Starting at the Very Beginning All Over Again


I’m so used to being in my comfort zone with Taekwon-do and now that I’m trying a completely new sport I find myself feeling like a White Belt all over again.  Everything is new, exciting, awkward, and confusing.  I have to start at the very beginning to get a good foundation of the basic movements before I get ahead of myself.

I had the most amazing training morning with Former Olympian Bill Heikkila and 6 time National Champion, Dominique Bilodeau.  We started by looking at some of my photos on his computer to look at my form.  I had no idea just how technical throwing the Javelin was.  Just like in TKD patterns everything has to be precise to be correct.  Everything right down to where my eyes should be focused.  Thankfully I’m a perfectionist and I love being critiqued since I know that is the only way I’m going to learn.  It kept hitting me how lucky I was to be getting this private training with these two amazing athletes when I’m just a beginner !!!  How cool is that?

Being in Bill’s home office was so impressive with the Olympian Memorabilia, framed Newspaper articles and Coaching Awards.  I am surprised and very thankful they want to coach me.  Dominique has trained with Bill for over 10 years so they have a great working relationship.

Dominque is just returning after three years of injuries and surgeries.  She was extremely nice and she explained things in a way that I know I will remember.   As soon as I told her I spoke french everything seemed easier and her passion for the javelin really came out.  I know Javelin is new to me but I think we have a lot in common and we both know what it takes to achieve our goals.  She has some big Javelin goals herself so that will help knowing that we are both motivated.

I need to be shown proper technique from where my eyes should be right down to where my feet should be.  Throwing the javelin really does use the whole entire body but a strong core is essential.  I’m thankful I’ve spent so many years doing millions of situps 🙂  Bill doesn’t let any small detail go un-noticed.

So many of the movements feel awkward since they aren’t things you do in your everyday life.  It’s amazing that I was able to feel the difference between doing it properly or not just after a couple hours.

Dominque was great for really guiding my body to do the correct form.  My main goal was to be able to ‘feel’ the proper technique so I can practice on my own.  I know I’m going to have a lot of hours praciticing on my own so I just want to make sure I’m practicing things properly.

I had no idea how expensive Javelins are.  My school has lent me one to practice with and then Dominque blew me away by lending me two of hers until I see her again.   That was so generous of her.  I promise I will take good care of them.  She has special ‘Training’ javelins.  They are softer so when you throw repeatedly it’s not as hard on your arm and joints.  I want to take advantage of the next month to train outside. before the ground gets too cold and hard.  I also have to get Javelin shoes.  I didn’t even know there was such a thing or where to get them.  Man I have  a lot to learn 🙂

I watched Dominique do some warm up drills so I could see how it’s done properly.  She makes it look so easy!

Then I tried to do what she did.  It was good to have her there since women throw a bit differenly from men since our centre of gravity is different.  Our body shape is quite similar too which makes it easier to mirror her.

Bill likes to push me and I thrive when I’m challenged!   It’s the best way to coach me.  He said “Kayla go throw 30 metres” so I did  – well almost 🙂  It actually pleased me since it was almost what my PB was and I wasn’t sure if that was a one time fluke.  I know with their training I will improve.

I didn’t want the session to end. I think they were worried about me getting overwhelmed or tired but to be honest I was just getting warmed up and wanted to do it all day.  It’s fun to be challenged like this.  I told my mom in the car ride home that I want to win at OFSAA next Spring.  It’s nice to have a something to work towards and it would be nice to win it for my high school too!!!

Thanks Bill and Dominique for giving up your Saturday morning to be with me.  I loved it!  You are both very inspiring!