Archive for July, 2010

Trying to Get Ahead

30 Jul shonakamori 4 Comments »

Apologies for the lack of updates!  I think a big part of it has to do with the fact that with USA Championships coming up, I’ve been focusing extra hard on my training but on my outside work as well.  Knowing that I’ll be pretty much away the entire week for the competition, I’m trying my best to get ahead and complete the work that I would otherwise be doing that week.  That way, I’ll be able to put my full focus on the meet itself.  Honestly, I thought life after college was going to ease up a bit.  I definitely thought wrong…

While college was difficult in its own way, especially the combination of training and having a full schedule of academics, I now have a ton of other responsibilities that I never had to worry about while I was a student.  Supporting myself through my three-part time jobs and dealing with the projects that come with it is one thing.  I also never thought that monitoring my own meals would be this difficult!  The hardest part is cooking after being beat from training that day.  Man, was I spoiled during my college days.  Dinner was always waiting for me in the dining hall!

Despite all this, I’m enjoying the ride.  I’m learning a lot through the entire process.

On an unrelated note, I got asked to be a presenter at a regional gymnastics congress next month.  I’ve never given hour-long presentations on techniques for specific skills so it’ll be interesting.  But then again, how hard can it be?  I live, eat, and sleep gymnastics!


20 Jul shonakamori No Comments »

Wow, it’s been another week since I last made an entry!  I guess I was totally wrong when I thought that:

Summer = More time to do stuff outside of gym

In fact it’s been the complete opposite.  Not only has my training intensified with USAs coming up in less than a month but I’ve packed on a ton of responsibilities outside of the gym, namely my part-time jobs with the computer companies.  People do say that busy is good though right!?

However, I’ve been making sure to take mini-breaks in between and take the time to refuel and do something aside from work and training.  Without them, sooner or later I’ll definitely burn-out.  Most recently I checked out a friend and old teammate perform at a nearby cafe.  It was an awesome performance and I’m looking forward to the day when his band (Today Okay) goes BIG TIME.  If you guys are familiar, his music is like a blend of Dave Matthews Band and Jack Johnson.  Check out his website and music here.

Aside from that I’ve been visiting home every once in a while.  It’s always nice to go back and hang out with my friends that I grew up with, as well as having  home-cooked meals.

I’m getting through the summer with these mini-breaks to recharge me along the way!

Bye Bye Grips

12 Jul shonakamori 3 Comments »

The other day during one of my ring routines, I swung down to go for my dismount and boom!  Lights out, my hand slipped right off the rings and I went through a side-winder/bucking bronco flip straight to my back.  Honestly I couldn’t figure out what had happened until I looked down at my hands and saw that my left grip had torn right as I had gone to do the dismount. Yikes…

For those of you who are unfamiliar, gymnasts use a special hand guard made out of leather that not only helps us grip onto things but to also protect our hands from getting torn up while we swing on the rings and the high bar. Every once in a while, accidents do happen and they can tear after you’ve worn them out.  Generally, they last for a couple of months.  That said, it’s unacceptable when they tear on the second day of using them.  Yup, that’s right.  I tore them just after two days…

My two-day old ring grips

However, it seems like this has been an issue everywhere.  My teammates at Stanford have experienced the same thing, and some friends in Japan have had similar accidents.  If it was just a one time thing, it wouldn’t be such a big problem, but if they’re tearing after only a couple of turns in gyms all over the world, then there is a problem.  It’s not only expensive to replace them, but there’s also a big safety issue involved.  Can’t tell ya if it’s the mad cow disease that’s making the leather all weak but this needs to be fixed ASAP!

Summertime Fun!

05 Jul shonakamori 1 Comment »

Hope everyone had a fun and safe fourth!  Had a fun and eventful weekend myself, but before I go on let me do a quick rewind about a week or so.  A post has been long over due so I’m trying to condense most of what happened last week into this one!  Don’t know what kept me busy all this time (probably extra assignments from work) but my apologies for not writing in a while.

Ok, rewinding back to last weekend. Trekked north about two hours, passed some hills, more hills, some fields, the great capital of California, and finally to a town called Auburn.  The local club, Auburn Gymnastics, called me up to help their kids as a feature clinician!  It was a scorching hot day, but I had a blast nonetheless because I got to work with some great kids that were excited about the sport of gymnastics!

Me, Coach Dylan, and the gymnasts at Auburn Gymnastics!

Wanted to give a quick shout out to the coaches and parents and say thanks for hosting me.  Again, I’m amazed with the dedication of the staff and the parents of all gymnasts (in particular the ones that live away from central gymnastics locations).    I managed to keep myself busy during the two hour drive by surfing through all the radio stations, but these parents do it every weekend to take their kids to meets during competition season.  Success does not only come around because of  the gymnasts’ hard work, but it’s also due to the hard work of everybody around!  It’s an obvious statement, but it’s something that we tend to forget every once in a while.

Anyway, I’m glad that I’m having the opportunity to work with a ton of different kids.  It’s fun seeing the variety of training programs that coaches have in place for them.  Hopefully they keep up the good work.  Looking forward to seeing them next season!

Now, back to the fourth of July weekend.  It was pretty eventful to say the least.  First off, I took part in a parade and sat on a float alongside my coach to promote our gym, Champions Academy.  The best part was being able to see my coach’s Olympic and world championship medals.  It wasn’t my first time seeing them but I get super excited every single time.  So there we were sitting on a float, a former Olympian, and next to him, an aspiring one!

After the parade, I went to an amusement park to check out my childhood friend, Sergei, perform in a show there.  I’ve known Sergei for a long time as we used to compete against each other since we were young kids all the way through college.  Super great gymnast but retired soon after graduating from his university.  Coincidentally, he got a summer gig to work as an acrobat at a show close to where I’m living.  The show was exciting as it was a hybrid of gymnastics, rollerblading, bmx biking, among other extreme sports!

Sergei and his crew performing

At night, went and saw some beautiful fireworks and celebrated Indepdence Day.  Place was packed and took about a half an hour just to get back onto the freeway but it was well worth it.  Summer is always a great time.  Lots of activities, and as always, a ton of training for the athletes!

I'm a terrible "firework picture-taker" but the real thing (especially the finale) was awesome!

Gettin’ Through It

01 Jul shonakamori No Comments »

Hard training days aren’t all that bad when your body’s feelin’ fresh and you’re ready to go.  Unfortunately, this is rarely the case.  As an athlete, you’re always dealing with sore here, or sore there, and it’s a constant battle between yourself.

However, getting through these workouts when you’re not “feelin’ it” is more meaningful than those workouts you go through when you feel good.  After all, more often than not, you enter a competition not feeling 100%.  What better way to simulate this than push through these workouts?

Anyway, I woke up this morning completely beaten up from the training the day before. It was one of those days when I had to “roll out” of bed.  What made it worse was the instant I woke up, the first thing that went through my mind was that I’d have to go through another heavy training plan again.  Went to the gym, and whatdayaknow, my body felt super heavy!  Thing is, rather than loathing about it, I always like to takes these days as a fun challenge.  An opportunity to see how much I could do while not feeling all that great.  Crazy thing is, one little switch on how you look at things can change a whole lot.  The mind is a powerful thing.  Despite some minor mistakes, I was able to get through the hard training!

Tomorrow is finally a lighter day.  I’ll be getting my knee checked out again by the trainer.  Believe it or not, it hasn’t even been a year since I had the surgery to repair this knee.  There are some days that are more sore than others but I’m happy with the way things have been progressing!