I've covered a lot of kilometres in the last three days. About 1370 of them. That's 858 miles. My middle son K and I were out of bed at 5am Friday and on a bus at 7am with our fellow Taekwondo competitors. The trip took about nine and a half hours. We had to repeat it on Sunday to return home.
We were in Prince George, BC, for the Western Canadian ICTF Taekwondo tournament on Saturday. Unfortunately I don't have any photos to show you because I took my older video camera rather than my digital one. The hotel was just across the road from the Coliseum, an arena that was set up for the day with eight "rings" made up with competition matting.
We went over to the Coliseum at about 8.30am and were there until six. The competition starts with the youngest kids, white belts, works its way up through the age divisions and the ranks over the course of the day, culminating in the black belt patterns and sparring in the afternoon. K, being an 11 year old red belt, competed in the morning and earned two bronze medals, one for his pattern and one for sparring.
When you get to my age (44) there aren't that many competitors! In Taekwondo, the largest numbers are in the lower belts and younger age groups. In the 36 - 45 women's division, there were only two of us red belts. We were placed with the four black belts in the same age range, one of whom wasn't competing in the patterns section. So I was up against three black belts and a red belt. We do the pattern for our level - in other words, I was doing Hwa Rang, and the black belts were doing something else.
I went to the tournament with no expectation of earning a medal. My goal was to execute my pattern to the best of my ability, without messing it up due to nerves. I did better than that. I did it well with good power - won the first heat - did it again - won that - did it a THIRD time - won it again. I couldn't really believe it until they gave me the gold medal! I was so excited. I made sure to go over to my instructor and tell him as I didn't know whether he'd been watching - there's so much going on at once at a tournament.
I didn't enter the sparring part because I've been taking a rest from sparring since learning about my ovarian cyst, and it turned out to be a good thing as I would have been very nervous being up against the black belts.
So I'm home - a little short on sleep but happy!