Photos from my Roller coaster Blog

18 Sep

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My roller coaster

18 Sep

Hello, sorry it’s been so long since my last blog.

I have tried to write this a few times and not know where to start.

The last couple of months have been a roller coaster of emotions. Lots of ups and downs.

London 2012 is what I and lots of other athletes have been dreaming of ever since it was announced the we were holding the Olympic games. For me my competition felt like it was over by a drop of a hat.
I felt crushed, devastated and I was inconsolable. (I’m sure I wasn’t alone!)

I remember standing in the tunnel with my coach Billy and Doc Craig. I was looking out into the stadium at the excel where 1000s of people were cheering & waving flags.

My heart was racing. I was nervous & excited. I kept telling myself “Come on! You can do this.”

As I walked out of the tunnel the crowd erupted. Wow what a feeling. “Sally! Sally! Sally!”
1000s of people stamping their feet and clapping their hands. The noise was unbelievable! So loud!

I approached the mat and took a deep breath to refocus. I walked up the 3 steps onto the mat area. This was it… This was my time!

As I gripped up with CHA I felt strong, confident and in control.
On the side of the mat Billy put his thumb up. When he does this, it fills me with confidence that things are going well and to keep going!

I won the fight. I was relieved. The first fight was done! Good start.
The crowd once again erupted!

I walked back round to the warm up area. I hurt my shoulder a little so Ben (physio) sorted me out before my 2nd fight.

I had Edith Bosch from the Netherlands. A world class fighter. I had fought her a few time before and improved every time. I knew the fight was going to be tough but I was confident and had a fight plan for her.

As I ‘took the stage’ once again the crowd went crazy! More so than before. I didn’t think that was even possible.
I took a deep breath and got ready for a fight.
I gripped up…this was it….come on!!

The fight went on and I felt fairly happy in the fight even though there wasn’t a score on the board.
A minuet or two before the end of the fight I got thrown! For a big score. I was down, but I still had time to get it back! Unfortunately I didn’t get it back, time ran out and the fight was lost.

Upset, disappointed, gutted and numb! For as long as I can remember it was my goal and dream to become Olympic champion. That dream had been shattered!

Billy and I took the walk around the mat. The crowd were still cheering and clapping. Still showing fantastic support even though I lost. And for that I thank them!

When we reached the corridor I cried in to Billys arms. I said “sorry” I felt I had let him down.

I pulled myself together for the interviews that were waiting for me around the corner.
“Sally how do you feel it went?”
“How did you find the crowd?”
“what’s next for you?”

I was positive with my answers then carried on through to the warm up area.

I remember just crying and crying. I couldn’t seem to stop. Such an emotional time.

So many family and friends had come to watch. I am so grateful and overwhelmed by the support I have received.

That evening I met with my Mum, Nige (step dad) and step brothers Ross and Cam. We met in the BOA safe house.
It was lovely to see the and they had a wicked time. Being in the crowd was just a fantastic and unforgettable experience for them.
We had a good talk and it got emotional in parts. But it was nice.

For the next few days I found my self with tears in my eyes. Even though I thought I was ok.

The next evening, so the day after I fought. I met up with my Dad , Lynn and Bruce (my Brother)
We also spoke a lot and it really did feel great to talk and get some things off my chest.
A couple of drinks later the conversation lightened and we all had a laugh.

I am so lucky to have such amazing support from my family.

The last two days of competition, Judo had some great results from Gemma Gibbons (Silver) and Karina Bryant (Bronze). This was obviously great for the individual’s but also so brilliant for British Judo as British judo have never had such a successful Olympics.

Once the Judo had finished we still had a week to enjoy the athletes village. We were even lucky enough to see other sports. We got to soak up the whole atmosphere.

I mainly hung around with Sarah Clark (Clarky) and Lisa. We definatly made the most of our time.

