Archive for September, 2010

Sad Day for the Bears…

29 Sep shonakamori 2 Comments »

I’m sure most everybody heard about this already but in case you haven’t, in devastating news, the chancellor at UC Berekely decided to drop 5 athletics programs.  All of them will be done at the end of this school year.  Included was men’s gymnastics…

Honestly, it never mattered that I went to the “rival” school.  Having grown up in Berkeley, I always felt a close connection to the Cal team and the gymnasts there.  Some of my best memories competing at the collegiate level (aside from the ones with my own teammates) involved the friendly rivalry we had with Cal; the occasional smack-talking, shooting the breeze, and hanging out and catching up after our meet ended.  Not to mention, we always felt that we were especially close and knew we had each other’s backs when we went to bigger meets, such as conference and national championships.  It’s really sad to know that there will be one less program in the NCAA at the end of this coming season.  Worse yet, it’s even more sad to know that men’s gymnastics is getting cut from the best public school in the US, which means that the younger gymnasts will no longer have the opportunity to do gymnastics and be a student at one of the top schools in the entire country.

It’s a really sad time for everybody in the gym community.

Definitely wishing them the best of luck in their final season.

Bring us to the White House!

27 Sep shonakamori No Comments »

Workouts have been going well over the last several weeks.  I’ve been focusing a lot of my attention on acquiring new skills and upgrading my routines.  This is the perfect time to do so since I still have several months until I have to compete again.  At the same time, this is also a good time to ramp up the conditioning level since, which is exactly what I’m going to be focusing on this week.  With how long routines have gotten under the “open-ended code,” you can never be too strong these days!

Out of the gym was highlighted by a Bar Mitzvah of a boy (I guess not a boy anymore!) that I’ve been tutoring for a while in Japanese.  The weekend was perfect weather for a party and we all had a great time!

On a rather unrelated note, my teammates and I started a petition to bring our team and the rest of the NCAA Championship winning team from 2009 to the White House.  It’s been a tradition for the President to meet teams who won NCAA Championships at the White House – President Bush met with championship teams during his tenure.  However, in 2009, President Obama met with only a handful of teams but left out the majority of the other teams.  We thought that this tradition ended but realized it wasn’t so.  In September 2010, President Obama met with NCAA Championship teams. Naturally we were all bummed when we heard this.  That said, we’re trying to some support in bringing the teams back for a chance to be a part of this tradition.  If you all can sign this petition that will be great.  It will only take a couple of seconds: NCAA Petition.

Thanks in advance!


20 Sep shonakamori No Comments »

Had a pretty eventful weekend as Saturday was the annual National Gymnastics Day.  Made a couple of appreances at local gyms and had a great time interacting with some of the kids and their parents.  Nothing too fancy, but at one of the event, I did a short demo on the rings.  Don’t think I’ve ever done rings outside of an indoor gym, but I suppose there’s a first time for everything!

Demo on rings

For the rest of the weekend, I went home and just relaxed to unwind.  Now that I’m recharged I’m looking forward to getting a ton of work done both in and outside of the gym!  Let’s git ‘er done!

Getting Older!

16 Sep shonakamori 2 Comments »

I had a pretty busy but fun-filled week last week.  Aside from my usual training and work outside of the gym, I celebrated my 25th birthday.  I kept it fairly low key but had a very nice day full of surprises. I definitely wanted to take this opportunity to say a quick thanks to all the people who wished me happy birthday!

As  I get older, I like to reassess where I’m at physically, especially in this demanding sport called gymnastics.  They say age is just a number, but is it true?  I definitely feel young in my mind, but I’m not sure if I can trick my body (physical) into thinking the same.  As I get older, I’m realizing more and more that I don’t recover as quickly as I used to when I was a teen.

What this also means is that I’m taking less turns in training.  However, I’ve come to realize that this is not a bad thing at all. Because of the limited turns, I’ve learned to make sure that every single turn on the equipment is meaningful and that I’m making a deliberate effort to make a change.  When I was younger, it didn’t matter how many turns I took.  My body would rebound instantly.  I could make gradual changes and it didn’t matter, as long as I was moving in the right direction.  This definitely isn’t the case anymore….

If I did the same thing, my body’ll disintegrate for sure.  But at the same time, I do believe that taking a ton of turns when I you’re young can be beneficial.  A ton of the skills I trained when I was younger are ingrained in me and I can rely on muscle memory to get me through them.
Different age = different training style, I suppose.

Speaking of age, school is starting back up again.  Not that this has much to do with me as I’ve already graduated but I’m seeing new students and their parents roll onto campus.  I remember my first day of college…green and inexperienced but the great thing for me was having grown up in the Stanford gym.  Although academics and school life was tough to get used to, I found comfort in the gym as I trained there my entire life.  Anyway, I’m hoping to find some time in my schedule to be a volunteer assistant coach again this season.  Good luck to all the new students coming in!

Kevin Visits!

08 Sep shonakamori No Comments »

Workouts these past couple of days have been fun because I had a visitor come in and train with me.  That visitor was Kevin Tan, a good friend of mine, and also a medalist from the 2008 Olympics.

Kevin and I have not only represented the US as members of the national team, but we go way back as we both grew up in the Bay Area.  That said, we have a pretty strong connection, and I consider him to be like my big brother.

Through our training sessions we were able to share our thoughts and techniques on certain skills, which is always fun and helpful.  Although he left to go back to the east coast, I know he’ll be working hard.  Knowing this is a good thing because it’ll be a reminder for me to work harder so that I can push myself to the next level.  Can’t wait to see him and the rest of the guys in competition-mode in the near future!

Kevin, Jinjing (my coach), and me at the gym

Fun in the Gym!

01 Sep shonakamori 4 Comments »

It’s been a long time since I’ve had the opportunity to have fun in the gym by training new skills.  Most of my time over this last year was chewed up by rehab and trying to get back into competitive shape.  Looking back, I’m glad I got over my second-thoughts and apprehension about competing, and actually went with it.  At one point my knee had flared up so badly that I got really worried about competing, however, training for it allowed me to push my body to a new level.  If I had stretched my comeback meet until next year, I’m pretty certain that I wouldn’t be feeling the same at this point in time.

Now it’s back to the gym and working new skills to increase the difficulties in my sets. Working new skills can be challenging but fun at the same time.  I have until the beginning of next year until I have to compete again so I can give myself a bit of a mental break also.  Thank goodness for being done with college too.  I see the younger guys getting ready for school to start and I’m reminded of how stressed I used to be.  Working is fairly stressful at times but it’s definitely a different type.  You’re not asked to prepare for 3 tests and write a 15-page paper in one week.

With summer coming to a close, I’ve been enjoying some activities outside of the gym as well.  Last weekend, I had the chance to see Dave Matthews Band in concert. It was an awesome show!