Practice today was GREAT. Like I don’t even know why but I felt so amazing… it was like euphoria almost LOL but by the eighth and ninth swim, I didn’t feel so awesome anymore (lactic acid sucks) but I was proud of myself today. I was so exhausted after practice that I went to Vons and bought a quart of chocolate milk and just downed it in my car in the parking lot LOL and now I have a pack of Muscle Milk in my car for future practices.
Anyway, working out feels great and I’m definitely feeling much better in the water. I’m excited for Sectionals, but more importantly, I’m excited for the beginning of July. So anxious :X I hope my phone rings LOL
I was planning on writing a post about this weekend’s swim meet but I’m way too lazy LOL. To sum it up, it was a good meet for racing, bad for times, and fun to a certain extent. It was long as hell, but enjoyable making it bearable.
I went 1:10 today which was good and what I was aiming for.
I’m also sunburnt and way darker…not cool! And I have punishment butterfly for disqualifying the relay yesterday LOL
This post had a point but I forgot………
Okay well..Angry Birds is REALLY REALLY fun.
Oh yeah, I signed up for the September ACT LOL :( I thought I was done with standardized testing ugh
Aright. I suck at remembering stuff. Here is to the start of a good week? Hopefully.
Man…I haven’t blogged in FOREVER. I really have no time to do so (stupid swim meet) so I’ll catch up Sunday night.
But quick updates- been at swim meet all day for the last three days, last day tomorrow. Results were okay-all things considered, but holistically bad. But it’s understandable considering the timing of the season, and my week long break from training for Speech Nationals.
Winning is fun, losing is less fun, being blamed for a disqualification in a relay after winning a hotly contested race…not fun at all.
Also, I’m going to Brazil this August. Yay for going to South America for the first time LOL
“It’s a common belief that positive thinking leads to a happier healthier life. As children we are told to smile, be cheerful, and put on a happy face. As adults we are told to look on the bright side, to make lemonade, and see glasses as half full. Sometimes reality can get in the way of our ability to act the happy part though. Youre hope can fail, boyfriends can cheat, friends can disappoint. It’s in these moments, when you just want to get real, drop the act, and be your true scared unhappy self.”—Meredith Grey (via vickysu)
This post really has no point but I feel like I haven’t posted in a while so I’m just gonna start writing and see where it takes me….
I’m really itchy right now. Mostly because we were doing exercises on the grass outside the RB Aquatics Center and now I’m really itchy.
Today was fun- I went and visited teachers at summer school with Susanna and Celeste before going to Soup for lunch. Swim was fun because we did relays and it’s fun to race yays, but my day was very relaxing and summer-like.
Tomorrow is the first day of my four-day long swim meet. It’s a really dumb and pointless meet but we have to go kind of like as a gesture or I dont even know why we go, but point is- I don’t want to go but I have to so I suffer for the next four days at the expense of my coach’s satisfaction LOL even though I’ll be swimming slow
Aright, time to shower because this itchiness is getting really annoying.
Best of luck to John Laird who is running in a special election today in Senate District 15 for State Senate! His opponent, Assembly Republican Sam Blakeslee, is a former Exxon executive who voted in favor of offshore oil drilling and has received more than $1,000,000 in direct contributions and “independent expenditures” from organizations financed by the likes of BP, Shell, Chevron, Valero and Exxon.
So, GO JOHN LAIRD!
I haven’t really been a part of the voter outreach effort (my dissatisfaction with the political party system), but I support him and I am hoping for the best!
Back from KC, updates for last three days of Nationals
Well, it’s been a hella (that’s for you, Jenny) long week, but I’ve had so much fun and learned so much in these past eight days.
I just got home from the airport, and I have a lot to unpack. I was able to reflect on the first few days of Nationals, but because of time restraints and internet problems, I wasn’t able to write about the back half of the week, so here goes!
Wednesday was my last official day of competing since I didn’t advance to Semifinals. Thursday morning I woke up at 5 AM to go train with a local swim team to stay in shape (somewhat). I swam with the Tsunami Swim Team of Kansas City, and it was a very interesting experience to train in different places and meet new people.
One thing I learned about what the rest of the nation perceives of Los Angeles, is that they automatically equate Los Angeles with Compton and gangs. So everytime I tell somebody I’m from LA, they ask me, “WHOA have you ever been in Compton? What’s it like? Have you ever been shot at?”
Then I tell them that I took the ACT once in Compton and they freak out LOL
But anyway, the team was pretty interesting…their coach prints out the entire workout from a computer program (I’m guessing Hy-Tek or something) so every lane has a copy. I was lucky because I went on like a resting day, but it’s fun to meet new people! The team was uniformly Caucasian, so of course, I was the only minority, and they were mostly fascinated with California. They also had a very different work ethic than Rose Bowl, but they were a nice bunch, and I’m glad to have swam with them.