We were lucky enough to watch some of the athletics. We were sat so close to the flame. We could actually feel the heat. It was so hot!!
It was wicked because we saw Mo Farah in his heat of the 5000m.
Watched the wrestling and the Boxing where Nicola Adams and Katie Taylor became Olympic champions.
We couldn’t believe it when they opened the boxing up by introducing Tinchy Stryder into the Boxing Ring…this was so cool!

Gradually as the week went on the atmosphere in the village got more and more relaxed.
A lot of sports had finished or finishing.
Everyone was still very respectful and aware that there were still athletes to compete.

Clarky, Lisa and I especially enjoyed the food hall and the barbecue area. A little too much I think. But It was lovely. Clarky suggested every athlete should of done a weigh-in on arrival into the village then another weigh -in on departure! I think there would of been some scary/impressive gains!

The village, venues, Olympic park and generally all around London the vibe was positive and everyone was so friendly and helpful.
The Games Makers though really did make the games!

Our Olympic Games was coming to a end.

On went our red chinos, white sparkly lion top and blue blazer.
Team GB congregated outside our apartments. Athletes were taking photos, signing various things and having a laugh.

It took about 15-20mins to arrive at the stadium and we all piled through.
I talk a lot about the atmosphere but yet again the stadium was impressive and the crowd were awesome.

While the ceremony was going on I had my photo taken with some amazing successful sports people.
I’ll add a few photos and see if you can recognise a few of them πŸ™‚
Something I will take away from the games is some new friendships and unforgettable memories.

As the ceremony went on there were some class acts and performers. My highlights though we’re my childhood favourites The Spice Girls and Newish to the music world Emilie Sande.

The flame went out but it defiantly went out in style. Above the flame was a phoenix it was beautiful. It was lit alight and really stood out.

It was an emotional… The 2012 Olympic games was over!

All the GB athletes piled back to the Barbecue area where Team GB had organised food and drinks for us all. Music was playing and everyone was enjoying themselves.

What a end to a successful Olympics for TEAM GB!!

From kitting out to the opening ceremony to fighting to the closing ceremony to Arriving home.
All in all it has been the best experience of my life and It’s something I will never forget.

The support I have received from my Family, Friends, Coaches including club coaches and national coaches, Judo Scotland, Sport Scotland, The Edge Martial Arts where I receive enormous support, Judo Clubs in Bristol that helpt me to grow including Thornbury where I first started and the Edinburgh Club which now is my club, British judo and the BOA.Throughout my whole Judo career so far has been amazing and I really do appreciate it so much.

I am honoured and proud to fight for Great Britain. And I am so happy to of been able to compete for my country at the highest level in my sport.

Thank you πŸ™‚

What’s next….

A week after I left the village I had to go for shoulder surgery.
So for me now I have to recover from this and be spot on with my rehab so that I can come back stronger than ever.

Over the next 4 years I have so much to work toward and a lot of opportunities to become a champion.

Maybe London wasn’t meant to be, but Rio 2016 will be?! Who knows…

But what I do know is that I’m going to improve myself and my Judo, focus, continue to give 100% and I am determined to be the very best that I can be. Then after that… See what happens!

Thank you for taking the time to read this… Hope you liked it and that it gave you a little insight of my experience as a Judo Player.

“Life is a Journey, not a destination”

“Believe”

“Go confidently in the directions of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined”

” Clear Eyes full hearts can’t lose” ~ Friday Night Lights

Olympic Village

26 Jul

Tuesday 24th – Village Welcome

After our 3 hour coach journey from Loughborough to Stratford we arrived into an amazing Olympic village.

We jumped onto a bus which escorted us just outside the food hall…when I say food hall, it's the biggest food hall I've seen. Has lots of different types of food such as Best of British,Asian,Carrabian,American,McDonalds and lots more! All available for 24h!!

From the food hall we went to a welcome meeting along with the GB boxers and GB tennis athletes.This was to get us together to say what was expected from us,how things were to work around the village and what was available to us. To finish off with watched a Video that team GB had put together of short messages from members of the public to wish us good luck. That was very cool and made us laugh. After that we we all got presented a Links of London dog tag with our number in which we were selected on to Team GB by Sir Clive Woodward.

