Archive for the Uncategorized Category

The Bears are Back!

16 May shonakamori No Comments »

I know that this is old news by now but I thought that I should make a quick mention because I did a couple of posts about this a while back.

For those of you that didn’t know, community and family members were able to raise enough funds to get Cal Men’s Gymnastics reinstated!  Now all five teams (I think it was five) that initially got cut from UC Berkeley’s athletic program are set to return, and men’s gymnastics will be back for their 100th season!  Huge thanks to the people that donated, spread the word, or simply prayed for their return.  This is great news for everybody in the gymnastic community.  I feel especially happy for the youngsters that’ll have Cal as one of their options for college.

Cal Men's Gym Team

I understand that their fight is not over yet.  The current amount raised will only get them through the next eight years or so and they’ll need more funding if they wish to keep it running.  For those interested in helping out, check out Cal Gymnastics Forever.

Far West Rice!

11 May shonakamori No Comments »

Far West Rice is the official rice supplier for Sho Nakamori!

My official rice supplier - Far West Rice!

As an Asian that grew up with rice in pretty much every meal of the day, rice is a necessity in my life.  For some reason (I don’t know the science behind this) I seem to get the most energy out of rice compared to other carbohydrates.  It’s definitely my source of life.

Fortunately over the last few years, I’ve become good friends with Steve Ross, who works for a rice production company called Far West Rice.  Steve is also the boy’s head coach at Oroville Gymnastics, which is how I got to know him.  Anyway, all of us in the NorCal gymnastics community has become a huge fan of his rice.

Big thanks to Steve and FWR for keeping my rice bowl full!  For info on their products and their special green technology they use to mill their rice check out their site here.

Sign of Hard Work!

01 May shonakamori 2 Comments »

Huge apologies to everybody that regularly check into my website!  I’ve been really bad about uploading new posts as lately I’ve been super busy both in and out of the gym.

My work outside of the gym has ramped up over the last week or so. I’ve been so busy that I find myself constantly on the computer if not at practice.

Inside the gym, I’ve been gradually ramping up the intensity.  With summer right around the corner, it’s now the time to start preparing for some competitions again!  For the last couple of months I’ve been playing it careful by nursing some old injuries, while learning some new skills.  However, I’ve been working to switch over to that different mode.

Interestingly, I’ve come to associate hard work with some pain (both mental and physical). Obviously I don’t go and purposefully inflict pain on myself, but I do get that sense of satisfaction when I come home beat up and sore from training.

Recently, pommel horse has been giving me a good beating.  I know at first glance it doesn’t look to be dangerous.  The pommel horse is close to the ground and we don’t perform and flipping skills on it.  But every single time we clip the horse with our legs, we’re left with cuts and bruises.  I think the perfect way to describe my shin nowadays is that it looks like a battlefield!

Cut, bumps, and bruises are all part of training!

Gotta get through these tough trainings though!  There’s no way around it!

Keep Worlds in Tokyo!

21 Apr shonakamori 2 Comments »

The recent earthquake and tsunami that wrecked northern Japan about six weeks ago is taking effect in the gymnastics world as well.  It’s been planned for a while that Tokyo is supposed to host the World Championships this year, but with all that’s happened, the FIG (the governing body of gymnastics) is considering moving it to another site. Personally, I’d hate to see this happen.  Especially since I’ve been working hard with the hopes of competing in Japan again.  The last time I competed there was in 2009 at the Japan Cup, which was the same meet that I injured myself at.  This is one of the reasons why I wish that they allow Tokyo to host the meet. I would love to have another shot at showing a good performance in Japan.

Not to mention that all of my relatives and a bunch of my friends are out in Japan!  It’d be awesome to be able to compete in front of them again!

Japan - World Championship Logo

As for the general people in Japan, this will be a good opportunity to boost their morale after going through such a devastating incident.  To get people from all over the world for the World Championships in one place and at one time will definitely be a great thing for the Japanese people.

A good friend of mine, Aki, did some translation work in a recent article on IG regarding this situation (good work Aki!). Check it out here.  I’m crossing my fingers that they’ll keep Worlds in Tokyo!