Thursday mid-morning was chill because I was done competing, and final rounds didn’t start until like four. I hung out with Monte Vista kids in the lobby and using the free wi-fi. By the way, the Marriott KCI has literally the worst internet you will ever have. I was supposed to have high-speed internet by wire in my room, but it broke, so I had to go to the lobby, where the internet was slower than you can ever imagine.
Interp final rounds were crazy! I LOVED it- it’s an amazing feeling to actually watch the performances on stage, live, in a setting you’ve idolized for years. HI was great- Lindsey White is truly a beast. DI was superb too (even though the results surprised me). Duo was AMAZING. I love the Front Porch Chronicles (even though they changed their ending). Schmitto/Rocero never cease to disappoint, and Sam Sulam and Jordan Phillips were PHENOMENAL. I’m so glad that I know them and I’ve been competing with them all year, and they truly blew the crowd away with their fresh approach. The Wiz was hilarious.
That night, I hung out with the Monte Vista kids. Over this week, I’ve pretty much gotten to know almost every person on Monte Vista pretty well LOL I guess the benefit of being a really small team is that you meet people? Anyway, that was fun and I love their team.
Friday was Oratory, Extemp, and Debate finals as well as awards. Oratory finals was impressive (but again, results were so surprising). Extemp- GO OSCAR! And that’s about all I have to say about that. Andrew, Sona, Rachel, and I actually ditched IX Finals because we were bored and hungry LOL and ate at this hotel restaurant (can you say chicken lips anyone?). Policy finals was thoroughly boring, LD finals was TERRIBLE, and Public Forum finals was good LOL I really wish I could have done public forum at Nationals with Andrew, but rules prevented us from going to Nat Quals in PF because of Duo. But PF is so fun and I miss it :(
Awards was so fun! Congrats to all those who broke, especially from East LA! District pride! LOL
The dinner Andrew and I had afterwards deserves its own paragraph. We went to the heart of downtown Kansas City to find like a LEGIT barbeque place. So we went to like the ORIGINAL KC BBQ place, called Gates BBQ, and it was such an experience. I’m not gonna lie, it was pretty scary because it’s not exactly the most upscale or nice or clean-looking restaurant- you don’t even sit down to order..it’s like you order at the counter and they give it to you, but it was INSANE! They literally just serve you meat smothered in sauce on a plate with some bread on the side. At first I was a little wary, but it was sooo good and sooo cool LOL Sit-down restaurants are lame! You have to go to Gates to get LEGIT KC BBQ!
When we got back to the hotel, we didn’t really know what to do. It was our last night! We met some kids from Ohio, and kids bored with the intention of staying up all night is never a good combination. There was a wedding reception/party thing at the Marriott and Andrew, me, and a few kids from Ohio decided to do a real life rendition of “wedding crashers.”
So we got dressed up (pretty easy since we just wore speech clothes), and thought of our back stories. Andrew and I were friends just out of college who were starting a small business.
We failed. We walked into the wedding reception around 1 AM and it was literally EMPTY minus the bride and about 15 people. We stood out like no other- the median age was probably like 45 but we trucked on. At first, we stood around awkwardly, but then we went to the dance floor in an attempt to blend in.
It didn’t work. The security dude walks up to Andrew and says, “Hey…who are you?” The kids from Ohio just book it, and I try to walk away casually. Then Andrew yells to me, “Hey Ray! Um…who are we?”
We just booked it out of the wedding reception and never looked back LOL then we just went to a Monte Vista hotel room. We watched some movie with Michael Cera (I forgot what it was called- I was too tired). It was alright, but I’m not into the sarcastic comedy that much. Then we pretty much just hung out…UNTIL 5 AM LOL!
Andrew and I trudged back to our hotel room and passed out. This morning we went to a breakfast place that served CREPES in downtown and it was delicious, and then we went to this WWI museum.
When we were figuring out what to do in KC, we kept googling stuff and like searching up tourist attractions, but there was literally NOTHING. Kansas City is so empty LOL it’s just museums. And everytime we meet somebody from KC, they say SORRY to us LOL like on the first day, we had this waiter who was like “where ya from?” and we were like “California!” and he said, “oh….I’m so sorry you had to come here :/”
So my first Nationals is now officially over. I’ve learned so much, I’ve grown a lot, and I’ve gained a much wider and greater understanding and perspective. It helps me understand the idea that there is always more to learn, more to conquer, and more to gain. And competing in ten rounds has helped me improve my style greatly. I know people WTF’ed when I qual’ed to Nationals with an Advocacy, so I didn’t want to waste this opportunity. Looking back, I’ve taken full advantage of this blessing, and I hope people will be more understanding now.
The other great thing about forensics is the friendships you make. I’ve met hundreds of people through speech that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, and without all of them, I wouldn’t be the same person I am today. It’s funny because you barely talk to them, you see them once a month (or even in longer intervals), and yet, you feel like you’ve known them for forever.