How wicked is that?! πŸ™‚

Clarky and I headed back to our room for a quick 45mins to make a start on unpacking all of our bags! We didn't get very far before we headed out again to meet a lot of team GB team for the welcome ceromony into the village. Ths was very crazy, but very cool.

We all got paraded round the village in a snake form to the front bit of the village where all the entertainment began.

So many volunteers turned out to watch as the team GB we're welcomed in by some amazing performers. They were all dressed up in crazy, clown like clothes on.So funny! Coxy and I had a little boogie in amongst it all. Hee Hee.

The flag was raised in the village and we all sang the national anthem. Felt amazing. It felt so good to be part of such a team that we call Team GB!

At the end of the ceromony all the Team congregated for a big team photo by the Olympic rings. Lots of camera people were gathered and flashed away.

GB have their very own medical and physio block. Within this block there are ice baths, a sauna and gym. Talk about a home advantage πŸ™‚

Dr Craig White Every morning is checking our hydration and body weight. This is to make sure we are on track and fully prepared as possible before we fight!

That night Austin and I went for a walk around the village. Had a little explore and took some funny photos.

The BMW cars which are being used in 'Games Time' have really cool 2012 logos in lots of different colours. So for a little bit of fun we tried to have a photo with the 2012 cars in every colour. I think we got one with most of them haha.

Wednesday and Thursday morning Clarky and I along with the other women and men from GB judo dropped off our pee pots and told Craig our weight. Once this was done we headed to the food hall for breakfast.

The days before I compete. I'm just sticking to what I know and keeping to what I eat. But I'm sure after I have competed I will be exploring all the different foods a lot more.:-)

My training partner Jodie Mullen who also trains in Edinburgh is staying in Dartford where I have been every morning to do my judo session with her.

My sessions have been between a hour and a hour and a half long. Pretty much just drilling my gripping patterns and throwing with my techniques. During these sessions I'm feeling good and I'm really looking forward to fighting.

The last couple of days we've discovered that opposite where we are sleeping is a big Barbeque area where they serve up delicious meat in wraps and pittas, along with salad and my favourite olives. Yummy!!

In the village there is a post office, bank,grab and go carts, cafe, games room known as the glob! media centre, retail shops and services and I'm thinking lots more which I'm unaware of right now, but the longer I'm here for I'm sure I will discover more! πŸ˜‰

P&G are one of the official sponsors for the Games. So Gemma Howell, Gemma Gibbons, Clarky and I thought it would be rude not to book in for a facial to relax. This was so good. We had a bit of fun in the photo booth afterwards too. I will attach the photos.

Well today the draw was done and most of us now know who we have 1st fight. It feels so real now and the day is getting closer and closer.

I'm excited and nervous but I'm really looking forward to fighting. I feel confident and I want to perform to the best of my ability!

The amount of support I have received from my family,friends,coaches and support staff from the SIS (to name a few… Billy Cusack,David Somerville,Allan MacDonald and Helen Alfredo) has been unreal and I really hope that I can make them all proud on the 1st Aug! Even though it's an individual sport and you're on your own on that mat, it doesn't feel like it!

Thank you πŸ™‚ xx

Well tomorrow is the opening ceremony! This is going to be amazing. I really can't wait for this. Our Olympic Games in London! How exciting is that. I'm going to soak up as much as the atmosphere as possible. This is going to be a day to remember!

Olympic Stadium

Austin,Gemma H and me with our accreditations

Bus to the village

some of the GB Judo team

Two of the cars…..cool at?! Haha

Ello Ello Ello Austin and me with a couple of village police men

 

 

Clarky who fights in the -57kg weight category and fights on the 30th July πŸ™‚ and my roomie!! Xx

 

My Olympic Dream – #ourgreatestteam

25 Jul

 

23rd Aug -Departed Edinburgh.

Excited, nervous, the unexpected, stress and really happy are only a few words that can describe how I was feeling.