Check out the promo video for Worlds below:

YouTube Preview Image

(I’m slightly confused by the lady standing in the field during the middle of the montage…)

My Visit to the Sakura Matsuri

18 Apr shonakamori No Comments »

It’s mid-April, the weather’s warming up, and the flowers are blooming. So, what does this mean? It’s cherry blossom viewing time! In Japan, this is the time of the year when families and company groups will go out to the park for picnics under big cherry trees.  Unfortunately we don’t have this custom in the US.  But what we do have is the annual Cherry Blossom Festival (Sakura Matsuri) at San Francisco Japan town.  Given that I had nothing going on this weekend, I decided to go check it out.  See pics below:

One booth was selling dolls and characters made out of felt. I don't think that this was on sale but this picture is of a human-sized Tottoro!

Cosplay people in the parade - I definitely saw multiple pikachus and final fantasy characters.

A guy on a huge mikoshi (float). Sorry for the two guys wearing the g-string. It's tradition in Japan for guys to be wearing this type of outfit at a festival. Over twenty people were carrying the float. I can only imagine how heavy it was with the two guys and the sake barrels on the float!

With tons of food booths and cultural performances, it turned out to be a fun day.  It was very fitting to have such an event at this time, and for the people come and show support for Japan with what happened to the country in the recent earthquake and tsunami devastation.

Staying Healthy is Half the Battle…

15 Apr shonakamori No Comments »

As they always say, staying healthy is just as important as training hard. I’ve known many talented athletes that had to retire or couldn’t compete to their full potential because of injuries.  It’s tough but that’s the way it goes…

You can’t predict when injuries happen either.  But there are things you could do to prevent or keep that injuries that you have in check.  Staying on top of the condition of your body and working with physical therapists are vital to performing at the highest level.  While I was a college student, this wasn’t such a big deal.  I had full access to the physical therapist and doctors whenever I wanted (yes, NCAA athletes are spoiled in that sense). Now that I’m out of college and I’m on my own, the situation is a bit different.

However, I recently reconnected with an old friend of mine that used to work at Stanford as a PT (physical therapist) while I was a student there.  The PT, who’s name is Jacon, opened up his own clinic called ESPT a few years ago.  He’s been treating a ton of very successful athletes since he opened his doors.  He’s got a ton of experience under his belt and understands the needs of the athletes that take part in various sports.  Luckily my knee is feeling great (it’s been about a year and a half since surgery) but I know I’ll need his help with my regular aches and pains.  I’m very fortunate to have Jacon on my side as I continue about this journey of mine!

My PT, Jacon Chun!

For all of you in the Bay Area needing some help in physical therapy, Jacon is the man to go to!  Check out his site here!

Elite Sport Therapy in Fremont, CA!

Regional Championships Concludes

13 Apr shonakamori 2 Comments »

Just finished judging the Region 1 Championships over the weekend, and I’ve gotta say that that was by far the longest weekend of judging for me.  It was definitely tough to be focused on every single deduction on 800+ routines, but it was well worth it.  Not only was it fun seeing some great routines (especially the optionals session) but it was nice seeing the kids continuing to work hard and getting better!  I’ve been judging for about 7 years now and it’s been fun seeing the kids improve over the years (especially the ones from out of state since I generally only judge in Northern California).  Just seeing that made everything worth it!  Plus, as I always say, I want to do my part to give back to the gymnastics community, and this is the least I can do.  With regionals over, I won’t be judging again until next season (unfortunately I won’t be at JO Nationals).  That said, I wish all of the athletes luck in their summer training!

Wanted to give a quick shout out to the parents of these gymnasts.  Each one should give themselves a pat on the back!  It’s not easy to take time off of work and travel long and far to bring their kids to these meets.  Behind every athlete is a ton of support from family, coaches and friends.  Can’t forget about the coaches either.  Some of them were there for every single session starting from Thursday – Sunday.  I understand that their job is to be there for the athletes but I wanted to point it out that it’s definitely a lot of work keeping the athletes safe.  Big thanks to the coaches!

Go Go Godzilla!!!