I’m more excited than ever for next year, now. SNFI is in a month, and I am so determined to succeed on the national circuit level next year. I am really hoping we can go to Glenbrooks and NCFL’s, but I guess we’ll just have to see. Oh, and yeah, I guess I’ll see you at Berkeley LOL :P
Back to California- back to reality. The reality of homework, college apps, swimming, and the craziness of life. Thanks for a great 8 days, Kansas City…
My post today isn’t filled with good news like yesterday, but it’s okay! :) LOL
Anyway, I competed in two quarterfinal rounds today at Park Hill South HS. They were both intense as hell; the competition is SOO unbelievably good. I got some good judge responses in my first round but my second round was dead. But I’m happy to say that I had good performances (relative to my own success) and I did everything I could.
Around 1:30 PM, semifinal breaks were posted and I wasn’t on there. Of course, my goal was Octos, and I was happy, but I couldn’t help but feel a tinge of disappointment. I still held onto a small notion of hope that said that I could break, but it’s okay because this experience is well worth it.
So, I watched Duo for the first round of semifinals. It was STACKED- Durfee/Johnson, Pough/Williams, Wong/Liu, The Wiz, Jungle Book, The Boy Who Fell Into a Book, and Front Porch Chronicles.
I was blown away by The Boy Who Fell into a Book and Front Porch Chronicles. Those two really impressed me, and I can see them both in final round. The Wiz was laugh-out-loud hilarious, but I felt it lacked a message. Durfee/Johnson’s duo this year is a little lackluster, and I don’t think they fully exploited their talents. Jungle Book was just weird and hard to follow.
I watched Oratory for the second semifinals round and it was AMAZING. I went to that particular round to support Brian Castelloe but I was so glad to have picked that round because everybody was so amazing. I love watching great oratories, and seriously, I don’t know how I would rank that round.
So final rounds start tomorrow. They will be in the KC Expo Center, and interp is tomorrow night. I’m excited to see what makes finals (we find out in about 20 min ish) and how they do!
Andrew’s results will be posted in about 20 min, so I’ll let Tumblr know how he does then! For now, wish him good luck!
Today was the first day of competition. Oratory was held at Oak Park High School which is a pretty nice campus. There were four rounds today. The first three were horrible. I literally botched every speech. Usually when I deliver my speech, it’s free of misspeaks but weirdly, today I had at least two misspeaks per round. I attribute this to speed because I have to go faster with my new revised speech which is about 300 words more than what I had at state so, yeah.
Anyway, first three rounds were bad. The competition here is generally very good. Everybody is solid and it’s different (also agonizing for confidence). My fourth round was much better- I slowed down and didn’t mess up.
The only other problem is that it’s awkward to deliver an OA/OO hybrid in rounds; people look at me weird and puzzled. But whatever.
The most influential part of this tournament is meeting all the people. Today I met orators from all around the country- Virginia, New Mexico, etc. And they all know each other because they all compete against each other on the national circuit. They have their own phrases, lingo, cliques, and are all famous and well-known, and this tournament exposed me to this whole new world of national speech.
Anyway, first day was mixed. Good in terms of learning, bad in terms of my own results. But I’m here to learn so I guess you can say it was a good day? Yeah, looking forward to Kansas City BBQ tonight! :)
It’s been an interesting time for me. Allowing outside forces affect me and my drive to continue to move this group forward. It’s another hurdle that I am going to use to reignite an internal drive to lead this group to new levels, and to do so in a way that I believe will be the best for the swimmers.
While it is amazing to me to see swimmers and parents make decisions based on nothing what-so-ever. The decision to leave this group has consistently come from those swimmers not willing to look within to reach the next level. From those swimmers that have consistently dropped time, but instead of committing themselves to continue the path that had brought them so far. In doing so, I have taken it very personal along the way. I am now committed to focusing on those in this group, blocking everything else out, and not looking back at all.
Which brings me back to the title of this entry. Motivation is an interesting thing. So easily relied on external forces to drive it all. If you are truly motivated to accomplish your goals, then you can be helped by a coach, but your real drive will come from within. When you rely on others to find that motivation, it is an excuse driven cause to why you won’t reach your goals or your overall potential. Looking for “change” to drive that motivation will lead to a failure to achieve your potential.
What are your goals in swimming? What are you willing to do in order to achieve them? Are you willing to push yourself past what is comfortable? Are you willing to commit to doing everything you can and stop looking for external excuses as to why you didn’t achieve as much as you wanted?
It’s time to raise that level again. If you aren’t willing to work hard, then this isn’t going to be the group for you. If you’re not willing to give it everything you have and follow the direction that I give, then this isn’t the group for you.
