hot here lately and I’m definitely waiting on the temperature to come down.
Anyway, the highlight of the weekend was definitely going to Thom’s (my coach at Stanford) house and having a farewell party for David Durante. Dave, who was just recently a gymnast himself and a alternate on the ’08 Olympic team, was one of our assistant coaches for this year. However he will be going to Europe this September to gain some experience living a life away from gymnastics. Although we’re sad to see him go (we tried to convince him to stay for another year to coach) we’re very excited that he’ll be doing something that he’s always wanted to do.
Dave was a big part of the reason why we won our national championships this year. His energy definitely helped us get through the tougher workouts and the fact that he was still fresh out of retirement helped us prepare for competition because he understood what we, as athletes were going through. For all this I would like to thank him for coming back to Stanford to coach us (he competed for Stanford in early 2000). Good luck with all that’s ahead Dave. We’ll miss you man!
Today I went to go see the doctor about my knee. Good news! He said that the knee is coming along and that I can get rid of one of the crutch! I can’t do anything too crazy yet but it looks like I can start doing a little more in physical therapy. I’m glad considering I’ve been getting a bit bored of just doing straight leg raises.
As for everything else, things are going well also. My upperbody is a bit beat from the conditioning but it’s one of those things that you just have to go through. You have to break down your muscle before you can get stronger.
Anyway, I’m definitely looking forward to the weekend. It’s been a busy week but I guess that’s better than being bored out of my mind. We’re also having a farewell party for Dave Durante who will be leaving for Italy soon. It’ll be sad to see him go but we’re all excited that he’ll be doing something he has always wanted to do, which is to travel.
Pleasant surprise! Today my old coach, Yoshi Hatakeda came to visit! I knew that he was coming but completely forgot about the exact date so I was very surprised when he walked into the gym.
As I introduced before (check out: Sho’s Coaches Part 3), Yoshi was my coach for a short time when I was younger. He is currently coaching in Japan at Japan Sports Science University, which is also the home to Kohei Uchimura who won the silver in the all-around in Beijing. The team also recently won the collegiate championship held a few weeks ago. In fact, they’re so strong that they beat the second place team by over 10 points!!!
Anyway, it was great seeing him and reconnecting with him. Can’t wait to visit Japan again to get some tips from my former coaches that are out there. Japan is such a strong team right now and there’s a lot of stuff that we can learn from them “gymnastically.”
I’m finally back home after a few days in SoCal. It’s interesting that even though I continued to train down there at various gyms, I actually feel rather refreshed. I think a lot of this has to do with the change of environment and getting away from the normal routine of life.
Anyway, I had a fun time visiting friends and it was good to be able to catch up with them. Thanks to all of them for taking care of me while I was down there!
I also need to mention that my old teammate, Eli’s annual “Fish Fry” party was absolutely awesome! Definitely a good time with a bunch of people and tons of good food. Somehow it’s become tradition for our teammates (even guys that graduated) to get together and hopefully this will continue in the future!
Now that I’m back home, I’m ready to get back to the daily grind. It’s back to intense rehab for my knee and strengthening my upper-body as my knee continues to recover. I also get to see the doc later this week. Hopefully he will have some good news for me and will clear me to do more stuff in terms of exercises. I can’t wait to do more than quad tightening exercises and leg lifts!
I’ve been having a blast the last couple of days! I’m currently down in Southern California visiting friends, and taking a small break from the daily grind (yup, my coach gave me a few days off!). It’s definitely been nice to just catch up with some of my good friends.
Don’t worry though, I’ve been continuing my workouts and doing my rehab workout for my leg. Yesterday I went to UCLA for training. Even though they no longer have a men’s program, the gym had more than enough equipment for me to get my upper-body conditioning done. Later today, I’m going to train at a gym that’s located north of L.A., and also to visit my friends, Arson and Paul, that coach there.
It’s been a fun couple of days but I’m actually really looking forward to this weekend. This weekend is my old teammate’s annual “Fish Fry” party. Over the last couple of years, it started to become a tradition for our team to head down to his place in Southern California and join his huge family for this weekend-long party. The reason it’s called the “Fish Fry” is because of the amount of tuna they serve (every year, his father goes out to catch a bunch of tuna just for this party). All of us on the team are looking forward to this weekend as there should be a lot of good food and good times!