Booked a Taxi from mine and collected Euan on the way to the airport. We checked in with a lady who's mum had ran with the torch at Edinburgh Castle. Pretty cool.

Check in and security went really smooth and had time to grab a coffee before boarding the flight to Birmingham.

Before boarding the flight I bought some stickers for my London 2012 sticker book! Addicted… 1st pack I opened had Mr David Beckham and Chris Hoy! Amazing πŸ™‚ it was going to be a good day. Haha.

The cabin crew on board the FlyBe flight were so excited for us. Asking us questions and offering us champagne. Unfortunately we couldn't accept…on the way back… Maybe! πŸ˜‰

JB picked Clarky,Euan,Tasty and Billy up plus all of our bags. We then drove to loughbrough to get checked into our hotel. Had a bit of lunch (which was really lovely and healthy). I had chicken, salad and a bread roll. Tasty πŸ™‚

After lunch the Girls team headed over to kitting out. We were welcomed by friendly, happy volunteer staff.

To start us off we watched a short intro video. It had Clive Woodward, Stella McCartney and Mark Hunt telling us about the kit and how the day was going to plan out.

Our first stop was Next. Next was in charge of supplying the opening and closing outfit… At this moment in time I can't spill anything on what this is. But all I can say is that I love it and I think when all of team GB wear the outfits it's going to look amazing!

We had our own personal assistant, own dressing cubical and our own rail with our names on. Felt very Sex and the City esk. Any alterations that were needed we're done there and then. πŸ™‚

Next we headed down to the Adidas kit. The Men's team were just getting started with there into video.

Yet again we met our very own kitter outers and off we went went. I started with the podium track suit. Nice place to start. Then walked around for a couple of hours trying on t-shirts, track suits, jumpers, hats, sunglasses, trainers, flip flops and jackets. Nice job Stella! The kit is lovely.

Last stop was the competition specific room where we got kitted out with all of our under armer kit and our Adidas judo belt.

The best bit about this room was that it involved a photo booth. One by one or two by two we entered the booth with different props, clothes and cushions. Had 4 different poses to do.

We then picked one photo to have in the Team GB book and had chance to write a little message and sign.

Some really funny photos from the girls…well done girlies. Nutters haha.

Once we had finished messing around, we headed down to the Mix zone where we had a couple of photos and short interviews.

At the end of this expirence with had our hand and foot print scanned. Every GB athlete that has done the kitting out day have had this done. (That's a lot of hands and feet!)

After this I headed down stairs to pick up all of my next and Adidas kit. My two little helpers …. And ….. Checked my kit over with me and packed it all up put it on a airport trolley ready to transport back to the hotel!

In total the kitting out expirence to about 5 hours!! 5 hours of trying on clothes! Cool πŸ™‚

We got so much! Thank you to all the volunteers and staff that made the day a enjoyable day & wicked expirence. Also a big thank you to Stella McCartney for designing a very cool kit and lastly to team GB for everything.

After dinner. Clarky and I sorted all of our kit out. Taking t-shirts out of packets, chucking boxes away and moving kit form one bag to another. This took ages. But got there in the end.

24th Aug

Had a team meeting at 9:15 for a group photo. The sun was shinning and we were all trying not to sweat in our full track suits. Everyone was looking the part in their new gear.

10:30 we all got on a big coach with all of our kit.

On the coach I caught up with my dad and mum on the phone as I didnt have a chance to to talk to them yesterday. It was good to catch up! Also this three hour coach journey has given me chance to start my blog πŸ™‚ …. Next stop The Village!

 

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Seoul May/June 2012

11 Jun

Seoul 2012

Sorry for the delay on the Seoul blog. I had wrote the whole blog on the flight back home then decided to delete it (accidentally!) nightmare!!

So here we go again for the second time…:-)

It was a short two hour flight from Tokyo to Seoul.

