Archive for March, 2012

Training Update

21 Mar shonakamori 2 Comments »

Sorry for the super boring blog title, but to be honest, I thought it was rather fitting :) Sadly, as most of us gymnast know very well, training can be very boring and very very  mundane. For the most part, workout consists of doing the same skills (or routines) over and over again – simply said, “repetition.”  If someone with zero gym experience were to walk into a gym, they might be impressed for about 10 minutes but will most likely get bored soon after because we are always doing the same thing.  In fact, I’ve gotten asked why before.  Well, there’s really only one answer to this – we do it so that we could hit our routines when it counts!

Anyway, training has been going well.  We now only have about 3 months left until USAs and Olympic Trials and this is literally the final stretch.  I am now just getting back into routine mode after giving myself some time to recover and build some of my consistency in a few of my skills.  This is when I get back to the grind!

Tomorrow I leave for another camp with the National Team.  Will be in good ‘ol Colorado Springs for a few days.  It’ll be a great opportunity to see the rest of the guys and rekindle the fire.  Not to mention, although it is tough, it’s always good to train in high altitude.  I’ll return from camp on Saturday night.  On Sunday I’ll be judging the boys’ State Championships all day!

Check out a video of a recent ring routine.  Not quite there but working towards it!

Tsunami/Earthquake Memorial Event

16 Mar shonakamori No Comments »

March 11th marked the one year anniversary for the tsunami/earthquake event that shook Japan and destroyed a major area in the northern part of the country.  As soon as I heard the news last year, I tried to think of things that I could do to help. Naturally, the first people I thought of were the people in the gymnastics community.  In a matter of weeks, I was able to raise a significant amount of money, which I sent off to the Japan Red Cross on behalf of Region 1 and NorCal Gymnastics.  Thanks so much for that!

A few days ago, I was invited to a memorial event in San Francisco to give thanks to all the people that donated and to update us with some news about the situation in Japan.  The event was held at the Presidio, which was significant because the US-Japan Security treaty was signed at the same place in the  60s.  The treaty was signed to create further ties and cooperation between the two countries so it was fitting that such an event could take place at the same site.

The event included a special video created by the Japanese people that were affected by the incident.  Speeches were also made by the Consul General and important members of the Japanese-American community.  It ended with a nice performance by a violinist and a koto player, as well as exhibitions that allowed us to gain information about the current situation out there.

The event at the Presidio in SF.

During the event, I even met an Olympic legend.  Kristi Yamaguchi was there as she also did a lot to raise awareness and bring in relief funds!  Had a nice little conversation with her and am hoping that we could work together in the future to help out as the road to recovery continues!  Thank you again to all the donated!

Me and Kristi after the event.

State Qualifiers Weekend

13 Mar shonakamori No Comments »

Just got back from a weekend of judging in San Luis Obispo.  Although it was quite a trek down (3.5 hours), it was exciting since it was my first time to go down to SLO.  I have to give a lot of respect for all the parents down there that come up to the Bay Area for all the meets during the season.  This goes for all the parents north of all the major gyms and inland.  It’s a huge commitment and I hope the kids can understand how much work it is to be a gym parent.

Anyway, the weekend went well.  The purpose of this meet was to give the kids another shot at qualifying for the State Championships.  The other option was to get a qualifying score twice during the course of the regular season, but for those that couldn’t get the score, this was another opportunity to make it in.  The kids will have a weekend off and then it’s States the following weekend.

Aside from the meet, I was able to play the tourist.  I walked around downtown for a bit and one of my coach friends took me out on a little tour of Pismo Beach.  It’s definitely got a Santa Cruz vibe to it.  Overall had a great time out there and even had one of the best clam chowders ever!  Pics below:

Splash Cafe - Went early but was already really crowded. Apparently it's a super popular spot down in Pismo.

Ridiculously good clam chowder in bread bowl! From what I heard Pismo is the "Clam Capital of the World!"

Cloudy day but still beautiful. Bet it's super nice in the summer!

Fun Times with Keen and Backpacker!

08 Mar shonakamori 4 Comments »

I had a pretty awesome opportunity today.  I did a short commercial shoot for Keen Footwear and Backpacker Magazine!  Keen is known for making outdoorsy shoes and Backpacker magazine gives you the latest information and advice on outdoor activities and hiking.  I won’t disclose much about what the commercial is about (it’ll be a surprise for when it gets finished) but I’ll say that it definitely involved some gymnastics!  We shot at a park in San Francisco.  I only did handstands so the shoot didn’t involve anything too difficult but I’ll admit that it was a bit scary given how high the bars were.  They were probably at least 10 feet off the ground and only dirt underneath.  Luckily I got more comfortable as I did more.

Pics are below from the shoot:

Pressing up to the handstand.

Yes, the bars were pretty darn high! Kinda dangerous come to think of it...

Handstand shot with cool effects!

Not only was it a fun gig but I even got a new pair of shoes!  Thanks Keen!

Lovin' the new kicks. Better start being more outdoorsy!

Champions Invite

07 Mar shonakamori No Comments »

Over the weekend, our home gym hosted the annual Champions Invite.  I was the pommel horse judge and it turned out to be a very successful weekend in all aspects. Meet ran smoothly and no injuries!  Great jobs to all the boys that competed and huge thanks to all the families that helped run the meet.  It was a blast!

Champions Invite!

This weekend, I’m off to San Luis Obispo to judge the second qualifiers to the State Championships for the compulsory boys.  It’ll be a long drive (over 3 hours) but it’ll give me an opportunity to clear my mind a bit.  Actually kind of excited for it because I’ve never been down there before.  Heard it’s a nice college town.  For those of you that have been down there, feel free to give me some suggestions on where to visit or to eat!

Loooong drive south!

Land of the Bears!

06 Mar shonakamori 2 Comments »

The other day I traveled far and wide, and across large bodies of waters to get to the Land of the Bears!  Ok, all kidding aside – reality was I only drove about 30 miles and over the Bay Bridge to train at Cal (UC Berkeley).

Front entrance of Cal gym. For those of you that have never been, it's all the way up on top of a hill!

I had a great workout with the college guys and it’s always fun to train in a different environment every once in a while.  Turns out, our national team director was visiting so it was a great opportunity to get some feedback from him as well.  The Cal guys are looking strong!  Stanford and Cal have been back and forth during the regular season so it’ll be interesting to see which team pulls ahead for the NCAA Championships.

Men's side of the Cal gym.

The guys stretching before training.

Although I went to school at Stanford, I feel closely connected to Cal in many ways. For one, I grew up right around the corner, and two, my dad used to be the head coach for the boys gymnastics team .  That said, although I will always be a Cardinal, I still support the Golden Bears!

Thanks to the Cal team for having me in the other day.  Good luck for the rest of the season!