Archive for the Off Hours Category

Busy Busy Week

This past week was definitely a busy week for me.  Aside from regular training and rehab, I spent more time than usual tutoring, doing private gymnastics lessons, as well as other important/not-so important things.  Can’t complain though because I did have some fun as well.

I met up with a good friend of mine, who has moved back to the Bay Area after living away for about 5 years.  It was great to see him and catch up with all the stuff that’s going on in our lives.

There was also a big event at the gym as it was National Gymnastics Day.  It was definitely fun to see a bunch of people show up and for the kids to put on a little demo for them.

I was also able to go see the Giants play the Dodgers yesterday, which was definitely very fun.  The game was exciting because of the big rivalry between the team.  Plus what made it even better was that the tickets were free, and they were awesome seats too (thanks Maurice!).

AT&T Park!

AT&T Park!

I’m hoping that this week will be a little less busy.  However, I’m supposed to attend a big event at Stanford where I am supposed to speak to all the incoming freshmen-athletes for their orientation.  Should be exciting!


Just wanted to thank all the people who wished me happy birthday yesterday.  Had a great day that included a dinner with some close friends.  I was also surprised with a nice birthday cake.  However, the best thing about the day was probably being told that I could walk on my own!  Yup, that’s right…no more crutches for me!  It’s definitely nice because I can get around without having to grab my crutch.

Yesterday’s date (9/9/09) was also significant because it was the last set of repeating, single-digit dates we’ll see for almost 100 years.

Anyway, it was a good day yesterday and I wanted to thank all my friends and family again for wishing me a happy birthday!

I Play For Peace!

For those of you that don’t know, aside from being a full-time gymnast, I’m also a part-time Japanese tutor (I also tutor English).  For the last two years or so, I’ve been working with a family and their three kids (2 b0ys and 1 girl).  The kids are always full of energy and I have a lot of fun every time I go and teach.

Me and the Kids

Me and the Kids

When I went to go tutor the other day, the family surprised me with an early-birthday cake (my real birthday is tomorrow)!  They’re awesome and I feel lucky that they call me a part of their “family.”

Birthday Cake. Yay!

Birthday Cake!

Anyway, I also wanted to introduce a website that one of the boys started.  Ben, who is the oldest of the three kids, is working on raising money for children in Iraq that are disabled and in need of wheelchairs.  Each wheelchair costs $300 and every penny helps.  Please take a look at his site and learn more about his cause @ I Play For Peace.  This is pretty awesome stuff that he’s doing!

Ichiro is the Man!

I had a day off from training so today I went to the Oakland Coliseum with my mom to watch the A’s-Mariners game.  It’s hard to say which team I like better because while Oakland is my home town, my favorite athlete, Ichiro Suzuki is on the Mariners.  As an athlete, I look up to Ichiro because he’s so consistent and calm under pressure.

Me and my Mom at the game

Me and my Mom at the game

Anyway, the game was super exciting because Ichiro started off the game with a double, and he became the second fastest player in the Major League history to record 2,000 hits!!!  It was inspiring to be able to see that in person.  It immediately made me want to get in the gym and start working out.  Well, it’s a good thing that training for the new week starts again tomorrow!



Sho the Builder!

The other day, I decided to build my own paralletes for training!  I made a quick trip to Home Depot and bought a couple of PVC pipes, as well as some connectors.  Seriously, with a PVC cutter and PVC cement, paralletes are so easy to make.  This only means one thing…more strength training for me!

Home-Made Paralletes!

Home-Made Paralletes!

More Improvements

Definitely seeing more improvements in rehab lately.  Ever since I saw the doc last week for my follow-up, I’ve been able to push the flexion of the knee a bit more.  Today I rode a stationary bike for the first time, and boy, did it feel good!  I know I said this before but it’s crazy how small things like riding a bike can make you so excited when you’re coming off of an injury.

