It’s been a really busy weekend for me. Just got back from Day Two of the Stanford Open (there’s three days of competitions in all) but I’ve gotta say that I’ve been having a blast being able to coach, judge, and watch some high-level/entertaining performances! Like I’ve said before, this meet started waaaaay back when I was just a junior gymnast on the Stanford Club team (JDR Gymnastics today) so it’s always fun for me to see how much it has evolved over the years to become one of the biggest competition on the west coast.
As always it’s been great to see a bunch of familiar faces. I’ve gotten to know a lot of the kids through coaching at clinics, as well as judging these past few years, so it’s been great to see them working hard and competing well. It’s also been fun to catch up with the judges and coaches. The great thing about the gymnastics community is that it’s so close-knit. A lot of us have been involved with this sport for a long time so we are incredibly close. The biggest surprise for me though was seeing my old teammate/roomate from the Olympic Training Center, Grant Osborne. We were together when we were just teenagers so we’ve known each other for a while. Anyway I totally didn’t expect to see him here, and as a judge! Nevertheless, it was awesome to be able to catch up with him and learn that everything is going well with him.
For the competition side, the NCAA session on Saturday night is definitely one of the most exciting. This is because the best junior gymnasts from the Fridays sessions have the opportunity to compete against the college guys. Today, Stanford ended up finishing ahead of Cal Berkeley, however, both teams were resting their best guys due to injuries/preparing for a big competition next week, so both squads weren’t at full force. It’ll be exciting to see them towards the end of the season though when they have the A-Teams going head-to-head!
Anyway, one more day of judging tomorrow. I’ll be there the whole day but it should be a fun one. Thanks to everyone that’s come up to me and given me words of encouragement. Thanks also to everyone that’s purchased a ShoNakamori.com patch to support my journey to 2012!!!
Finally turned in my paperwork necessary to finish school at Stanford. I won’t be officially done until I receive my diploma though (In June I think?). Either way, it’s nice to know that I no longer have to worry about classes!
Yesterday, I met up and sat down to discuss my plans for my knee recovery with my physical therapist at Stanford. It’s been over 3 months since I last worked with her so I’m definitely glad to be back with her. She’s absolutely awesome and I’m excited about continuing to get this knee better.
I’m also finally accustomed to the time difference so I’m feeling much better in practices. This is a really busy week for me though. The biggest thing is that I’ll be helping coach and judge at the Stanford Open this week. Can’t believe the meet is in its 18th year! A lot of work has been put in to make sure that we could host all 650 participants so it should be exciting!
Haven’t been able to slow down since I got back to the States. I’ve been running around ever since but I’m starting to slowly settled down! It’s too bad my jet lag hasn’t gotten much better. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I haven’t had much time to rest.
Either way, gym has been going well. I’m starting to get back into the rhythm of things and it’s been great working with my own coach again. It’s an exciting time especially since my leg is getting much stronger. Updates on my training will come soon.
Yesterday, I went and judged my first junior competition for this season. It’s always a fun time seeing all the boys compete. I’m very excited for next weekend though because it’s the Stanford Open weekend. It’s one of the biggest meets on the west coast with over 600 kids coming to compete. Also, as many of you may already know, there’s a collegiate competition as well, and I’m scheduled to judge it. It’ll be my first time judging a college meet so I’m definitely looking forward to it.
Well, it’s finally Sunday but I have ton of stuff on my plate. I’ll have to take care of things one by one, but the good thing is that my body will get a rest!
It’s been a couple of days since I returned to the US and I’ve been running around ever since. I thought that once I finished school in Japan, it would be smooth sailing, but boy I was wrong. I’ve been doing a lot to get settled down, and get adjusted to my life in the US again. I do miss my life and my friends in Japan but I often forget about it because of how busy I am. I’ll at least get to see a couple of them and my coach, Mutsumi, when the under-21 team comes to compete in California in February.
Jet lag has been tough to overcome. Plus, I think I was tired from the last few days in Japan with preparing to leave for the US. Training has been going well though. Getting used to using American equipment (AAI) again is taking some time. After 3 months of using Senoh (Japanese equipment), AAI feels so different now. I should be back into the swing of things in a couple of days though!
