Let’s face it, I expected too much of yesterday’s German Open Poomsae Championships. No wonder, I’ve been thinking about nothing else during the past two months of training. Whenever I pushed my limits an inch further, whenever my legs were sore and I almost couldn’t make that 144th kick of the day, I thought of the moment I would receive my medal and cry of joy. All those moments of endurance and effort, plus all the good luck wishes from my Korean coach and master Bob, my family at home, my mother who drove me to Germany and everyone else who supports me, flashed before my eyes. 2 months of die hard training had to be expressed in a less than 2 minutes lasting performance. And at the first movement, I slipped… Not as tragically as it sounds, but in a field of 41 contestants from the National Teams of Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, etc., a slip can be fatal. However, I don’t think it was the slip that put me down to a first round elimination. Nor was it the new outfit that didn’t feel good or the clammy, ill-aired competition hall. Those are all excuses. They’ll always be there when you look for them. You can only win if you surpass the excuses, being prepared for everything and able to compete under the highest pressure. That takes more time than 2 months, I admit.
“Don’t practice until you do it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong” is a famous sports quote. As my performance in hometown gym American Fitness last thursday went way better than yesterday’s, I think I’ve mastered the first part of the quote. It’s the second part that takes me back to Korea for another 2 months of training. Because the first thing I did when I saw the results of the first round yesterday, was sending a message to Korea with the words: “Giving up doesn’t belong in my dictionary.”