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!

Raising Funds!

23 Mar shonakamori No Comments »

I had another exciting weekend.  This time I went down to a town called Lemoore (about 3.5 hours from where I live) to judge the boy’s state championships.  I was super impressed with the level of gymnastics at the competition and I’m looking forward to seeing the boys doing well at the Regional Championships in a couple of weeks! Hopefully I’ll get to judge that as well.

Wanted to send a quick thanks to the parents and staff of CCGI for putting on such a great event. The venue, the hospitality, and the hotel they put the judges up were all great!  They even helped me with fundraising for my training needs, and also for the recent earthquake and tsunami disaster in Japan.  We ended up raising a total of $335.60! My plans is to send this money out to the Red Cross to help with the relief effort in Japan.  Thanks to all that donated!  I have another opportunity to raise funds this weekend when I go to my friend’s gym in Santa Cruz for a little exhibition.  Definitely hoping to add a little more to that total!

Home-made donation box. Thanks to Mike for helping me with this!

On the training side, things have been going well.  My body is feeling good so I’m hoping to keep this up.  I definitely need to since I’m planning on doing some upgrades for my routines for the summer!

Off to States

18 Mar shonakamori 2 Comments »

I’m traveling down to Lemoore, CA tomorrow to judge the NorCal Boy’s State Championships.  The same gym that hosted the meet down in Visalia about a month ago (here’s the link to that post) is organizing the event.

As you can see from the picture below, it’ll be another far trek (3.5 hours to be exact) but I’m excited to be able to judge some good gymnastics.  I’ll be judging floor this time around.

Route to Lemoore

I’ve also asked one of the ladies that is organizing the competition to put up a donation box to help out the victims from the recent earthquake/tsunami in Japan.  From watching the news, it looks like Japan is still suffering from the aftershocks and radiation. I’m hoping that whatever collected will help those in need!

Long Days

16 Mar shonakamori No Comments »

Had another eventful weekend judging a boys gymnastics meet.  This time around, it was the level 4 state championships.  Judging is always fun, especially the younger boys.  They always remind me that regardless of how serious you have become with the sport, at the end of the day, gymnastics should be fun.  This is something that I often forget.  Being able to judge, seeing the kids, and chatting with coaches and old friends seem to be a great stress reliever.

With the time change on Sunday, I nearly missed the first session of the competition (yea terrible I know).  Although I changed the time on my cell phone (which also serves as my alarm), I guess I forgot to change the time on the room clock.  When I looked at it in the middle of the night, I I tricked myself into thinking that I had more time than I actually did when I fell back to sleep again.  In the morning, I got a frantic wake-up call from one of the judges but luckily they were able to stall the meet enough (5 minutes to be exact) for me to get there.

While judging was fun, I feel like the last several days have stretched on forever.  With the sad news of the quake and tsunami in Japan, I’ve been feeling emotionally drained and slightly frustrated.  Although I was relieved to hear that that none of my relatives and friends in Japan were harmed, it still pains me to think that there are so many other people that have lost pretty much everything.  I wish I could just pack up my stuff and jump on a plane to go help, but it seems like the situation is so bad that warnings are going out for travelers to reschedule their trips to Japan.  I’m hoping that things will start to turn around for them soon.

Here is another link for all of you that are interested in helping:  I also donated to the Red Cross the other day!

Red Cross - Japan

Pray for Japan!

11 Mar shonakamori No Comments »

Just wanted to shoot a quick update about the earthquake in Japan.  Luckily none of my family, relatives, and friends were hurt.  Tried getting a hold of them last night but phone lines were out pretty much all day.  Thank goodness for the internet and social media, which helped me get a hold of them.  However, there are a ton of people out there that have lost their homes and their loved ones and my heart goes out to them.  I’m also praying that the people missing are safe and alive.

My friends that train close to where the center of the quake was, were able to evacuate in time.  Apparently they are taking cover at the gym but I’ve been told that they are without food and electricity.  Hopefully help reaches them soon.

It’s scary to think that I might’ve been in Japan at this time.  I was supposed to be there for family reasons but had to change plans at the last minute.  It makes me shudder just thinking.

I know a lot of people are behind Japan as they begin to try and rebuild.  I’m also sure that they’ll rebound stronger than ever as the Japanese are a resilient bunch.  Please continue to pray for Japan!  Here’s also a link for those of you that might be able to help with their rebuilding process:

Pray for Japan!

Stay Safe Everyone!

11 Mar shonakamori 7 Comments »

Just learned that an 8.9 magnitude quake just hit Japan.  I’m sending out my prayers to my relatives and friends in Japan, and horrified about what’s happening while I watch the news.  I called my relatives but phone lines seem to be down.  Especially worried about my friends up in Sendai, which is close to the center of the quake.  Hoping everyone is staying safe…