I’ve been training as usual but my mind is definitely getting a break. I should be recharged and ready to go once I get back!
Yesterday, was an exciting day. With the help of several awesome coaches, I was able to host a clinic for some of the up-and-coming gymnasts in Northern California. In all, 13 gymnasts were able to attend, all of whom were either level 9s and 10s.
I’ve gotta say that the clinic was a success. All of the guys worked really hard and there were several highlights throughout the day. Plus it’s always good to have a bunch of gymnasts working out together because that can be motivating. I’m hoping that all of them will take whatever they learned this weekend and bring it back to their own gym!
Thanks again for all the coaching staff for helping out wit this clinic! Video coming soon!
Anyway, it’s Sunday and I’m planning on spending today with zero plans. No gym and no rehab should make for a relaxing day. I know I need to catch up on sleep so I’ll probably do that!
Congrats to all the guys that competed this week at USAs! I basically spent most of tonight clicking the refresh button on my computer so that I could keep up with the competition. I was sad that I wasn’t there competing with the guys but I’m using it as motivation to get back stronger than ever. As they say, “it’s more fuel for the fire!”
Also, I just received a phone call from my coach at Stanford who told me that I was chosen as a member of the national team. This is quite an honor and it’s more reason for me to work hard with my rehab so that I could get back in the game in order to help the US team.
The following is the new National Team until Winter Cup 2010:
Alex Artemev, Lakewood, Colo., 5280 Gymnastics
Kyle Bunthuwong, El Cerrito, Calif., University of California – Berkeley
Alex Buscaglia, Cary, Ill., Stanford University, senior
Jake Dalton, Sparks, Nev., Gym Nevada
Wesley Haagensen, Colorado Springs, Colo., U.S. Olympic Training Center
Tim Gentry, Plano, Texas, Stanford, University
Joey Hagerty, Albuquerque, N.M., U.S. Olympic Training Center
Jonathan Horton, Houston, Cypress Academy
Glen Ishino, Santa Ana, Calif., University of California – Berkeley
Steve Legendre, Flower Mound, Texas, University of Oklahoma
Danell Leyva, Miami, Universal Gymnastics
Tim McNeill, Falls Church, Va., University of California – Berkeley
Sho Nakamori, Albany, Calif., shonakamori.com
David Sender, Arlington Heights, Ill., shonakamori.com
Brandon Wynn, Voorhees, N.J., The Ohio State University, senior
A little update with my leg – It’s getting better. Got my stitches out the other day and mobility is getting better by the day. I can easily bend it up to 90 degrees but they don’t want me to push it further than that (at least for another 1o days or so). This is because they repaired the meniscus and doing so will put a lot of pressure on the area that they worked on. Either way, things are going well. Doctor says I’m ahead of schedule. Good stuff!
First day of USA’s finished yesterday and it looks like it was a pretty exciting competition, especially with my teammate, Dave, landing his Yurchenko Double Pike! Solid! At the halfway point, Dave is sitting in 2nd. Am I surprised? Not really, considering we’ve competed side by side for many years and I know the way he is in competitions. He’s able to turn up the intensity like a light switch.
As many of you probably know already, tomorrow will be Dave’s last competition ever. When I tore my ACL in Japan a few weeks ago, I don’t know what made me more sad: the fact that I wasn’t going to be doing gymnastics for a while, or the fact that I wasn’t going to be able to compete with Dave for his last meet. We’ve known each other for a long time and have competed for Stanford since day one, so both us were looking forward to competing together at this year’s USAs. Although we were both bummed, I’m happy to know that he’s out there competing hard and kicking butt. Better yet, it’s awesome that he’s competing this week with my logo on his chest. For some reason, even though I’m in California right now, I feel like I’m Dallas for the competition.
Dave is my best friend and definitely the best training partner I’ve ever had. It’ll be sad to see him go but I’ve gotta say that I admire him because it takes a lot of guts to hang up your grips when the sport has been a big part of your life for so long. I’m also happy that he’s going out to do something that he’s always wanted to do, which is to become a vet. I’m starting to realize that the blood and sweat I pour into this sport to make the Olympics is no longer just for me, but it’s for me to keep our dreams alive, as well as all the people who have supported me throughout my career. I’m definitely very lucky to have such good people around me.
Anyway, to Dave –
Do it up! Get ‘er done!