Archive for March, 2010

State Champs Pt II

25 Mar shonakamori No Comments »

State’s again? Yup, that’s right. I’m going back up to Oroville again to judge the State Championships, but this time, it’s for the compulsory boys (I was just up there for a training clinic a few weeks back. Click here for the blog).  For some reason they decided to split the optionals and compulsory State meets into two different weekends.  Don’t ask me why.  I just go there to judge.

Anyway, the last couple of months have been rather hectic.  Judging and coaching have been keeping me busy over the weekends, but things should start to slow down a bit after this one.  The only big thing left for me to judge this season is the Regional Championships, which isn’t for another month or so.  I’ve gotta give a lot of credit to the judges though.  Having been judging for the last six years, I can totally say that it takes a lot of work.  After all, we have to be focused the entire 3 hours of each session, and there’s normally about 3 sessions a day, and on both, Saturdays and Sundays.  Don’t take me wrong though, we all do it because we love the sport, but it’s definitely something that I never realized until I started judging myself.  What do you think judges do when we get tired in between sessions?  We sleep (I won’t reveal who’s sleeping but take a look at the pic below)!

What Judges Do In Between Sessions

Aside from judging, I’ve been busy keeping up with my physical therapy.  I’m working hard so that I can finally get the green light to go full blast when I see the doc in two weeks.  It’s an excruciatingly slow process but slowly but surely, my left leg is getting a lot closer to my right, both, in terms of size and strength.  After I get the “thumbs up,” it’s go time, all the way up to US Nationals in the summer!

Headin’ Up to State Champs

Looks like this weekend will be another busy one!  I’m off to Petaluma, which is about an hour and a half from where I’m currently training to go and judge the Northern California Boy’s State Championships.  This year, they’ve split the state championships apart so that the optional boys are competing this weekend, and the compulsory boys will be competing next weekend.  I’ll be juding both and will be the head pommel horse judge.

I’m excited about being back and judging considering I took the last few weeks off. Two weeks ago, I helped coach the boys for JDR gymnastics, and last week I was away in Los Angeles to receive the award.

Good luck to all the boys competing and who are trying to qualify for regionals!

New Style!

My website’s got a new style and new look thanks to my friend, Ryan Olson. Ryan does a lot of web developing and has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to coding for websites. Check out his work at:!

Take a bit to check around the new site and please continue to follw me, follow my dream!

The Daily Grind

Recently, I’ve gotten the same question from different people about what my schedule is like day in and day out.  It’s definitely not anything too exciting but I’ll just go ahead and share it:

Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays:

7:00 am – Wake up, slowly roll out of bed, brush teeth, wash face, make breakfast/coffee
7:30 am – Leave for physical therapy
8:00 am – 10:00 am – Physical therapy for the bummed knee (shouldn’t be bummed for long though)
10:00 am – 1:00 pm – Part-time job # 1 (office stuff)
1:00 pm – 1:30 pm – Make lunch, eat lunch (usually something light bc it’s before practice)
1:30 pm – Leave for gym
2:30 pm – 3:30 – Part-time job #2 (private gymnastics coaching)
3:30 pm – 8:30 pm – Gymnastics training
9:30 pm – Back home, make dinner (usually something with rice), eat dinner, shower
11:00 pm – Pass out

Tuesdays, Thursdays:

8:00 am – Wake up, roll out of bed, etc (same old routine as M, W, F)
8:30 – 12:00 pm – Part-time job #1 (office stuff)
12:00 pm – 12:30 pm – Make lunch, eat lunch
12:30 pm – Leave for gym
1:30 pm – 5:30 pm – Coach (I volunteer coach for the Stanford team 2x/week), while I also go through my own training
6:00 pm – 7:00 pm – Part-time job #3 (private subject tutor in English or Japanese)
7:30 pm – Home, make dinner, eat dinner, shower, and the deal
11:00 pm – Pass out


AM: Training (Training only on Saturday. Sunday = day off)
PM: Judging gymnastics at local meets

So there you go.  Nothing too exciting right?  I’m sure my schedule will change up again once the competitive season ends for the collegiate guys and the junior kids (around April).  Plus, once my knee gets stronger, I probably won’t have to be in the training room 3-times a week.  For now, I’m taking it day by day!

Pac-10 Conference Awards

14 Mar Sho 1 Comment »

Just got back from LA after a quick trip to receive an award from the Pac-10.  The name of the award I received was called the Tom Hansen Conference Award, which is presented annually to two athletes (male/female) from each of the Pac-10 institute “based on the exhibition of the greatest combination of performance and achievement in scholarship, athletics and leadership.” (pac-10).  While the trip was fun and exciting, the combo of having to leave early to get there and being stuck at the airport due to rain delay on the way back, made it a pretty hectic trip.