I’ve also been a lot more exercises to get myself ready to start walking again.  Aside from riding the bike, I did some one-leg stands.  It felt a little strange at first since it’s been a while since I’ve put any weight on just that leg, however, it’s important that I start re-training the muscle again.  Either way, all of these exercises are fun because they’re fresh.  Seriously, anything to get away from just ankle pumps and straight leg raises is a good thing.

Thanks Durante!

Had a pretty busy weekend of mostly running around and moving out of my current apartment.  However, the weather cooled down a bit so that made the entire process a lot easier.  It’s been really hot here lately and I’m definitely waiting on the temperature to come down.

Anyway, the highlight of the weekend was definitely going to Thom’s (my coach at Stanford) house and having a farewell party for David Durante.  Dave, who was just recently a gymnast himself and a alternate on the ’08 Olympic team, was one of our assistant coaches for this year. However he will be going to Europe this September to gain some experience living a life away from gymnastics.  Although we’re sad to see him go (we tried to convince him to stay for another year to coach) we’re very excited that he’ll be doing something that he’s always wanted to do.

David Durante2

Dave was a big part of the reason why we won our national championships this year.  His energy definitely helped us get through the tougher workouts and the fact that he was still fresh out of retirement helped us prepare for competition because he understood what we, as athletes were going through.   For all this I would like to thank him for coming back to Stanford to coach us (he competed for Stanford in early 2000).  Good luck with all that’s ahead Dave.  We’ll miss you man!

Dave's Farewell Party

Dave's Farewell Party

Comin' Along

27 Aug Sho 1 Comment »

Today I went to go see the doctor about my knee.  Good news!  He said that the knee is coming along and that I can get rid of one of the crutch!  I can’t do anything too crazy yet but it looks like I can start doing a little more in physical therapy.  I’m glad considering I’ve been getting a bit bored of just doing straight leg raises.

As for everything else, things are going well also.  My upperbody is a bit beat from the conditioning but it’s one of those things that you just have to go through.  You have to break down your muscle before you can get stronger.

Anyway, I’m definitely looking forward to the weekend.  It’s been a busy week but I guess that’s better than being bored out of my mind.  We’re also having a farewell party for Dave Durante who will be leaving for Italy soon.  It’ll be sad to see him go but we’re all excited that he’ll be doing something he has always wanted to do, which is to travel.

Pleasant Surprise

Pleasant surprise!  Today my old coach, Yoshi Hatakeda came to visit!  I knew that he was coming but completely forgot about the exact date so I was very surprised when he walked into the gym.

As I introduced before (check out: Sho’s Coaches Part 3), Yoshi was my coach for a short time when I was younger.  He is currently coaching in Japan at Japan Sports Science University, which is also the home to Kohei Uchimura who won the silver in the all-around in Beijing.  The team also recently won the collegiate championship held a few weeks ago.  In fact, they’re so strong that they beat the second place team by over 10 points!!!

Anyway, it was great seeing him and reconnecting with him.  Can’t wait to visit Japan again to get some tips from my former coaches that are out there.  Japan is such a strong team right now and there’s a lot of stuff that we can learn from them “gymnastically.”

Ready for it

I’m finally back home after a few days in SoCal.  It’s interesting that even though I continued to train down there at various gyms,  I actually feel rather refreshed.  I think a lot of this has to do with the change of environment and getting away from the normal routine of life.

Anyway, I had a fun time visiting friends and it was good to be able to catch up with them.  Thanks to all of them for taking care of me while I was down there!

I also need to mention that my old teammate, Eli’s annual “Fish Fry” party was absolutely awesome! Definitely a good time with a bunch of people and tons of good food.  Somehow it’s become tradition for our teammates (even guys that graduated) to get together and hopefully this will continue in the future!

Now that I’m back home, I’m ready to get back to the daily grind.  It’s back to intense rehab for my knee and strengthening my upper-body as my knee continues to recover.  I also get to see the doc later this week.  Hopefully he will have some good news for me and will clear me to do more stuff in terms of exercises.  I can’t wait to do more than quad tightening exercises and leg lifts!