When we arrived at Seoul’s airport our first stop was at dunkin’ donuts for a quick snack before heading on to the coach to the Park Tel hotel. The hotel was based very close to Seouls Olympic park. It was pretty much our back garden for the week! Very Beautiful!

As training didn’t start until 3pm everyday. Most mornings Euan,James (Austin) and I took a 10 minute walk to our “local” cafe for a morning coffee or a bite to eat. Also took advantage of the free wifi for a minute or two to catch up with friends and family back home.

On the way back from breakfast I would go into the park and do 30mins of stretching. The weather was so lovely all week. It was great to be outside.

The park was massive! So many children and adults used the park. Whether it was just to hang out, play, exercise or just out walking. The park had such a good feel to it and everyone was really friendly and welcoming.

Every day we had our own personal coach and driver to take us to and from training. The journey took just under an hour to get the the Koreans National Training Centre.

At the NTC the men and women trained on different mats in different buildings. So not knowing this Coxy and I were stretching on the men’s mat watching men pile through but not seeing any women. (Hum…We knew it was going to be a tough week…but not this tough! Haha.)

We ended up getting escorted across to the women’s dojo. The mat was packed. Their national team were there plus loads of high school boys!

We started off with a general warm up, a lot of uchikomi then straight in to Randori.

Unlike Japan, the warm up was a lot faster and the sessions were about a 1:00 – 1:30 shorter. Still fitting into the session enough randori!

Tuesday Coxy and I travelled on a coach with the Koreans to a high school. Again there were about 50 high school boys on the mat and all the women’s national team.

This was such a hard session. The boys were strong and very skilful.

My first two session in Korea, I found very hard. The Koreans style (generally) Is gripping on the lapel with one hand and chucking the other arm over the top of your neck to take a high grip! This arm comes over so hard and so fast! And if they don’t get the grip the first time they will make sure it comes over harder and faster the next!

But if I was going to learn how to stop that arm coming over then being in Korea would definatly be the best place to learn!!! “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”

Wednesday was our day off Judo. So Euan and I chose to do our last weights session of our programme in the morning. In this session we had to go as heavy as possible.

We both managed to get our heaviest weights on both back squat and bench! Which was good, considering we were quite tired and fatigued from judo the past couple of days.

Wednesday afternoon James, Euan, Coxy, Billy and myself as a little recovery, Took a stroll around the Olympic park.

There were lots of sculptures dotted around the park. Every country that competed in Seouls Olympic games had their very own sculpture. Pretty cool. I will attach some photos later!

It was a really sunny day. It was so hot the park looked so pretty and it was busy!

Thursday we were all back at the NTC.

After a few coaching points from Coach Billy and Kate. My session got a lot better. I was managing to stop the arm getting over the top a lot more and I felt a lot more in control in the practise!

What a difference this was compared to Monday/Tuesday! πŸ™‚

Thursday night all the GB men and Women apart from Billy and Luke (they were out socialising with the Korean coaches!) went out for a team meal at a restaurant called the ‘Out Back’

We ordered starters and a lovely bit of steak. It was very delicious!!

Friday morning Sofia (physio) took a few of us for a good 40 minute stretch in the park.

After breakfast I went to see Sofia for physio on my shoulder and neck to get it all loosened off a little bit. I felt much better after!

Once I had finished at physio, Austin, Euan and I went and took a look at Seouls Olympic museum which was next door to our hotel!

This was so inspirational! And very interesting! The museum was two floors high and full of information about past Olympics all the way through to the most recent!

Learnt a lot! And managed to take a few sneaky photos. πŸ˜‰

Our last Judo session was at the Korean sports university which was a 30 min walk through the park.

At the uni there were a lot of different faces. Again there were a lot of men and women on the mat.

The session started off with a stretch and a few sets of uchikomi then straight into 3x5min newaza (ground work fighting) once this was finished I then did 7x5min randoris.

This was my best session of the week. Felt like all my little goals for the week were coming together and I made fewer mistakes. I felt like I defiantly made little improvements. I was tired and happy! πŸ™‚

Saturday morning we said goodbye to Seoul and left for the airport.

