It’s been an interesting couple of weeks since Nationals, with many thoughts going through my mind. It was an emotional roller coaster at first, but I think it’s safe to say that I’m back on track. However, I really need to contemplate on securing sponsorship for up to the next 2 years, and that will be my greatest challenge. Perhaps this may be one of the greatest turning points in my life… ultimately, it’s the passion that keeps me going, and if I quit and just let it die, it may be one of the biggest regrets in my life. Regardless of the struggle, I have to understand why I want to continue and make the right moves to achieve my goals. As I am already at a financial disadvantage starting in June when my funding cuts out, I need to maximize all the opportunities that come my way. Long ago, I realized that I cannot train like players from other countries with more structured programs and adequate finances, but I would have to ‘make the most of a bad situation’. This is one of my new mantras in training, as a way to maximize opportunity. Change must begin with the self, and even a change in attitude can make the biggest difference.
In Austria, we had the chance to see some of the Olympic events and it has been extremely inspiring. Despite watching all those gold medal performances, I looked at those who didn’t perform as well either, because that was what I was like in London. I’m like that guy at the end of the race, who maybe had no chance of ever making to the podium, but it’s been an incredible journey just to be there and represent my country. Perhaps it’s not reasonable to be one of the best in the world given the system I’m in, but trying the best I can possibly be in a broken system. I can’t change a broken system, but I can do my best to make sure that my body, mind, and spirit remain intact. How can I expect to push the boundaries of my sport if I’m broken as well? Needless to say, it was inspiring to see the brilliant Canadian performances, as I was fortunate to get to see Kaillie Humphries and Heather Moyse win the women’s bobsleigh, Jennifer Jones and her team win the women’s curling, and I caught the very end of the women’s hockey after they pushed the game into the overtime. However, I was most interested in the Women’s figure skating, as I’ve enjoyed following Yuna Kim from South Korea since I first saw her skate in Vancouver 2010. She performed well and despite all the controversy in the judging and coming second, I admire her personal character and all she has done leading up to this Olympics. She is truly an inspirational athlete, and you can learn more about her in a short interview here: (http://www.feverskating.com/fevers/64985230)
|(Photo Credit: Badmintonfoto.net)|
After watching the Olympics and seeing so many different people having their spotlight moments, I thought about it for a long time. As results go, it’s frustrating because I want to be able to perform and do well, but the spotlight goes to other players. It’s like I’ve become invisible after Nationals, simply because of all the things that happened and I was simply an observer. It hurt because I felt nobody cared about what I did, especially after the coaching conflict at Nationals. But then it came to me… why should I care? I actually don’t care who gets the spotlight, and the moment I realized it, I felt relief. I personally don’t need spotlight attention, be it interviews, recognition, or keep-sake awards. However, when it comes to funding, that’s a different story altogether, because I’m severely at a disadvantage when other people get funding and I don’t. But there’s very little I can do about that. All I can do is continue my “pursuit of happyness”. Not my pursuit for glory or attention, but a pursuit for personal success, knowledge, and to make a positive difference in my field of choice. That’s why I want to continue playing, and that’s why I hope you will continue to support me. All I want is a level of respect that reflects the abilities I possess, and I would be a very happy person.
So where do things go from here? I anticipate that I will need to find some serious work, perhaps getting a personal training certification and working as a locum kinesiologist. I would like to do more coaching work, but not if it will conflict with the other coaches. I will continue learning as much as I can about strength & conditioning, and hopefully I can start a strength program at my badminton center. I don’t foresee any major competitions until Canada Open in July, so I have a solid 4 months to train towards my summer tournaments, including US Open, maybe Commonwealth Games, and the 2014 World Championships in Denmark. I’m keeping in touch with my partner Alex Bruce, and we will hopefully have at least a month to train together before the big tournaments in the summer. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out her promo video for the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games!
Hopefully, I can start blogging a bit more in the future. I’m not too sure how I want to approach it, but I would like to combine thoughts from both Strength & Conditioning and badminton. I suppose I’m in a very niche position, having very technical proficiency in my sport, while trying to apply S&C principles. I’m not about trying to invent sport-specific practices in the gym, but I want to look at concepts that are used in badminton training that may violate S&C principles, and how certain S&C principles can be adapted to badminton. I honestly don’t know too much about other sports, but I’m learning. I suppose you never know what you can use from one sport which may transfer to another. For example, any type of shoulder correctives from baseball may easily apply to badminton. Or kettlebell swings and the difference between tension and relaxation can be applied to the badminton stroke to increase the power of the shot. Regardless, there are so many questions floating through my mind, and maybe someday, I’ll have an answer.
Aside from a National Team camp near the end of May, I’ll be pretty much training and applying for odd jobs, so I’ll definitely not be in the spotlight, but that’s okay. Just know I’m “back in the lab” and let’s see where I’ll stand this summer. As for strength, sales, and general concepts in life, I prefer quality over quantity most of the time. I’m not interested in writing garbage to attract the general masses, but I would much rather write quality to a smaller group that understands and respects me. I train the same way, I teach the same way. So thank you to those who take the time to read what I write, or hear what I have to say. You are the ones who keep my passion alive and I hope I can inspire you at least just a little bit, to chase your own passions, to do it with quality, and to inspire others who are just like us.
|(Upgraded on the way home from Vienna to Toronto on Austrian Air)|