Archive for the Off Hours Category

New Experiences!

It’s official!  I’m leaving for Japan in two weeks and I’ll be there for three months.  I’m going there because I need to complete my final requirement as an International Relations major at Stanford, which is to study abroad.  After I finish the three months, I’ll be officially done with Stanford!  Can’t believe how long it’s taken me to complete my majors (my other one is Japanese Studies) but my commitments to both, the Stanford team and the US National Team has made it really difficult to finish in the normal time frame.

Anyway, during my stay in Japan, I’ll study and train at Juntendo University in Chiba Prefecture (right outside of Tokyo).  It’ll be a good opportunity because I’ll get to train with some of the best in Japan.  In fact, three of the six members from the ’08 Olympic team are currently there, including former world and Olympic champions, Hiroyuki Tomita and Takehiro Kashima.  I also cannot wait to see my old coach, Mutsumi.  With my leg getting better, I should be able to start some gymnastics-related training while I’m there.

Not only will this experience be good for my gymnastics, but being in Japan will help me get more in tune with my own culture!

I’ll definitely be writing from Japan so be sure to check back frequently!

Hiroyuki Tomita

Hiroyuki Tomita

Takehiro Kashima

Takehiro Kashima

The Olympics Goes To…

Rio de Janeiro.  Definitely a bit bummed about the situation.  Being a Japanese-American, I was really hoping that the Olympics would either go to Tokyo or Chicago.  I think Rio should do a great job though as the host since they’ve already held the Pan American Games there a couple of years ago.  Plus it’ll be cool the see the Olympics in a South American country for the first time in the Games’ history.

2016 Olympic Host: Rio

2016 Olympic Host: Rio

Still…having the Olympics in Chicago or Tokyo would’ve been so cool.

PT Update

Things have been looking good in PT (physical therapy) lately.  Ever since I got my leg out of the big brace, I’ve been able to do more exercises that requires more movement.  My physical therapist, Melissa and I have been working hard to get my leg back in shape for gymnastics-related training, but at the same time, we’ve been making sure that we’re not overworking it so that we don’t aggravate it.

Some stuff that I’ve been doing in PT include stool scoots, which is an exercise where I’m sitting on a stool w/wheels on them and doing laps around the room by only using my legs.  It sound easy but it’s rather tiring on the hamstrings, especially because we add weight to the stool.  Speaking of hamstrings, I’ve also been doing a lot of hamstring curls with weights.  Some other things I’ve been doing include: standing on one leg on unstable surfaces and doing squat-type exercises, as well as single leg toe touches.  Believe it or not, they’re actually kind of tough.  It’s crazy to see how quickly your body forgets how to do these simple movements when you don’t use it for a while.  However, these exercises are going to help me regain my balance and coordination.

Anyway, we’ve been incorporating a bunch of new exercises every time I go in for PT.  It’s hard work but it’s fun, and it sure as heck beats doing quad sets and leg lifts all the time!

Dave's Blog

Recently, I wrote that my old teammate/coach, David Durante, is going to Italy.  Well, he’s all settled down now and it looks like he’s started to blog about his life in Europe.

Big Dave

Big Dave

You can check out the blog here: Dave’s Blog.

Definitely a bit envious about his journey through Europe.  Hopefully I’ll get to visit him soon!

Bye Bye Big Brace

Just saw the doc yesterday and heard some good news.  I got released to do more weight bearing exercises!  This is great news considering I’ve only been able to do light exercises for the past two months like riding a stationary bike with low resistance and simple leg raises.  Can’t wait to start incorporating more intense/dynamic movements in PT such as single leg squats and exercises in bent knee positions.

Another good news was the doc switched me out of my old leg brace.  From wearing a heavy duty/humongous one I’m now wearing a smaller and lightweight version.  Definitely not as restricting and perfect for doing more exercises in.  It’s finally time to bulk up them leg muscles!

leg braces: compared

leg braces: compared

Future Stars!

Over the weekend, I went and judged a NorCal Future Stars competition.  As always it was fun to see all the boys (8-12 year olds) working hard and getting stronger.  It was also great to see them in competitive shape even though the J.O. season hasn’t technically started yet.  It’ll be exciting to see all the kids again when January rolls around and the real competition season begins!

Future Star Boys!

Future Star Boys!

Good luck to all the boys that are going on to compete at the regional championships!

You Are What You Eat?

I just finished a four-week metabolic health class the other day that focused on proper eating.  I took it because I was recommended by a good friend of mine, but I’ve always understood that eating well is an important part of being a top-level athlete.  The class was hosted by Brien Shamp of Optimal Fitness Lifestyle Center and I’ve gotta say that it was really informative.

Optimal Fitness!

Optimal Fitness!

I realized that I need to pay more attention to what I eat because I not only need the right fuel to get me through tough practices, but I also need the right food in my system to help with the recovery process after working out.

It’s definitely difficult to consistently monitor what you eat, but from now on, I’ll try my best to  give my body the right food to work with!

Sho's Floor Routine ::Judged::

19 Sep Sho 1 Comment »

My previous post was about judging the Future Stars meet this weekend.

Anyway, on a similar judging note, my friend found a youtube video of my floor routine.

Definitely not my best routine but what makes the video interesting is that the person that posted it explains each of the elements and the bonus I receive.  I don’t know who posted this but it’s kind of neat.

Check it out:

YouTube Preview Image

Future Stars Testing

Just got asked to judge at a future stars competition (kids 8-12) this weekend.

Even though I’ve been judging for about 6 years now, I’ve never judged any future stars competition.  Should be fun as this is all new.

It’ll also be good to catch up with all of the judges and coaches, as well as the kids that will be competing this weekend!

New Student-Athlete Orientation

I had the privilege of attending Stanford’s New Student-Athlete Orientation yesterday  as a featured speaker.  It was awesome that they asked me to speak but I’ve gotta admit that it felt weird at the same time because I finally realized that I’ve officially completed being a student-athlete at Stanford and I’m on the other side now,  giving advice to the young ones.  Either way, I had a great time being able to meet a bunch of the new students.

NSAO Program

NSAO Program

All of these students are really bright and have accomplished a lot, athletically.  I have no doubt in my mind that they’ll carry on the torch and continue the tradition of excellence.  It’ll be another good year for Stanford athletics!