The flight was about 11-12hours long. We had a bit of bad turbulence which I really didn’t like! But we had some good plane food (as far as plane food goes!) and Austin entertained us with a few card tricks he had learnt.

I have to say they are very good! Think he has a talent there! πŸ™‚ Haha.

On the plane, reflecting back over the last 3 weeks. I can honestly say I have had a really good time! The training has been awesome, I feel I have got so much out of each session every day, whether It was a good or bad session.

In both Japan and Korea the coaches, players and even the general public were very friendly and have made our trip very enjoyable and very welcoming.

Thank you Tokyo! Thank you Seoul! It’s been a pleasure πŸ™‚

The next couple of weeks are pretty intense too.






This weekend we have GB squad training. This is also where we will find out the official selection for the Olympics… Very exciting!

Then the weekend after I’m going to Czech to fight in the European cup followed by a training camp.

I will write again soon. Hope you have enjoyed the read.

Bye for now πŸ™‚

Sal x

Austin with Soeuls mascot.

Me with a tortoise sculpture.






Coach Billy

Me, Billy, Austin and Euan.


Some photos from Seouls Olympic Museum.

Me and a few high school girls doing the gun pose πŸ™‚

A wicked zoo cafe we found on one of our walks! Such a cool place. πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

 

Japan 2012 continued

28 May

 

 

Konichiwa!

 

Welcome back to my 2nd blog. πŸ™‚

 

Ive been in japan for over a week now, so jet lag has disappeared and we are all now definitely feeling at home!

 

The Tekiyo girls had a important tournament at the weekend, so last week the sessions were mainly focused on the ones fighting.The session always starts with the same warm up.

 

This includes a 5 minute jog around the mat, stretching, forward rolls, backward rolls and other gymnastic exercises into ashiwazas (foot techniques) by ourselves going up and down the mat. Then into newaza (ground work fights) for 10mins ippon change followed by 10 mins of uchikomi (drilling our techniques with a partner) by this time you are very warm and ready to go. Everyone takes a drink of water and 8 people go out the front with a red belt on to do 8×5 mins. They do this 3x with a different set of 8 people in the middle. Once all the randori is completed they sometimes do uchikomi again followed by stretching. All the girls then run to line up for the bow. Session finished! πŸ™‚

 

I love training in japan, all the girls make you feel very welcome and they all want to fight!

At Tekiyo there’s about 50 girls on the mat. And for me there are plenty of girls between -63 and -78kg which is ideal! I fight at -70kg so it means I’m never short of a practise.

 

Unfortunately at the end of last week Karina had to get flown back home as her tooth pain hadn’t got any better and she was still in agony. So back to the uk she went to get everything sorted out at the dentist!! (Hope it all went ok Karina!)

Luke left for Tokai Friday morning to go and coach the men’s team with Billy.

So then there were four… Kate, Sophia, Coxy and me.

 

Friday night after the session we went out for a team meal, which was very nice. We ordered a selection of different meats and fish and shared all the different dishes. It was all very tasty. My favourite was the seafood salad and the lovely bits of steak. Yummy!

 

Saturday was laundry day again. The sun was so hot even at 9 o’clock in the morning. So Coxy and I took the 10 minute walk to the laundrette (which feels a lot longer with your bags!) popped in to Lawsons to get our breakfast and 100 yens for the washing machines.

 

You are never too far from a Lawsons or 7/11 convenience store in Japan. Haha. We unloaded our Judo Gi and clothes into the washers then pulled a chair outside to soak up a bit of sun and to have our breakfast which consisted of a couple of already cooked eggs milk and some nuts. Then read my book until the washing was done. Very chilled! Oh yea…I almost forgot, while I was sitting on my chair with wheels I decided to reach for my camera…. BIG MISTAKE… Before I knew it I was on the floor with my camera. The chair had come away from under me! I couldn’t get up for laughing and Coxy was crying with laughter. (thanks for the hand up cox! Haha)

