It was only my first full weekend back after returning from the National Championships but it turned out to be busy one, and one filled with a ton of gymnastics!
Not only did I swing by the Region 1 Congress to do a couple of presentations but I was also called upon to evaluate the boys at the Northern California Future Stars Testing.
I was totally lucky to have my old teammate, Abhi, with me for the congress presentations this time around. He definitely picked up a lot of the slack and put together some good slides while I was away for Nationals. Last year, I had a tough time when I signed up to do 7 lectures all by myself. Not only was it tough to prepare all of the slides, but by the end of the day, my voice was pretty much gone from speaking so much. Signing up for less presentations, and being able to do them with another person definitely made things a lot easier! As always, it was great seeing some familiar faces and also to meet some new coaches and gym enthusiasts!
As for the future stars testing, I definitely saw some good gymnastics. Big props to the boys who are involved in the future stars program. It’s tough because they have to learn specific routines for the future stars season on top of the other routines that they have to perform for the regular season. Most of these boys will go off to the Regional testing next so definitely lots of luck to them!
Just landed and checked in after a short 1-hour flight from NorCal. As I said in my earlier blog post, it’s crazy to think that the last time I was here was for the same meet, but 15 years ago! I’ll be up bright and early to judge the first session. This time around they have me assigned on floor throughout most of the weekend. I’m actually excited about this because I get to judge with a former Stanford gymnast, Craig Nesbitt. I’ve known him ever since I was little that I basically consider him to be my brother. It’s also kind of cool because he was the one that initially got me into judging!
Speaking of Stanford, the Stanford team will be competing tomorrow in the first session of NCAAs. For those of you who aren’t familiar with NCAAs, there are two sessions, each with six teams (total of 12 teams). The top three teams from each session will advance to Friday night’s team final to battle it out for the national title. Everyone send good thoughts to your favorite team at West Point (preferably to Stanford)!
Wow, I think that’s the longest I’ve gone without writing an entry! I won’t lie, it’s been pretty hectic out here. Last week seemed super short because I headed up to Oroville on Friday to judge the State Championships. As the head pommel horse judge for Northern California, I also took part in a clinic for the all-star team members who are getting ready for regionals. I’ll be going there also in a couple of weeks.
Aside from that, I’ve been focusing a lot on my rehab as I’ll be meeting up with the doc for a follow-up. It’s been 8 months post-op and I’m anxious to get full clearance.
The comeback process in the gym seems to be coming along. There’s still some variation in good days and not-so-good days but that always seems to be the case when I’m returning to competitive shape. The important thing is to keep my head down and plug away. I need to remember to listen to my body though because I do have the tendency to push myself too hard.
Lots to do but I’m glad that I have the next couple of weekends off from judging. It’s been non-stop since I came back from Japan at the end of January. It’s time to catch up on things that I’ve been pushing aside!
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)!
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!
If I were to ask you, who you think the greatest male gymnast of all time is, I wonder who that’ll be. I personally would say it’s Vitaly Scherbo. I mean, the man won 6 out of 8 gold medals at the Barcelona Games in 1992. He holds the record for having the most golds in one Olympics (more than any other gymnast in the history of the sport). Having said that, it’s no mystery why I’ve looked up to him throughout all of my gymnastics career.
Anyway, he brought his gymnasts (he currently owns a gym in Las Vegas) to a local meet that I judged at this weekend. I see him every now and then at competitions and training camps but it was great seeing his kids compete. Like him, a lot of them have great basics. In fact, one of his kids scored a perfect score on pommel horse today. Amazing!
For those of you that don’t know the great Scherbo, here’s a video I pulled up from YouTube:
One of the first things I do when I get ready to leave for an international competition is go out and buy some snacks. You never know what kind of food you might encounter in another country, right? Luckily, I don’t have to worry about this this time around since I’ll be competing in Japan. In fact, this competition will be like competing in my own backyard since my mom’s side of the family live only 20 minutes away. That said, I can put my full focus on competing which is a big relief.
Anyway, just for fun and out of curiosity, I did a quick google search on how long it might take me to travel from San Francisco to Japan on foot. For some reason, the google search tells me to go from San Francisco all the way up to Washington (definitely not the most efficient route…). After that I’m supposed to kayak across the Pacific Ocean, making a quick stop in Hawaii before rowing the rest of the way to Japan.
Well, traveling on foot and kayaking is supposed to take me a total of 101 days and 23 hours. Good thing for airplanes because the trip will “only” take me about 10 hours. There’s also a benefit to living on the west coast too and traveling to Asia. Most of the guys will be taking a plane to meet up in San Francisco before leaving for Japan. Anyway we leave tomorrow morning. Wish us luck! Go USA!
I’ve gotta say that I had a great time this weekend. Not only did I get to sleep a lot (which is something I love to do), but the highlight was definitely celebrating my old teammate, Ambert’s 26th birthday. For his birthday, I drove up to San Francisco to attend his dinner party. I was glad I went, not only because Ambert is a great friend and a mentor of mine (he’s incredibly smart and all-around great guy), but because his brother, Bryan, who is a professional Japanese chef prepared all the food for the dinner.
The food was absolutely amazing. Bryan is not only an amazing chef, but he specially order the fish (most from Japan) that he served for dinner. Another great part about about the party was that I got to meet a lot of awesome people. Like Ambert, they were all very interesting people and it was fun getting to know them.
Again, it was a great weekend. I got a lot of rest and a lot of good food inside me so I’m ready to take on the week! Also, Ambert who is a professional DJ and one of the founders of Cloob.fm (click through to get more info) told me that he will make a special workout mix for me. I’ll post it on this site once it’s finished so definitely keep an eye out for that!
And, if you are interested in Bryan’s work check out his blog.
As I wrote a little while ago, I recently received an award at Stanford’s year-end athletic luncheon. As the recipient of the Al Master’s Award, I was asked to speak in front of 700 people that included donors, supporters, and staffs (that was the biggest audience I’ve ever spoke in front of, and boy was I nervous or what). Well anyway I was surfing the internet and came across the speech last night.
Here it is:
Hope everyone had a safe and fun July 4th weekend!
As for me, I definitely enjoyed the two days off I had from gym. I’ll admit that I was a bum this weekend. I slept a lot and just sat around the house. However, I’ve gotta say that my body definitely needed that after a hard week of training last week. It was also nice because I got to catch up on some much needed sleep (and for all the athletes out there, we all know that sleep is an athlete’s best friend).
Another big thing I did this weekend was I got a haircut (shows how exciting my life is, right?). Now that my head feels lighter I feel like I can jump higher and flip faster. But on the flip side, the bad part was that my I forgot to tell the hair stylist to keep my sideburns so she completely chopped them off. I’d include a picture of it but since I’m embarrassed, I don’t think I will this time. Luckily my hair grows out pretty quickly so I’m not too sad about it.
Anyway that just about sums up my weekend. It was a nice two days off of gym but I’m now recharged and ready to hit a good week of training as Japan Cup is right around the corner!
As some of you guys may have already noticed, I update my Twitter account every once in a while (it’s on the right column if you haven’t seen it before). Anyway it looks like InsideGymnastics made a short quiz that asks to match the different “twits” with the people who said it. The funny part of all this is that I’m one of the options to a few of the questions. I took the quiz and did pretty poorly. Don’t worry, I won’t get too down on myself but maybe you guys will have better luck with this. Check it out: Match the Twits
Oh, and if you have a twitter account follow me @ snakamori!