After a week in St. Paul for the Visa National Championships, I’m finally back in California. It definitely feels great to be back, but at the same time, it’s crazy how swamped. I’m finding myself working double-speed just to catch up with my daily routine. I’m sure that this will last at least a couple of days!
Anyway, back-tracking to last week. It was definitely great to be back on the competition floor. Although some events did not go quite as planned, overall I’m pleased with how things went. I’m always super hard on myself but I definitely have to remember to keep things in perspective and remind myself that all of this is a step by step process! As much as I’d like to jump from 1-10, in reality, it just doesn’t work that way! On the upside, I felt really comfortable being out there. I sure as heck didn’t feel this way the last couple of meets, especially coming back from the injury. That said, I know that I’m definitely making some improvements on my mental side.
Anyway, I was glad to be named back onto the national team, but at the same time, I know that this is only the beginning and that I have a lot that I need to do as I prepare for the Olympic trials next June. I’m definitely giving my body a couple of days rest to recuperate, but after that, it’s back to the grind! My next meet will be the Pan American Games which will be held in Guadalajara, Mexico in late October.
Speaking of gymnastics, I went to the gym yesterday for a light training, and guess what I saw when I first walked in?
Big thanks to Champions Academy, the gymnasts, and their families for the awesome sign! And same goes to everyone else who continue to support my journey!
Hope everyone had a fun and safe fourth! Had a fun and eventful weekend myself, but before I go on let me do a quick rewind about a week or so. A post has been long over due so I’m trying to condense most of what happened last week into this one! Don’t know what kept me busy all this time (probably extra assignments from work) but my apologies for not writing in a while.
Ok, rewinding back to last weekend. Trekked north about two hours, passed some hills, more hills, some fields, the great capital of California, and finally to a town called Auburn. The local club, Auburn Gymnastics, called me up to help their kids as a feature clinician! It was a scorching hot day, but I had a blast nonetheless because I got to work with some great kids that were excited about the sport of gymnastics!
Wanted to give a quick shout out to the coaches and parents and say thanks for hosting me. Again, I’m amazed with the dedication of the staff and the parents of all gymnasts (in particular the ones that live away from central gymnastics locations). I managed to keep myself busy during the two hour drive by surfing through all the radio stations, but these parents do it every weekend to take their kids to meets during competition season. Success does not only come around because of the gymnasts’ hard work, but it’s also due to the hard work of everybody around! It’s an obvious statement, but it’s something that we tend to forget every once in a while.
Anyway, I’m glad that I’m having the opportunity to work with a ton of different kids. It’s fun seeing the variety of training programs that coaches have in place for them. Hopefully they keep up the good work. Looking forward to seeing them next season!
Now, back to the fourth of July weekend. It was pretty eventful to say the least. First off, I took part in a parade and sat on a float alongside my coach to promote our gym, Champions Academy. The best part was being able to see my coach’s Olympic and world championship medals. It wasn’t my first time seeing them but I get super excited every single time. So there we were sitting on a float, a former Olympian, and next to him, an aspiring one!
After the parade, I went to an amusement park to check out my childhood friend, Sergei, perform in a show there. I’ve known Sergei for a long time as we used to compete against each other since we were young kids all the way through college. Super great gymnast but retired soon after graduating from his university. Coincidentally, he got a summer gig to work as an acrobat at a show close to where I’m living. The show was exciting as it was a hybrid of gymnastics, rollerblading, bmx biking, among other extreme sports!
At night, went and saw some beautiful fireworks and celebrated Indepdence Day. Place was packed and took about a half an hour just to get back onto the freeway but it was well worth it. Summer is always a great time. Lots of activities, and as always, a ton of training for the athletes!
Here’s a new 60 Seconds w/Sho (or me).
Thanks again to Luke and Donna for setting this up!
Just like anybody I know, I love watching YouTube videos.
Anyway, I recently came across a neat video (below) that features some of the best gymnasts to come out of Japan in recent years
Crazy thing is I’ve pretty much met everyone featured in the video, but the craziest thing is that I’ve been directly coached by a few of them throughout my years as a gymnast. Some of the coaches include Koichi Mizushima and Hatakeda Yoshiaki (coach of Kohei Uchimura, the reigning world champion). And most recently, I trained with Tomita Hiroyuki and Kashima Takehiro while I was in Japan for three months during my study-abroad program.
If only I could become as great as them…
I guess the solution is simple. Train hard!
My old teammate surprised me the other day when he brought back the program from this year’s NCAA Championships.
Surprised that they would use me!
Definitely need to work on making a better celebration face…
The current buzz in the gym world is that a Chinese Olympian at the 2000 Sydney Games was underage at the time she competed (the FIG states that says you have to be at least 16), and thus, the entire Chinese team that placed third is packing up their medals and shipping them to the US team that placed right behind.
Personally, I feel that the age limit should be taken away. I think that if you’re good enough to compete at the highest level, you should be able to do so regardless of your age. But rules are rules, and if it’s in print, you’ve gotta follow them. It’s great that the US team is getting their medal but I feel for the team that should’ve competed at the Sydney Games but didn’t get the chance to. After all, the girl that was caught as being underage also competed at the world championships the year before, which served as the qualifying competition for the Olympics. Total bummer.