Congrats to my “Other Teammates”!!!

01 Sep shonakamori No Comments »

Just learned that the Juntendo University Gymnastics team won their collegiate championships in Japan.  I was very thrilled to hear about it because they have been training really hard for that championship.

Definitely proud given that I trained with them for a couple of months during my study abroad program.

Congrats to the Juntendo Gym Team!

Team Pic with the Team (almost 2 years ago)!

Region 1 Congress/Future Stars Weekend

30 Aug shonakamori No Comments »

It was only my first full weekend back after returning from the National Championships but it turned out to be busy one, and one filled with a ton of gymnastics!

Not only did I swing by the Region 1 Congress to do a couple of presentations but I was also called upon to evaluate the boys at the Northern California Future Stars Testing.

I was totally lucky to have my old teammate, Abhi, with me for the congress presentations this time around. He definitely picked up a lot of the slack and put together some good slides while I was away for Nationals.  Last year, I had a tough time when I signed up to do 7 lectures all by myself.  Not only was it tough to prepare all of the slides, but by the end of the day, my voice was pretty much gone from speaking so much.  Signing up for less presentations, and being able to do them with another person definitely made things a lot easier!  As always, it was great seeing some familiar faces and also to meet some new coaches and gym enthusiasts!

As for the future stars testing, I definitely saw some good gymnastics.  Big props to the boys who are involved in the future stars program.  It’s tough because they have to learn specific routines for the future stars season on top of the other routines that they have to perform for the regular season.  Most of these boys will go off to the Regional testing next so definitely lots of luck to them!

Successful Congress/Future Stars weekend!

Back to the Grind

23 Aug shonakamori No Comments »

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?

Thanks for the sign guys!

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!

Back on!

19 Aug shonakamori 8 Comments »

Hey All, wanted to write a quick note saying that I successfully made it back onto the national team following the US National Championships.

It was a long two years after I hurt my knee back at Japan Cup in 2009, but thank you to all that supported me and believed that I could return once again.  This is only the beginning!

I would totally write more right now but sadly the meet went for a long time and it’s super late here.  More details to come soon.

Thanks again!

Go Time!

12 Aug shonakamori 2 Comments »

I can’t believe that USA Championships is already next week!  It’s honestly been a long time since I’ve felt the time move this quickly.  I think a huge part of this has to do with the fact that I’ve been very busy outside of the gym.  Training has been going well but I’ve also been putting a lot of my attention towards my work at the start-up company when I haven’t been in the gym.  All in all, the balance has been a healthy one and the two have been complimenting each other very well.  I’m sure that if I wasn’t working, that my time would be moving at a much slower pace!  My typical day goes like this:

  1. wake up
  2. eat breakfast
  3. work
  4. eat lunch
  5. back to work for a few (some days I’ll go off to my physical therapist to get some treatment)
  6. drive to gym (takes about an hour)
  7. train
  8. come back home
  9. eat dinner
  10. back to work to finish up whatever is left
  11. sleep

Yes, my schedule isn’t very flashy but it sure does keep me busy.  I’m definitely very excited for the meet next week though.  The last I competed was in February for the Winter Cup Challenge so it’ll be fun to be able to go the competition floor again.  I’ve been training hard so this’ll be a great opportunity to go put on a performance.  Can’t wait!  Hope the weather in Minnesota is nice though.

Recovery Phase

31 Jul shonakamori No Comments »

With USA Championships approaching in a couple of weeks, the main focus of my training has taken a slight shift.  While getting through the grind was the main focus over the last several weeks, I’ve now entered the recovery phase. This is the phase when I let my body rebound a bit so that I’m ready to take on the two full days of intense competition.

One of my biggest supporters that’s been helping me achieve this is Jacon Chun at Elite Sports Physical Therapy.  I’ve mentioned him a few posts back but I can’t be more appreciative for all that he’s been doing for me.  From the everyday pains to caring for aches related to overuse, his support has been tremendous, and a huge part of why I’ve been able to keep up with my training cycles.