Every one of you have had your best seasons when you have been motivated, committed, believed and trained at the next level. It’s time to do that again, all together, and see what we can accomplish.
We arrived a few hours ago at the Kansas City airport. The weather is so annoying- it’s WARM, HUMID, AND RAINY WITH THUNDERSTORMS.
But anyway, I’m really excited. Tomorrow is a relaxing day to adjust to the environment and practice….then rounds start monday!
I am training with a swim team here in Kansas City while I’m here so I stay somewhat in shape. I hope it doesn’t take away from my speech performance D:
But regardless, this will be alot of fun and alot of learning.
Oh yeah, the Marriott wi-fi is down, so I have to go to the lobby for internet :/ I feel really disconnected from the world without internet.
It’s about 1:30 AM here, and Andrew is in the room talking to Tiffany on the phone, while I’m just checking stuff online. Marriott sucks because almost everything costs money.
Oh and Kansas City is so dead. It’s seriously like a dead town. I’m in the middle of nowhere of the middle of nowhere, where restaurants close at like 9 PM and the only store within any distance is a Wal-Mart Supercenter.
It’s also hot, sticky, and gross LOL.
Talk to you guys tomorrow! I am gonna work out and then sleep. Night!
I spent the first half of today shopping for scripts for speech in Hollywood (Samuel French Bookstore FTW!) and that was fun….until I backed into a MobileMe container which severely dented my car and back light. My mom yelled at me over the phone, but she has yet to see the damage. I’m so sad LOL sigh the damage is going to be expensive- I can tell already…
We ate at Kabuki (second time going there in like a week!) and that was delicious! Then I went to Graduation!
Graduation was so sad. I really don’t want these people to leave. I love them so much, and I really can’t imagine being without them. The sad thing is, today was the last time I’ll ever see many of the people that were there- it’s only you’re really close friends who you stay in touch with. So goodbye seniors 2010 :(
On a different note, I REALLY liked Cora’s speech; I was thoroughly impressed! I loved her message and I look forward to my own graduation in a year.
Life moves really fast, faster than you think. I mean, I’m already a senior. I’m leaving for Nationals tomorrow morning. It’s summer already…. what the heck? When did all this happen?
Before I know it, I’ll be sitting in my own cap and gown at the Santa Anita Racetrack.
To the seniors- good luck. I love you all so much, and I can’t express in words the impact you’ve had on my life. You’ve all been my role model, my teacher, my friend, and I couldn’t have done it without you. Good luck in the rest of your life- you will be great. Stay positive, fight for what you believe in, and stand tall and proud. Come back and visit, and keep in touch<3 I will miss you :(
Yesterday, I was talking to Virginia online and we were being our retarded selves. Then I signed off to sleep and this morning I got this offline IM:
2:03:53 AM vheemayo: imma miss you little one
And now I realize that these people are leaving. It hasn’t really set in yet. It set in a little more this morning, but I still can’t imagine speech without the people I’ve looked up to for the last 2 years.
I’ve been waiting for 9 months to say those words, and I can finally say it with pride and dignity.
Today was the last day of school, but it honestly didn’t feel like it. It felt like just a normal day…I guess I hyped it up in my head too much LOL
I woke up around 5:45 because I agreed to go jogging with June. The weather is soo nice for running in the morning- it was like misty, pretty dark, and very chilly…ideal running weather! We ran for about 45 minutes (fine, it was mostly walking LOL).
I grabbed Starbucks on the way to school and then had a very productive phone conversation with Ms. Novak. She’s onboard for my plan for speech event captains, and I’m very excited about that and its implementation. I am so eager to revamp speech, and we’ll see how this goes. But the best part is that Novak approves, and I’m glad!
Speech final…LOL Novak told me to make the class polish the trophies, so now they are all nice and pretty! Then Mandarin…I needed a 94% to get an A in the class. Sigh, I think it’s my only grade in question, and honestly it’d be a little embarrassing to get a B in that class.
Speech picnic after school! That was very fun and VERY SUCCESSFUL! I’m so happy that it ran so well, and I’m so excited. Meeting the novices was fun and they are all so peppy and friendly! This is going to be a good year… I can feel it!
Then Amit, Andrew, Nancy, Carl, Michelle, Alex, and I went to GUPPY TEA HOUSE<3 It was hilarious to see their facial expressions when they brought out the shaved ice…hahaha! Guppy is epic. Then we spent like an hour arguing over what we should do, and ended up hanging out at Nancy’s house. After I left, I dropped by Katie’s house since she just got home- it was nice seeing you!
All in all, it was a very awesome day. I love being carefree and whatnot…and I’m just so happy that school is over.
But I realize that there is so much to worry about still.
Well, at least for now I can relax a little. I am going script shopping in Hollywood tomorrow with Michelle…duo yay! Then attending Graduation.
I need to start packing really badly. Oh yeah, and memorizing my speech LOL QQ