@ SFO getting ready to leave for LAX

I thought that it was awesome that they held the presentation in conjunction with the Pac-1o basketball championships. The Pac-10 even comp’d our tickets to the games, but what was more exciting was that they had all of the medal winners walk out to the center of the court of the Staples Center and introduced us one by one.  The next day, they held an awards luncheon that included a slick video presentation for all of us.

Staples Center at night

@ the Oregon State/Washington game before they led us out to the center of court

The Pac-10 also put us up at the brand-spanking new J.W. Marriot, which was literally right across the street from the Staples Center.  What was great about the hotel was that it included a full-blown workout gym so I didn’t even have to miss my rehab while I was away for the trip.

However, the best part of the whole experience was not the hotel I stayed at or being invited to go see the basketball games.  Instead, it was getting the opportunity to meet all the amazing student/athletes, and being able to hear about their life-stories and the paths they took to get to where they are now.  After all, a bunch of these athletes have accomplished so much already.  For example, the medal winners included an Olympic gold medalist, a Walter Byers scholarship recipient, and several NFL and NBA players.  Being able to be around those guys helped me remember that regardless of what sport you play/compete in, in order to become great, there is never an easy way to the top.  Overall, it was a great trip, and it got me fired up.  I’m ready to get back to the daily grind and continue to work hard!

Me and the Conference Award Winners (man, I'm short!)

Quick pic w/ Oski the Bear before he ran into the bathroom. Looked for the Stanford tree but couldn't find him. Got nothing but love for Cal though. After all, I grew up in the area.

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Good Catchin' Up!

Yesterday was a somewhat exciting day for me.  For those of you that did not know, I’ve been helping the Japanese community at Stanford as an English tutor for the last 5 years. The reason why yesterday was exciting was because the first “student” (it’s hard for me to call them students because they’re usually older than me) that I’ve ever worked with came back to Stanford to visit, and we had an opportunity to catch up.  It seems as though not much has changed over the last 5 years but it was fun to chat for a bit.  My “first student” is working as a professor at a famous university (Tsukuba) in Japan.  As for me, I’m still doing the same thing, which is training.  The only big thing that’s changed since five years ago, is I’m no longer a student!

Looking back, I’ve worked with so many different people, and overall, it’s been an awesome experience.  Most of the people that come to Stanford to study are super established people in Japan.  I’ve worked with many professors, doctors, lawyers, businessmen, among a bunch of other people with respectable professions.  The only sad part is that they’re usually only here for a short period of time.  Most of them go back to Japan after a year or so to return to their work.  Hopefully they’re all doing well and have been able to catch up on my life through this website!

Training/Rehab Update

Some quick updates about my training and recovery process.  I had a feeling that by all the talks about coaching and judging, people were starting to think that I wasn’t working out.

Definitely not true.  In fact, I’ve been continuing with my physical therapy 3x/week and have been training regularly.  With being in physical therapy for 2 hours a day, and then going to practice all in the same day, my body is taking a beating.  Still, I’m thankful that I’m in such a great environment, and I’m looking forward to coming back strong in time summer.

In terms of clearance to do everything, I haven’t gotten the green light just yet.  I’ll be seeing the doc again in about 3-4 weeks.  I believe at that point, the doctor will size me up for a brace and will clear me to do everything under the condition that i will wear the brace when doing anything risky.

Just heard that Ivana Hong (member of the US women’s team and World Medalist in 2009) just recently tore her ACL.  I totally feel for her and wish for a speedy recovery.  If only gymnastics didn’t involve injuries…but what is sports without injuries and coming back stronger, right?  It’s definitely all part of the process.

Visitation/Clinic @ Oroville

Wanted to thank the parents, the staff, and Coach Steve at Oroville Gymnastics for hosting me to do a training clinic for the boys yesterday!  After a 3.5 hour drive north from where I usually train, I finally made it up to the facility.

My trek up north

And while I’m on this topic, I wanted to recognize the parents really quickly for all that they do to support their kids.  During the drive up (and down back), I kept thinking to myself about how much work it must be to drive long distances to central locations for competitions during the season.  After all, there’s a competition almost every weekend for 3 months straight, and for those who live far north or south, there aren’t that many “local” meets. Made me really think that there’s a very strong support system behind every gymnast!  And, this isn’t only about the gymnasts at this particular gym, but every gymnast that’s out.  That said, kids: remember to thank your parents!

Me and the Oroville Team

Anyway, with State Championships coming up in a few weeks, Coach Steve asked me to do a clinic for the boys so that they could get some feedback for their routines.  All of them worked really hard and I could tell that they were excited about having a new face in the gym.  Funny, because I was the same exact way when I was younger!  I’ll be seeing the boys again soon though when I come back up to Oroville to judge the State Championships.  Good luck to the guys at the gym and the rest of the boys in NorCal who are training for States!