29 January 2015

Setbacks in Training

I skipped out on training on Tuesday evening.

Skipped out probably isn't the best way to describe it. When I say that I feel like someone trying to skip class and not be found out. Saying "I bailed on training" also seems to imply that I would have rather been somewhere else than training.

None of the above statements are true, however.

I opted out of my training session because of injuries that started last week. When I start to train, this pain happen in my left leg, especially when I start to train a lot, especially sparring. The bouncing on my toes seems to aggravate one muscle posteriorly and I can usually push through it before giving it some rest, and then after resting it doesn't seem to be a problem. Perhaps if I had not trained on Friday and given my gimpy leg an extra night off I could have concentrated better, sparred better, and not gotten my toes caught in Ryan's forearm protector. Since then my left metatarsals have been a bit discoloured, swollen, and painful to walk on.

Looking back, I should have rested on Friday, but all I could this was "I don't have time to rest, I AM TRAINING FOR THE DUTCH OPEN."

OK, I know I'm putting a lot of pressure on myself, but this is going to be the biggest and one of the highest regarded competitions I'll ever go to. I'm even going to get a 1.08  Olympic ranking point for just participating!

But then I came across this article on the Juggernaut website. Different sport covered of course, but it was a reflection of one athlete's journey through injuries, not listening to their body, and not assertively managing the niggles. As much as I really didn't want to miss out on a chance to train on Tuesday I made the decision to not train, and will have to look at modifying the kind of training I will be doing for the rest of week. It's unrealistic to expect not to receive any injuries during training in a combat sport and need a couple days rest here and there. It was good to have a reality check, discard the pressures I have put on myself, and remember to listen to my own body.

This set back will not bring me down!

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If I could ask that anyone that stumbles across this to please keep showing support for me and my team to share this link with everyone in your network. We really appreciate the support we've been already shown but we're trying to get 1000 shares before the Dutch Open kicks off.

24 January 2015

Flash Fiction Challenge: It's Like Twilight Meets Frozen

Every once in a while I will read a blog post, or speak to a friend, or just have a moment of inspiration, providing the motivation for me to write something. My friend Terias McKlay posted a link on her FB page letting me know of this X meets Y challenge on Chuck Wendig's Terrible Minds blog and seemed rather fun.

The parameters were that I had to randomly generate a number for two lists and write a flash fiction that feels like I mashed the two stories together. Sort of. But that was the general idea. I originally got Frozen meets Star Wars and could come up with nothing. Nothing! So I kept Frozen (because who doesn't love that song?) and generated a number leaving me with Twilight.

Frozen meets Twilight.

Or whatever. This I could work with.

It's technically a day late and reads like fanfic, but I did have fun writing it and it seems a waste not to put it up.

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I do not own this picture. It belongs to it's owner (refer to signature).

15 January 2015

Dutch Open Training In Full Swing

The 42nd Lotto Dutch Open has been described to me as one of the biggest and the best Olympic Taekwondo competitions. Apparently every European National team will be there, along with competitors who hope to be on those National teams one day.

And then there's me.
I'm not sure there's a way to describe how I see myself in this competition, or in this competition circuit. I'm simultaneously too old and not old at all, fitter than I've ever been in my life and not fit enough, have never been more confident and too scared to take risks. I don't doubt my coach when he tells me that I have the potential and ability to compete at this level, but I feel easily intimidated by all those other competitors who have been doing this TKD their entire life or by those that are determined to create a road to the Olympics.

Ryan asked me after the first official training day how I felt about committing to the Dutch Open. I said I was terrified, for the reasons above. Ryan tried to put the competition into perspective for me and said "You're not going to die, no one's going to kill you." I know this, but I think it was too early days for me to feel confident about what I'm doing.

Two weeks into the month and the group of us have drilled techniques and sparred, drilled techniques and sparred, and oh em gee: I thought I was pretty fit but not where sparring is concerned. I barely make it through a full game without feeling like death.

So I've started to run again. Regularly.

Ok, so 3 out of 3 planned runs isn't exactly a habit or anything regular, but it is a major commitment on my behalf because I actually hate running.

Like, really hate.
I even asked Angus if he could set up a Nike+ challenge to help motivate me. Because I am that committed.

Let's not talk about how everybody else's mileage nearly demotivated me.
All in all, I am trying to enjoy the process. Not see the silver lining, but be grateful that I have the opportunity to compete at a level I never thought possible. And since starting up a GoFundMe campaign for me and my team I've been blown away by the support I've received from my family and friends. They've been so generous in contributing funds that in the first week Team Predator has more than half of the money needed to make this competition happen.

In the FIRST WEEK, I repeat.

I've felt unbelievably overwhelmed by not only their generosity, but their belief in me. So I just wanted to express my appreciation once more to everyone that has donated, shared our GoFundMe page on FB, Twitter, etc so far for me and my team, and ask that everyone please continue to show support for us.

Predator No 1.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

01 January 2015

Happy 2015!

Happy New Year! Happy 2015!

January 1st and it's time to turn over a new leaf! Time to commit to a new me! Time to make a list of 10 impossible goals and try to achieve them all.

Or not.

True to form, I haven't planned out this post weeks in advance, nor have I thought about this much more than "I should blog today." All I can say is that I don't know if this is going to be a pro-New Year's post or something a little more "Bah Humbug" of a post. I'll be honest: I'm not planning on turning over a new leaf or committing to being a "new me". I also already have a list of goals that I'm working through via the Day Zero Project.

Naturally, the internet was flooded with old and new posts regarding New Year's Eve and Resolutions and everything related to that. I read them out of interest, not really feeling the pull of "Oh em gee, time is running out! I must do everything on my bucket list in the next 12 months!". Don't get me wrong, I am feeling like I have a limited amount of time seeing that I'm turning 29 this year (...wut), but I feel like because I have a better idea of what I want to accomplish, I'm more comfortable with the time that will pass to achieve my goals.

The only New Year's Resolution I have ever kept is "No donuts for a year". I had made this resolution January 1, 2010.  It was a pretty simple, straightforward goal to make: achievable but yet, really challenging at the same time. Five years on, I still haven't had a donut and it's made a ridiculously good impact on my life since then. And if anyone is considering making a New Year's Resolution, I hope they don't underestimate the power of a small, sustained change.

However, if you're a believer in New Year's Eve parties and New Year's Resolutions that are big and bold, let me say this: I get it. I get why people make New Year's Resolutions, or at least consider them, or make a half-hearted attempt. I get it. I get the symbolism and the importance of finishing the old year in the fashion you mean to carry on. I get the symbolism of starting a new habit or making a commitment to something new when the calender flips to January 1st.

But, like I said, I've already got a list of goals I'm working on. When you've got a list of goals to work on that starts before Jan 1 and will take longer to accomplish than a week or a month, making a resolution specific to New Year's seems irrelevant. From my experience of New Year's Resolutions and participating in Day Zero Project, where I set out 101 goals to accomplish in 1001 Days, I've come to the conclusion that if there's something in life you want to accomplish, you won't wait for January 1, you'll start like, now.