I can’t express how much fun I had in Montreal this week. Not only was it amazing training but it was also a great experience trying new things.
I stayed with Stephanie Boivin and we never stopped from morning till night. In the first three days, we drove to her chalet, kayaked, saw fireworks, and went biking and to La Ronde.
Whenever we get together we always challenge each other in sports. Stephanie is also a national level cyclist so when she told me we were going for a bike ride I knew I was in for a scary experience. She and her friends suited me up in spandex, sunglasses, helmet and made me ride a bike with my feet clipped in. Crazy! After a few quick instructions we were off. All I had to remember was to take me feet out of the clips before I hit the brakes. Sounds simple right? NOT!
We went to the gym the next morning for a spinning class and weight lifting. Not sure I’ll ever be able sit down properly again 🙂 I can honestly say I don’t know anyone in better shape. We ate so much all week but it was all healthy food. With all the energy we were putting out we needed to constantly eat 🙂
While she had her ‘real’ cycling training I had a blast hanging out with Alexandre Matta and some of their other friends. Swimming, and just being together was perfect. After a great TKD training 15 of the people training surprised me with a fun dinner out too. It was the first time that I had met most of them but they were all so nice and made me feel apart of the group 🙂
Sorry but I don’t have any pictures of the training. My mom always takes pictures and she wasn’t there 🙁
I was asked to help lead the TKD classes and I have to admit it was a real honour. Everyone worked so hard even though it was extremely hot and humid! Stephanie lead the fitness training part and I helped out with the TKD training. One of the nights was their competition training and the students take it very seriously. We did some ‘mock tournaments’ since some of the students have never competed before and it was good for them to practice what it’s like to compete beside someone and all the different protocols that are expected in competition. It was great to see how receptive everyone was. There is nothing more satisfying helping someone learn who actually wants to. It’s always a bit awkward the first time in front of a group of strangers since you never know how hard to push them or what they are used to not to mention they all spoke French. At first I was a little nervous but everyone made me feel really comfortable so I started to speak French with more confidence. The coolest part was at the end of the week, I couldn’t remember if I was being spoken to in French or English. Both nights, I had a great time! I felt that I was able to help with some corrections in their patterns and it was great to see them understand. It may sound weird but when Stephanie introduced me at the beginning of the class as world champion and 2 time silver medalist I had two people ask me for my autograph. I was touched and it felt surreal.
I really wasn’t ready to come home. I was having so much fun and I loved the training so much. It’s always fun training with new people and challenging yourself with new experiences. Steph and I have a motto for this summer. “It’s all about the experience.” It explains exactly what I am trying to do, and these weeks are what make my summer that much more special and exciting. Life is simply too short not to enjoy every moment and try everything.
My mom picked me up at the bus terminal tonight and we drove directly to my regular dojang since I already had my dobok with me. She wasn’t surprised that I wanted to train more since she knew I had a renewed excitement for training. There were 4 new white belt children when I walked in and it was awesome that I got to instruct them. I love training white belts since they are eager, excited and don’t have a lot of bad habits to undo. They worked so hard. I’m not sure if it was my excitement and enthusiasm that rubbed off on to them but it really doesn’t matter what it was. They had a blast and learned a lot.
Now it’s time to switch hats and get ready for my soccer game in Toronto in two days. Off one bus from Montreal for TKD and on to another one to Toronto for soccer. What a great summer!