06 Apr shonakamori No Comments »

With the weather last week oddly hot, I thought that we had passed over spring and went straight to summer.  Despite feeling drained from the quick change in weather, I had some great workouts in the gym.  Luckily the weather cooled a bit over the weekend, and to cap off the week, I went to an A’s game during their opening weekend with my friend, Aki, and my mom.

With Ichiro from the Mariners playing Matsui from Oakland, the coliseum was packed with Japanese people, not to mention that it was also Japanese heritage day.  To be honest it was a weird feeling.  With so many Japanese people there that day, I literally thought that I was back in Japan!  Having a Japanese heritage day during this time was definitely very fitting though with the recent tsunami and earthquake disaster in Japan.  It was a great opportunity for the Japanese community to rally together and raise some funds for the victims that are suffering out there.

As for the game, it was great because we were able to witness the first hit for Matsui wearing an A’s jersey and also his 2,500th of his professional career.  With Matsui now on the A’s, and Ichiro on the Mariners, I had a difficult time rooting for one team over the other.  In the end, the A’s ended up winning, which I thought was a good thing given that they lost their two previous games against the Mariners.  I’m also glad they won because there was a lot of attention on Matsui that day since they were giving out free “Matsui T-Shirts.”

On the jumbotron after being interviewed!

Oakland Coliseum packed with Japanese people!

Matsui on First Base!

Ichiro protecting RF!

I totally felt recharged after watching such an exciting game.  I’ll definitely need it though because this weekend will be a long one.  I’m judging the Region 1 Championships for the boys.  I’m definitely looking forward to this though.  There should be some good quality gymnastics and it should be a fun one!

Turn Around in the Weather!

29 Mar shonakamori No Comments »

Although the weather last week was absolutely terrible (super rainy all week and weekend long), it wasn’t enough to put a damper on the important events I had planned to attend.  On Friday, I headed over to Berkeley to watch their “last” home meet when they hosted Stanford.  Members of the gymnastics community are refusing to call this the last one however, as we’re hoping that Cal will somehow be able to raise the $4 million needed to reinstate the program.  For more information, please go here.

Despite the weather being terrible terrible, a ton of people still made it over to the meet.  There must have been close to 3000 people in that arena!  Although Stanford ended up beating their biggest rival, I know that the Cal team will not back down and will definitely use the meet as a motivation to come back stronger for the post-season meets.

On Saturday, I headed over to my friend’s gym in Santa Cruz for a small demonstration.  Although the drive was supposed to take only 1.5 hours, the messy weather and mudslides caused some delays, and it took me about 2.5 hours to make it over.  After several detours and my friend’s husband navigating me through the backroads of Santa Cruz I got to the gym safely!  I ended up having a great time interacting with the kids and the families and was also able to raise another $50 for the Japan relief effort.  This puts the total fund close to $500!

Although the weather last week was just downright bad, it seems like spring has finally arrived this week in California.  It’s supposed to be in the 80s by mid week!  My body will definitely appreciate this weather as it’s a lot easier to train when it’s warmer out.

Oh, and for those that were wondering, I just got assigned to judge the boy’s Region I Championships.  I’ll be judging floor all weekend. Looking forward to seeing my friends and familiar faces again next week!

Poster for Region 1 Championships

Cal’s Final Home Meet

24 Mar shonakamori No Comments »

Wanted to do a quick post to urge everyone that’s around to attend the gymnastics meet between UC Berkeley and Stanford tomorrow evening (Friday) at 7:30pm.  This might possibly be the final home meet for the Golden Bears.  There is one way to get their team reinstated however.  They must get a total of $4 million in pledges between now and the next five years.  Either way, they’re hoping to get their gymnasium packed for what might possibly be their final home meet.  This would mean a whole lot to the gymnastics community and I’m sure the athletes will be excited to be able to compete in front of a packed house!  Don’t miss out. I should be an exciting meet as these guys are getting ready to peak at next month’s NCAA Championships.  I’ll be there for sure to show support for both teams (even though I graduated from Stanford)!

Support Cal Gymnastics!

Hope to see you all there!