 

Later that day we headed in Tokyo to visit Harajuku. As it was a Saturday the place was so busy. So Coxy decided we would come away from the main street and cut down some other side streets. We came across this lovely food place which was cooking burgers outside and inside they did coffee. We were flagging a bit so decide to rest our feet and enjoy a coffee. It was the strongest coffee I had ever tasted! But really good! It definitely did the job though… Woke me up!! πŸ™‚

 

Sunday morning Kate, Sophia and I headed into Tokyo on the train to go and watch the Tekiyo girls fight at the Tokyo uni team tournament at the Nippon Budokan. 1st stop though was Starbucks. We sat outside for 5 mins before taking the short walk to the venue. As I was sat on the wall, I thought “its a bit bright I’ll put my sun glasses on”,so I placed my coffee in between my knees and fished around for my sunglasses that were in my bag. Splash….that was my coffee! Spilt everywhere, all over the pavement, up my leg, on my face and my arm! Only me!!! Haha.

 

I went back inside to get some tissues and the Japanese Starbucks man had made me another drink… So nice of him πŸ™‚ (Dōmo arigatō mr Starbucks man!!!)

 

So after that drama we walked to the Budokan. It’s such a lovely place, with really big, green trees and bright pink flowers and a river passing the building. And because it was a sunny day it just looked beautiful!

On arrival we showed our V.I.P tickets πŸ˜‰ and headed in, Spotted the Tekiyo girls and sat with them. They were so happy to see us and appreciated us coming. (they are so friendly and welcoming). kate and Sophia stayed to see Tekiyo win their first match then went out to enjoy some sunshine. I stayed a little longer with my Tekiyo friends and cheered on Tekiyo! (Fighto Tekiyo!!)

 

Later that day, Euan,Austin,Ben and Billy arrived at the competition. We stayed till the end to see Tekiyo win!!!! (congratulations Tekiyo!!, Tokyo uni champs!!!) then left to get some dinner. We went to the best burger place in Harajuku called Teds burger. It was amazing!

We all had a good chat and a catch up then took a little walk, we ended up finding this beautiful Japanese shrine,so pretty. (I will attach some photos) after our walk we all decided that a crepe would go down a treat. Harajuku also do the best crepes!

As it was getting late it was time for me to depart from the lads and get back to my hotel, and the guys did the same!

 

I caught up with coxy when I got back and she had been off out exploring all day and had come across so many different and cool things, we exchanged some stories then it was time for some shut eye!

 

As the girls had a tournament at the weekend, they had today off Randori. So Kate, Coxy and I headed down to the dojo for a technique session again. Worked on some points that came up from last weeks randori and continued to work on my specific gripping drills and techniques. Very successful session! πŸ™‚

 

Back to weights and randori tomorrow. Looking forward to it!!

 

Bye bye, until next time…

 

 

 

 

Japan May 2012

24 May

Japan May 2012

It’s may the 17th and were on our way to Japan for the 2nd time this year. (how lucky are we?!)

It’s a much smaller girls team this time, with only Karina, Sophie C and myself, also not forgetting Kate H (coach) and Sofia (physio). We all off to spend two weeks training in Teikiyo again. And the lads will be battling it out at Tokai.

Im looking around the plane as I’m writing this, everyone is sound asleep. I’ve just had a couple of hours sleep but woke up with a horrible after taste in my mouth from the sleeping tablet…not pleasant!

Our 1st stop is to Seoul then a 2 hour wait before catching our next flight to Tokyo.

We land at about 21:00, which is great because by the time we arrive to our hotel it’s straight to bed and straight to sleep! Zzzzzzz…..

The last couple of days since the BJA nominations we sent out, I’ve been so excited.

Tuesday all the nominated athletes were called down to London, Dartford a kind of briefing meeting and informed us on just a few of the thing s that would be happening in terms of dates, kitting out, what is expected of us and how things are going to work in terms of transport ect… Followed by our lunch at the Hilton… (very posh) haha.

