I’ve been home from South America for a few weeks now. I have been trying to sit down and take the time to write an update blog on the trip but of course life gets in the way! I have been extremely busy with doctor appointments, training, work and my fiancé even came to visit for a few days. By the time, I open up my computer to write something, I am either distracted by Dancing With The Stars or Instagram!
So, it is APRIL! Spring is finally here! I was lucky enough to miss two snowstorms while I was in Argentina and Chile. I left for Buenos Aires, Argentina on March 8th. And I think I was tanning on the roof of my hotel while everyone back home was shoveling their driveways!
I had a pretty successful South American Tour. I did what I had to do, and I used these competitions as training to help prepare me for the big event, which is The Pan American Championships in Panama at the end of April. Last year I lost in the bronze medal contest, and ended up taking home a fifth. This result pretty much determined whether I was going to make the 2016 Olympic Team. I did not get the result that I needed to qualify, so the Pan American Championships leave a bitter taste in my mouth.
Since the summer of last year, I have been working my ass off to get myself stronger, physically and mentally. I have never won the Pan American Championships and I feel that I am more than ready and prepared to take the title this year.
So back to Argentina. I WON the Pan American Open in Buenos Aires, I had three matches and I spent about a total of 3minutes and 10 seconds on the mat. I broke my finger in Europe 4 weeks before and I was not fully healed up for this event so my goal was to not mess up my finger and to try and make the matches short and sweet with no PENALITES! I am not going to lie, even though the level was not high at this event it was very nice to be standing on top of the podium listening to my National Anthem! The following weekend I travelled to Santiago, Chile. It was great to be able to enjoy the warm sun, relax and tan before the competition. At this event, I beat a Brazilian in the semi-final and then I met up with Katlyn Quadros who is a bronze medalist at the 2008 Olympic Games. I have fought her a few times now, I even fought her when we both were 57kg in the Quebec Open way back in the day!
Unfortunately, I was unable to come out on top again and I lost by a score. I ended up coming home with a Gold and a Silver from this tour. After coming home from South America, I was awarded with a nice sushi meal from longtime friends the Halls, who let me park my car in their driveway for weeks and weeks while I am out conquering the world. (They live in Long Island and I fly out of JFK) So after a wonderful sushi deluxe dinner I drove upstate, to then turn around and drive back to the city a few days later to compete at the New York Athlete Club’s annual NY OPEN Team Tournament.
I was so happy to be able to compete here. The last time I competed here was in 2014, when the first decided to have women compete at this event. In 2015, I was competing in Turkey, and in 2016 I was home rehabbing my knee post-surgery. I was so excited to be able to compete with some awesome badass girls in front of my coaches, fans and in the most prestigious athletic clubs in NY, or can we say the world?! The women’s and men’s teams ended up both losing to Israel in the final so we took home a Silver Medal! It is an honor to be part of this club and I am so lucky that they have been able to support me and help make my dreams come true! I have been part of the NYAC since 2008 and I only want to make them proud!
Next on the agenda is a training camp in San Jose, California. This camp is specifically to help the Team get ready for the Pan American Championships, and I am looking forward to going out there for a week to get some good judo session in before the Pan Ams at the end of the month!
I know this blog entry is basic, I literally feel like a machine lately. I get up, train, eat, work, eat, train, sleep. I hope the next time I write an update I can entertain you a little more!
I will leave you with one of my favorite quotes!!!
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” – Michael Jordan