The party at the dojang was a lot of fun but I had to get home to pack since I was leaving the next day and I had so much to do. Everyone kept telling me to go home and rest since they could tell I was still coughing badly.
When I got home my soccer teammate and good friend Alex, had left me a 4 page motivational letter in my mailbox. It was so sweet and I could just see her writing it 🙂 I’m sorry I missed her dropping by. Thanks Alex. You are such an amazing friend. The phone kept ringing with family and friends calling to say good-by. Its funny how you prepare for something like this for years and then when the time is right if front of you, you can’t believe it’s time to go.
Just as we started to pack I had another great surprise!!! An old training buddy Kelvin Kung showed up at our house around 10:00. Kelvin won a bronze medal for Team Patterns 6 years ago in Bulgaria. I used to train with him everyday at Kou’s TKD. He’s a good friend of my brother and he’s like another older brother to me. Years ago we traveled all over the place to compete and train together. Talking about all those times made me realize just how ready I am for this. People think that just because I’m young I don’t have the experience of the other competitors but I’ve been doing this my entire life and even longer then some of the people in the adult division.
Kelvin is extremely shy but we just ‘get’ each other. He brought me a letter to read on the plane and I can’t wait to open it. We just kept talking and talking and he didn’t end up leaving until 2:30am! It was awesome 🙂 He said he wanted to come by and give me a pep talk. He talked about his experiences at his World Championships and I could tell he was completely reliving it. He just had a little grin. I remember how excited and proud I was for him before he left for his World Championships. I was only 9 years old at the time but I made him a huge poster to send him off (he says he still has it) and then my family and some friends went to pick him up at the airport when he got home and we all went out for a nice dinner to hear about his trip.
I’m so lucky to be surrounded by so many world class competitors. I also think its funny that we all seem to be on the same page and think the same. When he was describing how he felt as he was going into the ring I felt like I was right there with him. We react to things very similarly. I think you almost have to go through all the training and the sacrifices to really understand what this process is like. It’s certainly not for everyone. Even though he was talking about his experiences that happened 6 years ago you could tell how vivid the memories are to him still. You don’t forget this stuff.
My brother Greg and his girlfriend Angela and another one of their friends Cody, where all over and it was a great way to spend the last night together. Needless to say I didn’t get a whole lot of packing done but talking to Kelvin was way more important to me. It’s funny I was getting more excited and pumped and I was actually feeling much better as the night went on. Maybe just hanging around friends was the best medicine 🙂 Thanks guys.
I had to make sure that I packed all my Canadian souvenirs to exchange with competitors from other countries. I also brought my official Canadian Flag that the Legion gave me, my TKD teddy bear, my ‘special’ bracelets and of course all my letters of ‘good wishes’. There are soooooo many to read on the plane so that will be fun.
I also had a nice surprise of receiving a donation from my kindergarten teacher, who also taught me English all the way through to 5th grade. She knew even back then how important TKD was to me. It’s overwhelming (in a good way) how much support I’ve had over the years. Thank you Miss Charlebois 🙂