It’s been a really long time since I’ve been this busy. Last week, I took my last finals at Juntendo University. Not only did this mean that I finished my studies in Japan, but it also meant that I finally finished my studies at Stanford! All that I have to do now is transfer the units I took in Japan back to the US, get everything processed, and I’ll finally be able to get my degrees. It was a long road (5 long years) but I’m relieved to finally be done! No more studying…at least for a while!
While I was incredibly excited, there was definitely a lot of sadness in all of this. Being done with school in Japan also meant that my time at Juntendo was finished. It’s hard to believe how quickly the 3 months went, and it almost feels like yesterday that I arrived here from the US. 3 months is far too short because as soon as I started to feel comfortable living here, it’s now time to leave. Looking back though, I feel like I was such a lucky guy to have met so many great people in and outside of the gym. In particular, I’ve also gotten so close to my teammates here that I can now call them my “family.” I know I’ll miss them all when I go back to the US. I’ll never forget the times I spent training with them and hanging out outside of the gym. Thanks for making my time at Juntendo so special!
Coming here was definitely one of the best things that’s ever happened to me. And thinking now, the timing of coming here was almost too perfect because I not only got to train with them but I had the chance watch and learn when my exercise-level was limited. Plus, I just hit the 6-month mark the other day after repairing my knee, so it means that I can pretty much start real training. Perfect timing considering I’m going back to the US and back to my coach.
Thank you to everyone who supported me during my time here! It was short but I got to experience so much. Now it’s time to get back to business. It’s back to the US, and being that I’m finally done with school, I’m giving all that I’ve got to my training. It’s GO time!
Can’t believe how busy I’ve been the last several days. I’ve been swamped with final exams and papers. However, the good thing is that I’m close to being done. I’ll be so relieved when all of this is over!
Anyway, I learned a little while ago that they’re using me as the logo for the Stanford Open this year. This meet started over 15 years ago when I was on the junior team at Stanford. Back then there were only seven or eight families (including mine) that supported the meet. Today, it’s the biggest gymnastics meet on the west coast. That being said, it’s awesome that they’re using me for the logo!
For more information about the meet, click here: Stanford Open
It’s been several days since we started training again after being home for New Years. Looking around the gym, it seems as though everyone took advantage of their break because they look fresh and motivated during practices. Since these guys don’t have to compete for several more months, they’re able to work on skills rather than routines. Believe it or not, these guys aren’t doing anything special or out of the ordinary (this update is for you Rick!). I don’t mean this in a bad way. They do the same skills that all other athletes do in other countries, but they do it well. Their motto is to do “beautiful gymnastics,” which I personally think is really important given that the emphasis of this new code of points has been to add more and more difficult skills. I mean, look at Hiroyuki Tomita and Kohei Uchimura for example. Anyway, while the new code was supposed to emphasize originality, it’s sad to see that most of the top level gymnasts are doing the same skills because there aren’t that many variations of high valued skills. Either way, it’s great to see that the Japanese guys are really focused on their style and how they look while they perform.
As far as life outside of the gym, things are busy given that it’s almost time for final exams. I personally have two finals that I need to study for. It’s exciting to know that as soon as I finish my exams and get these units transfered over to the States, I’ll finally be done with my two degrees from Stanford! It’s an exciting time but also a little sad. In less than a week and a half, I’ll have to leave this place that I have gotten so attached to. I’ve also become good friends with not only the gymnasts here but with a lot of other people as well. It’s sad but I knew from the beginning that my time in Japan was only for a short period. It’s a good thing that I have family in Japan though as I come here every now and then to visit. And who knows, I may just come back here to work when I’m done with my gymnastics career!
After taking several days off of gym, it’s back to formal training with everyone on the team at Juntendo. It’ll be the first training of the new year and I’m sure everyone will be back feeling refreshed and ready to go.
I’m excited about being able to train with the guys again, but feeling some sadness at the same time because I only have two more weeks left in Japan. Time has flown by so fast! It would be great to have more time here but I need to get back to my real coach in the US and back to business. I’m nearing my 6-month mark after my surgery so I’ll be able to start full-on training in a bit.
Ready to make the best of the next two weeks left in Japan!
Happy Year of the Tiger!