Below is a picture from a couple of weeks ago when I was trying to fix a jammed finger.  Apparently using paraffin was to treat jammed fingers is fairly common but it was the first time I’ve used it so it was definitely rather interesting.  Either way, he’s got a ton of cool tricks up his sleeve to keep me in the best health possible!

Warming up my hand with the wax!

A couple more weeks to go.  Looking ahead but keeping it one day at a time!

Some R&R

20 Jul shonakamori No Comments »

In my latest post, I wrote that my life has been slightly busy these days especially with the combination of work and training.  But when things get hectic in my life, I make it a priority to do something completely unrelated to gymnastics and work to get my mind off of things.   Experiences have taught me that when I get too focused on a certain thing, my performance drops.  Doing something unrelated and letting off steam helps me recharge my batteries.

Last week, I went to another baseball game played between the Oakland A’s and the Seattle Mariners.  I was totally stoked to see my two favorite baseball players (Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui) play against each other.  Watching a high performance match definitely got me motivated to get back in the gym and train hard again!

Ichiro at bat! He had some good hits that day!

Matsui at bat. He also played well but I'm still waiting on his 500th home run!

Over the weekend, I went off to napa after my training to celebrate my old teammate’s birthday.  It was held at a vineyard and we had an awesome time.  Good food, good music and overall good time. The drive up and getting away from the hustle and bustle definitely helped me relax a bit!

My buddy Ambert's bday was held at the Trefethen Winery!

And most recently (on Sunday), I spent the early afternoon watching the women’s world cup final against Japan and the US with my mom.  Honestly, being a Japanese-American I was in a weird position as I didn’t know which team to root for.  There were also a couple of Stanford alums on the US team as well, which made choosing sides that much more difficult.  However, it was awesome seeing Japan win and seeing the reactions of the people in Japan.  It was a great moral booster for the country that has had to deal with so much after the tsunami/earthquake hit the northern region in March.  Definitely congrats to both teams though for playing an awesome match!

Happiness! Congrats to the Japanese team!

Finding that Balance!

10 Jul shonakamori No Comments »

Huge apologies for the lack of updates recently!  Although I’ve been telling myself that I’ll get on and write a new post, with all that’s been going on recently, it’s been getting placed on the back-burner.

With USA Championships coming up in about a month or so, my training has gotten quite a bit more intense.  Over the last couple of weeks we’ve been focusing on putting together the routines that I’ll be performing at the national championships.  There are of course some challenges with putting together new routines with added difficulties, but I’ve been making sure to take things one step at a time and trusting that my training will get me to the next level.

I will however admit that it’s been tough training in the summer heat lately.   Although it rarely gets that hot in Northern California, there are a few days out of the year when you feel like you could just melt.  The tough part is that most gyms in this area do not have A/Cs.  Luckily it’s been cooling down a bit and I’m hoping that this trend continues.  One of these days I’ll appreciate the summer heat when I’m no longer training long hours in a closed gym!

Lately I’ve been busy outside of the gym as well.  My work load at the start-up firm I work at has increased a good amount but it’s been interesting to learn about what it takes to grow a company.  All in all, I’ve found that the combination of work and training has provided me with a good balance in life!

Congrats Kevin!

26 Jun shonakamori No Comments »

It’s about a week too late but last weekend, I attended my friend (and 2008 Olympian), Kevin Tan’s wedding party.  His actual wedding was held in Pennsylvania where he currently coaches and attended college, but he had a reception party-type thing over in the Bay Area where he grew up.  Congrats to Kevin and Jessie and I wanted to wish them a bright future together!

Huge congrats to Kevin and Jessie!

New Promo Vid for the World Championships

16 Jun shonakamori No Comments »

Looks like my buddy, Fabian Hambuechen, from Germany recently went over to Japan to promote the World Championships to be held there later this year!

Just wanted to share that video today.

YouTube Preview Image

Again, I’m glad that the competition is going to stay in Japan!  This will be a great thing for the country that had to endure so much earlier this year.  Speaking of Worlds and Japan, the Japanese team was just selected over the weekend.  All I can say is that once again, they’ll be one of top teams along with China.  I have some personal friends on the Japanese team so I’m training hard to get myself on the US team so that I’ll be able to compete against them in October.  The American team will be selected in August.