I really like training at the Muay Thai gym, even though it’s humid as hell and the language barrier is really prominent. It brings me back to being in Taiwan, when I trained at NTCPE (a Taiwanese athlete college) for three grueling weeks with Stanford. It was my last trip out of the country, and also the last major trip I took by myself.
Speaking of Taekwondo in Taiwan, one of the coaches who trained me there was on TV coaching an Olympic competitor from Taipei today. You can imagine how much I freaked out from excitement when I saw Coach Joe in the corner, as if I wasn’t freaking out enough at the fact that I was FINALLY getting to watch televised Olympic Taekwondo (Thaaaank you, BBC!). It was seriously a blast of nostalgia, because that month was one of the best experiences of my life which I often think back on. I met so many friends and we trained so hard, I am even currently wearing a shirt that one of the Taiwanese teammates gave me before I left from there! I really wish that I had kept in better touch with everyone. Being in the Taiwanese airport for 6 hours last week also brought back a bunch of memories, just from walking around and seeing familiar oddities, such as pictures of the famous “Meat Shaped Stone.” (Look it up)
HOLY CRAP. I just realized that the summer I went to Taiwan was literally two weeks before the 2008 Beijing Olympics. I remember because right after returning, I went to visit my cousins in Hawaii where I practiced once with their TKD master, who was just about to leave coach the Chinese womens’ Olympic team. Wow. I’m always being reminded that there are no coincidences in life.