This weekend I travelled up with Emma to compete in the Scottish Open at the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility in Motherwell, Scotland.
We began the long drive about 4pm on Friday afternoon and after a few pit stops and taking turns in the driving seat, arrived at our hotel just before midnight. At least being now 15mins from the venue meant we could get a good night sleep.
I slept well but had lots of strange dreams which is very normal for me before competitions. We checked the running order that morning and adult male and female black belts were the last divisions of the day. It at least meant no rush to get there and we would have plenty of time to warm up and stretch out the stiff muscles that were not too impressed with having been sat in a car for a very long time!
The sports centre is very smart and had a several indoor fake turfed grass football pitches behind the competition hall. So myself and several of the other England Squad team warmed up out there, going through our patterns and having a good stretch. I went over my choice pattern Choong-Jang several times, as had only learnt it over the last few weeks, having just passed my grading.
The lunch break came and went and then we were on. Patterns first and the 2nd and 3rd Dans were merged together. I won a bronze medal and while I would have liked to have done better, I remembered my pattern and got over the nerves of doing it for the first time in competition. So now I can work on it and the other two I need to learn ahead of the UK Open in just over a months time.
Then it was sparring and again due to numbers several divisions were merged. So my -57kg category was put in with the -63kg and -69kg divisions. Due to the grading and focusing on learning my new patterns, I haven’t done much sparring so felt a bit rusty. But I still loved it and after the first hit zoned in to what I was there to do – win. Won gold in my division and then due to the overall numbers the masters had the great idea of doing a ‘King of the Ring’ tournament. Where all the weight divisions get put together and we all get drawn randomly against each other to compete for the overall gold. It was a great idea and after a quick break we were all back on sparring again. I again won gold and as the senor official put it was the “Royal Rumbler Champion!”
It was now just gone 4pm and Emma and I had the long drive home to do. So a combination of not wanting to drive through the night and my feet still not in the best state from breaking at my grading along with an injury from training that week, we decided to not compete in the power test and instead start the journey home. The traffic was much easier on the way home and a few breaks and driver changes were still needed, but I got home just before midnight. It has been a very long trip but well worth it and proud to come back with my medals representing Thames Valley TKD:
I’m now going to give my body a bit of a rest to fully heal up and then concentrate on training for the UK Open on the 31st October.