Thursday, October 30, 2008

Fear of Failure

My wonderful cousin, Ann, gave me the idea of starting this blog. (Thank you, Ann!) I thought it was a great idea! I immediately got on this website and created an account. But as soon as I logged on for the first time, I hesitated. This blog meant that people who are close to me will see that I have a dream, which is to one day make it to the Olympics. BUT if I never make it to the Olympics, everyone will see that I failed.

I think I've always been afraid of failure. In grade 9, I ran for the position of Junior Mayor on the student council. I really put a lot of effort into the campaign and in the end I failed. After that, I decided never to put myself in such a vulnerable position again. I can see how my fear snuck its way into such simple, everyday things. This might be a silly example.. but when playing the drums, I would have this ongoing struggle in my mind (while playing the song). One part of me wanted to play a difficult fill that would probably sound cool and the other part of me wanted to play it safe with a simple fill. And when it came time, I would almost always play it safe. Whenever I did go for that cooler sounding, more difficult fill, I hesitated and got off beat... failure.

In so many aspects of my life, I self-limited myself because I was afraid I would fail.

When talking about archery with friends, I would often hear things like, "cool! What do you want to do with archery? Go to the Olympics?" I would always reply with a safe answer.. "mm yeah maybe, we'll see." Yep, I would give a safe answer while on the inside, I knew SO clearly that my answer should have been a solid, "YES!"

So, I'm trying to be brave and I'm letting everyone in. I'm letting you follow along my journey to achieving my dreams even with a lot of uncertainty as to whether I'll actually achieve them or not. Even the URL to my blog http://koreatolondon tells everyone about my aspirations. So now, I'm putting myself "out there". I feel vulnerable but at the same time, I feel liberated.

Whether or not I make it to the Olympics is an insignificant detail. If I fail, I'll accept that. But I'll be content with the fact that I was brave enough to try.
I guess there's no better way to end this post than with a cheesy quote..

"Accomplishments will prove to be a journey, not a destination." - Dwight D. Eisenhower

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ciao! Mi chiamo Vanessa.

This was a great week. Why? Because my friend, Jessica from Italy, was visiting Toronto.

The first time we met was in Taiwan for the World University Championships in July. She told me she was planning on visiting Toronto sometime during the Fall so I gave her my email, cell number, and address so that we could meet up.

Early September, I was on the FITA (International Archery Federation) website following the results from the World Field Championships. HOLY COW!!! Jessica, this friend I made in Taiwan, not only kicked butt during the ranking round, she dominated right until the end and won gold! Daaang, I was friends with a world champion!

So once she got to Toronto, she gave me a call and we met up.
On Monday, along with my friend Melissa, we did a bit of shopping at the good ol' Toronto Eaton Centre, chowed down on Pad Thai and spring rolls, and went to archery practice. It's not too often you get a chance to share your bow with a world champion. Shooting on Monday was definitely a night to remember.

We met again on Friday. I decided I didn't want her to go back to Italy without having had a poutine. mmm poutine... She loved it. Mission accomplished! We went to archery practice and this time, with the help of my coach and friends, we had a full bow set up for her. It was great and I think she appreciated it. Alana, Crispin, Melissa and I left a bit early to take Jess bowling (sorry Joan and Gary for splitting like that). Here's a word of advice: stay alert when bowling with Jessica because there's a pretty good chance that a bowling ball's coming your way! hahaha There was a lot of crazy dancing, singing off-key, and gutter balls. All in all, it was a great night. We all agreed that if given the chance, we would keep Jessica forever.

She's leaving on Tuesday.
Ahh I'm really gonna miss her.

Thursday, October 23, 2008


Oh yeah, I should probably let you know why I'm going to Korea! haha

I'm going to be training for archery. I met a wonderful Korean coach while I was at University Worlds and she was really interested in helping me out. She invited me to come to her university and train with the team there. I won't be taking any academic courses, but if I get the chance, I'd like to take an intermediate Korean course or something like that.

Sooo, the school is in Daegu, one of the largest cities in South Korea. It's closer to the southeastern side of the country, where people have thick, thick accents.

I'll be in Korea for about 6 months. This is an opportunity many people would kill for. I'm going to make the most of this trip!

hmm... I already know that the 6 months of training is definitely not going to be easy. I'm excited, but at the same time I'm scared out of my mind.

Plane Ticket!

On the subway ride home, my mom told me over the phone that she booked my plane ticket to Korea! I shrieked and people turned to see where the high-pitched noise came from. YAAAAAAY!!! The big day is December 25... Christmas! I'll stop in Incheon for a few hours and then fly to Busan, where I'll be spending New Years with my cousins. Daegu's just about an hour away from Busan so it won't be difficult getting there.

I'm so excited. But it still doesn't feel like I'm going yet. The next 2 months are going to go by sooooo slowwwwwly.

I really like this idea of blogging. It's a great way to stay in touch and let everyone at home know what's going on. So check back often (especially after I leave for Korea) if you want to learn about all the ancient secrets to the success of Korean archers! ... or if you just want to see what I'm up to.