My Badminton and Life Blog

My Badminton and Life Blog

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Trinidad 2012

So it is December 24, 2012 and I am sitting in the airport once again on Christmas Eve travelling. This time I am heading home from Trinidad and Tobago where I recently went for 12 days for a “vacation”. Yeah it was sort of a vacation I did play some badminton while down there. Almost every day but that was it 2-3 hours of badminton then spend the rest of the day resting and seeing friends. I only got to go to the gym 2 times to do actual weights which is a lot less than I would have wanted but was able to do some body weight exercises at home.

Overall it was a great trip, got to see all my friends and play against the players in the country to see what the level is like. I can say that the standard is lower than what I’m use to in Canada. I will be heading down there in March for the National Championships and will be looking to medal at nationals if not take home the title. So I will be training very hard over the next 3 months for that. First order of business when getting back to Calgary is to get into the gym for weights as well as go for a nice long run plus some footwork haha.

Only being in the country for 10 days technically (2 days were spent traveling) the time seemed to fly by. I got to go out on the avenue with friends to lime on a Friday night after training which was a ton of fun. The atmosphere is so different in the Caribbean at clubs and bars, not to mention that I nor anybody else was being checked for age/ID at all anywhere we went. 

Also no trip to Trinidad is complete without a trip to the beach, Maracas Beach that is. I went there on the day before I left with my friends and it was a great time, playing some Frisbee and drinking some cool ones on the beach. The best part about beach is not the weather, the sights or even the beach itself it is in fact this wonderful food called bake and shark which is just delightful to eat and customize with all the sauces and spices you desire.

With my time down there over this marks my last 3 flights of 2012 to get home, yes that is correct 3 flights to get home. I went from Trinidad and Tobago to Newark airport in New Jersey, then onto Houston, Texas and finally on route from Houston to Calgary, Alberta. I know what you must be thinking, surely there was a more direct flight. Well yes there was a flight from Trinidad to Houston then Houston to Calgary the only thing was there was a 10 hour layover in Houston. Taking this way means that I get home 6 hours earlier than if I took the other flight. The 2nd and more important reason is because of the extra miles. I had Elite status with Air Canada for 2012 and for 2013 Air Canada revamped its program adding extra tier levels. In 2011 I only needed 35,000 miles accumulated to get Elite Status but with the introduction of these new tiers for 2013 this year I need 50,000 miles to get the same benefits. So that is an increase in 15,000 miles. I will be cutting it close but thanks to these last 3 flights I will have over 50,000 miles to continue to enjoy my elite status (Altitude 50,000 as it will now be called) for 2013.

So this marks the end of 2012 flying home on Christmas Eve to enjoy the holidays in Calgary for once. Now comes the fun part of planning out all my travel/tournaments for 2013. I already have some planned but with a recent loss of points in my world ranking dropping me over 70 spots it may be a little challenging to make main draw for some of the bigger tournaments. A year in review blog is in order and I will make sure to post that in a timely manner as well as for the New Year will make sure to keep on top of posting regularly for whomever out there does happen to read them.

To all who stop by, happy holidays, merry Christmas, and a happy new year, may the holiday season be filled with joy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

2012 XVII Pan Am badminton championships.

I apologize for not updating sooner as I have been very busy with school, training, and coaching. But here is the start to the entries that I have missed, only a month and a bit late :P
October saw me going down to Lima  Peru again but this time it was for the 2012 XVII Pan Am badminton Championships. I was representing Trinidad and Tobago at the games in the individual event and was the only participant from the country to take part in the games. I left Canada on October 9th and got there the same night. Going down wasn't bad I didn't end up getting upgraded but did end up sitting next to the pilots daughter so that was nice.

Upon getting into Lima there was the long drive from the airport to the actual city center where the hotel was located. Being after midnight at that point I was starting to feel tired, thankfully there was only a 1 hour difference between Lima and Calgary. After checking into the hotel I had a snack to eat and then headed to bed. The next day would be the 1st of 5 days of not seeing the sun. For the entire trip the sun barely shun in the sky. It was overcast and cloudy the whole time with the occasional showers and wind. Not to mention it wasn't overly warm and when going out needed to have something long on.  I stayed at the same hotel that the Canadians were at which was nice knowing quite a few of them from travels.

The 10th saw me going over to the tournament hall and trying to get a quick hit in which I was able to. Then watched the 3/4 playoff for the team event. After that it was off to the team managers meeting and then wandered around before grabbing some lunch at a quaint looking restaurant which was very nice.
The 11th rolled around and that saw the start of the individual portion of the tournament. I was up against a player from Guatemala named Rudolph Ramirez. He is a great player and it was a tough match for me for sure. Things worked during the match and other things didn't  The courts were a little slippery but overall not to bad and the venue itself was not a terrible place compared to other halls that I have had to play in. There was a little bit of a draft but nothing to major for the court that I was on. Playing that match I started to figure out how to play a little to late but the feeling of advancing my game is coming and has gone up since then for sure. I did make more unforced errors than he hit winners against me.

After my match saw me sticking around the tournament hall and catching the rest of the nights matches  because of how the shuttle service was scheduled. After going back to the hotel that night I went out to get some dinner.

There was a mall located about 2 blocks from the hotel. It is literally built into the side of a mountain and is roughly 3-4 stories down. It has amazing views and the greater majority of its restaurants were all located overhanging the cliff with fantastic views of the ocean/coast. If only it was sunny then it would look amazing but it was still beautiful scenery despite that. The next day after I lost my match would be my last day as I would fly out the coming morning on a 1am flight. So I spent the entire day walking along the cliff walk and seeing all the sights that were there from the art/monuments to the beautiful scenery and gardens.
So that marked the end of the journey, did some shopping saw some sights and played some good badminton. After that I had the long journey back home with my flight leaving Lima at 1:30am. I have yet to fly into or out of Lima in the daytime to actually see the scenery in the daylight it’s always these red eye flights. But the good part was that my upgrade request went through and I had an executive class upgrade for my flight from Lima to Toronto.

So that marked the end of the trip down to Peru, it was a great trip and I am happy that I was able to experience it. Arriving back in Calgary I decided to skip going down to Miami for the Miami International and that would leave the 2012 XVII Pan Am Championships would be the last international tournament for 2012. With that being said I would lose out on 920 points at the end of 2012 when my tournaments from 2011 start to fall off and I do not replace them. Now I just need to plan out my 2013 tournament schedule well for the 1st half of the year anyways and then go from there. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

3 Big Goals

600 days till the 2014 XX Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.

953 days till the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, Canada. 

1344 days till the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil.