Archive for the Off Hours Category

Off Exploring!

It’s my first weekend here in Japan and I’m off roaming the areas in Chiba prefecture.  Luckily, Tokyo is not far away (less than an hour by train) and will probably be going there rather frequently.

To the people in Japan or people who have visited Japan, let me know where I should visit (in and around Tokyo) while I’m here!  Feel free to leave me some comments with some recommendations (Japanese is ok too!).


Classes Start!

Even though classes started today, it was rather exciting because the class was taught by my former coach, Mutsumi (Harada).  The focus of the class is on coaching methodologies.  This is perfect given the fact that I’ve been helping as coach at my club (Champions Academy) back in the US.

One interesting thing that I realized was that most university classes in Japan do not give out homework!  Yay for no extra work, but at the same time it puts a little more pressure on the students to do well on the final exam/paper.  Nevertheless, this will be a good experience and I’m excited about learning a lot while I’m here.

Tomorrow is Saturday and there’s no school.  Will be at practice as usual though.  The guys on the team are great.  Even though I’m in rehab mode, I’ll be able to continue my conditioning workouts and will be able to learn a lot just through observing their workouts.  Definitely looking forward to getting to know them better!

Preseason Poll = #1

Congrats to the Stanford guys for being selected #1 in the preseason poll.

Of course it’s impossible to tell who’s the best until season starts but it’s exciting nonetheless.

Hopefully the guys will do well as I’ll be on the coaching staff this year!

Go Stanford!

Go Stanford!

I'm Here!

After a 10.5 hour flight from San Francisco, I’m finally here in Nihon, ‘Land of the Rising Sun,’ Japan (or whatever you want to call it).  Finally got the internet set up so I’ll be able to post rather frequently.

A little info about my trip here: I started the day off by taking a shuttle to the airport, and the person that drove was absolutely awesome.  Not only did he get me to the airport in 30 minutes because he knew all the short cuts through the streets of SF (it usually takes about an hour in traffic), but he apparently lived in Japan at one point.  On the way over to the airport, he told me some funny stories.

The cool shuttle driver

The cool shuttle driver

When I got my bags checked in at the airport, I realized that I hadn’t eaten so I headed off to the food court.  Surprisingly, a father of a boy that I had given privates lessons to in gym was a chef at one of the restaurants.  He worked his magic and put breakfast on the house!

The flight I took was ANA (All Nippon Airline) and the service was really nice.  Even though I sat in economy, we each had our own entertainment system.  The console had a bunch of movies, TV shows, music, and games.  During the flight, I ended up watching The Hangover, Little Miss Sunshine, and Big, which means I didn’t sleep at all.  Anyway, the flight was all good but was made even better when served the meals.  It was very good and very balanced.  Hard to believe that all that was served in an economy class.

On my way.

On my way!

Good airplane food

Good airplane food

After landing, I went straight to my residence, ate dinner, and fell asleep.  Luckily, despite the big time difference between here and the States, I was able to sleep through the entire night (I must’ve been really tired from staying up on the flight).  Anyway, I’m using today to get settled in.  I’ll be unpacking, going to the city ward to fill out some paper work, and getting basic items I need for survival.  My first class as a student in Japan starts tomorrow and I’ll also begin training with the team.  Looking forward to it.  Wish me luck!

Thanks for the 'welcome,' shopping cart.

Thanks for the 'welcome,' shopping cart.

I'm finally here! Throwin' up the peace sign. Of course, I'm in Asia! It'll be my default sign for the next 3 months.

I'm finally here! Throwin' up the peace sign. Of course, I'm in Asia! It'll be my default sign for the next 3 months.

Need to Stop Procrastinating!

I’ve gotta say that I’ve been procrastinating way too much and haven’t done that much packing for my trip to Japan.  I’ve spent the last couple of days visiting friends and saying my goodbyes before having to leave for 3 months for my study-abroad program.

To give you and idea of where I’m at, I leave tomorrow and I’ve only packed a small duffel bag and haven’t even cleaned my room yet!  I’ll probably spend most of tonight (I’m super busy all day until tonight) packing up the rest of things I will need.  I guess if I were to look at this on the bright side, staying up late tonight might help me because I’ll be so tired tomorrow that I’ll just sleep through the whole plane ride.  Also, even if I were to forget to pack something, I can easily get whatever I need in Japan considering it’s my “home” away from home.

I know I’ve said this many times but I’m very excited about this trip to Japan.  The food is delicious, many places to see, and best of all, I’ll have a great training environment.  I’ll be posting a lot while I’m out there so please keep checking back!

Also, great job to all the guys that competed at Worlds.  I wish I could’ve been there competing with the rest but my priority now is to get my leg better.  Good news is everything is coming along!

Doc Appointment

16 Oct Sho 1 Comment »

Just met with the doctor today for a follow-up for my knee.

When I first went into the clinic, he had me get some x-rays so that he could examine the conditions of the inside.  And good news, everything looked perfect.  In fact, he thought I was moving along pretty well and even a little bit ahead of schedule.

In a week, I’ll be able to start some jogging, but in the meantime, we’ll be ramping up the exercises that we do in the PT room.  These will include jumping drills to things that involve more bending of the knee.  However, the most exciting news was that in about 5 weeks (the 4 month mark), I should be able to start doing some apparatus work including pommel horse, parallel bars, rings, and high bar (no leg events yet).

I’m leaving the States in a few more days but I know that I’ll be hooked up with a great therapist out in Japan.  Cannot wait for my experience abroad.  It’ll be good times.

Productive Weekend

I had a pretty hectic weekend but I’m glad to say that I got a lot of stuff that needed to get done before leaving for Japan.

One of the highlights of the weekend was definitely doing a gymnastics clinic at a local club.

It was great that they invited me over to do some presentations and I had a blast interacting with the kids and helping them work on their basics and specific skills.  Thanks to all the coaches and families at CSC for making this happen.

Gymnastics Clinic!

Gymnastics Clinic!

Anyway there are a lot more stuff that  I need to knock out between now and next week but as with anything, I need to take it one step at a time.  I will also meet with the doctor this week for a final check-up before leaving for Japan.  We’re closing in at the 3-month mark so I’m hoping that he’ll clear me to start doing some gymnastics.

Dr. Amy

The other day I ran into Amy Chow (a former gold and silver medalist at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta) while I was doing my rehab in the physical therapy room at Stanford.  For those of you that don’t know, she was a part of the famous Magnificent 7 (member of the US team that won the team Olympic gold for the first time).  Anyway, she’s on her way to becoming a doctor (pediatrician) after completing her undergrad and med school at Stanford.  Currently she’s getting some experience and doing her medical round in the PT room.

I’ve known Amy for a long time through my years of training at Stanford (since I was 10?), but since I’ve only seen her around the gym, it was fun to see her in a place outside of the gym.

Can’t wait until she becomes Dr. Amy.  She’ll become a good one for sure.

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Runnin' Around

The last few days have been pretty hectic.  PT and training as usual, coaching (as well as doing private lessons), tutoring, and basically just getting myself all ready to leave.

All the paperwork is pretty much all done.  All that’s really left for me to do is physically get the stuff together that I’m going to be taking with me to Japan.  I have about a little over a week left.  Let’s hope I don’t procrastinate and put everything off until the last minute!

Anyway, I was looking at the weather in Japan and it looks like it was hit by a typhoon the other day.  I’ll be riding my bike a lot so doing so in the rain and gust will make it a bit dangerous.  Hopefully it’s gone by now but apparently the weather in Japan is rather inconsistent during this time of the year as it changes from summer weather to autumn weather.  Let’s hope it’s already autumn weather by the time I get there.

Couple Things…

05 Oct Sho 1 Comment »

that I need/want to do before I leave for Japan:

  • Get some winter clothes together (I don’t wanna freeze over there)
  • Pack
  • Clean my messy room (might be rather difficult)
  • Hold a gymnastics clinic at a local club (happening this coming weekend…very excited!)
  • Do another video blog for the site (hopefully, if I have time!)
  • Kick butt in rehab and strengthen my knee more
  • Meet up with a buddy from school to work on a little project (might tell you guys about it when it’s complete so keep checking in)
  • Set up a slingbox system so that I could watch sporting events while I’m out in Japan

I’m probably forgetting a couple items but the above list should keep me pretty occupied.