Once the meeting had finished, Billy (coach), Euan, James Austin, Christ S and myself flew back to Edinburgh for a short change around and unpacking one bag and packing another. Living out off bags is something I think every athlete is defiantly use to by now!! πŸ™‚

Tuesday night Euan had a social gathering around his where a lot of the girls and boys from Ratho came, we all enjoyed a little game of poker and some Chinese food and all had a good catch up before we all went away again the next day.

(good luck to Jodie M, Patrick D, Trinder who are fighting in Orenburg this weekend!)

It’s now the 24th of may and Coxy and I have just finished a technique session with kate. It was a good 90 mins of us running though our drills and techniques. I find this really helps, going over a few little points, to keep it fresh in my head for when I’m fighting it out on the mat. It gives me a focus and an opportunity to tweak things and to work out the details of specific technique/ gripping situations that need fine tuning. Sofia(physio) has now arrived ready to put us back together if need be.But for now she is happy enough happy snapping and capturing some cool photos while we are on the mat! πŸ™‚

Since arriving in Japan on Friday night we have got into our training with a bang. Saturday was a day to relax and stay awake and get use to the time difference (which we are still trying to adapted to now,but we are getting there!) Sunday Coxy and I hit the gym where I was getting strong in on the weights. Coxy was beasting out one of her many circuits. πŸ™‚

Monday soon came around, our first randori session wasn’t until 16:00 so we had the morning to relax and prepare ourselves for the first fight! Well I did, Coxy yet again had another circuit! (monster).

Unlike last time when we were to do near enough every randori, this time is slightly different. This time we are to do only 5/6 randori but make each one quality. For me and I’m guessing for Coxy this is a hard thing to do as we want to be fighting all the time. But now is the time to be clever with our training. “quality not quantity” (Sally remember this!) anyhow, we started well. Timing was a bit off but this was to be expected as we were still getting over jet lag.

That night both Coxy and I woke at 2 am unable to sleep! Argh…. So the reading books came out, and 1-2 hours later we were asleep again. (for a couple of hours anyway!)

Tuesday we got up at 8 had our breakfast and packed a bag for the day…weights and Judo. Teikyo gym is awesome. Proper strong mans gym. I will attach photo evidence later. And yet again Coxy beasted out a circuit while I squatted and benched. Once we had finished we had a good stretch and headed for a shower. For lunch we dined in the uni cafeteria. 2-3 hours later we were back on the mat. Felt much better today, timing was back and felt good. While I was off resting one, I caught Coxy throwing one of the Japanese girls about…think her timing was back too!

At this moment I’m surrounded by washing machines and tumble dryers. Yes you guessed it, in a laundrette! Fun times. , ha but something that needs to be done.

It’s Billy’s birthday today (Happy Birthday Bill!) It’s kind of birthday city out here in Japan this time around; Luke Preston’s is in a couple of days and Kate’s is next week. We’re going out for a meal on Friday to celebrate…it would be rude not too! πŸ˜‰

The sushi out in Japan is so good, had it nearly every day so far. Chef Coxy has even invented her own type of sushi! Sushi without the rice! I will attach a picture of this also! Sounds strange but it was very tasty!

Karina has been very quiet so far on this trip as she has really problems with her tooth. Think she’ll be fighting fit in a day or so though. She looked a lot happier when we saw her today and showed us pictures of the baby turtles in the park πŸ™‚

Luke has been travelling to the lads over at Tokai the last couple of day. By the sounds of things they are all doing well too. Euan and Austin have been posting a few photos. Looks like they’ve been hitting some balls in the batting cage and have made their own table tennis table. I don’t think they have been getting bored! πŸ™‚

Think it would be nice to meet up with the lads this weekend. I fancy heading into Harajuku too. I love this place!

Well I think that rounds things up for now. I will write again in a few days… Oh I almost forgot..look what Coxy and I won on the grabber machine πŸ™‚ A Britty kitty! (how cool?!) haha.

Bye for now,

Sally πŸ™‚