Let the Games Begin!


The London Olympics officially started  the other day.  I have been looking forward to the start of the Olympics since the beginning of the year.  The two main areas I’ve interested in watching are gymnastics (of course) and the track and field events.   But surprising judo has been very interesting too.  I was hoping that Haru would be excited about gymnastics, but unfortunately it hasn’t caught her interest.  She would occasionally watch for a few seconds when Kohei Uchimura (the favorite to take the gold medal in men’s gymnastics) is on TV.  He has been the biggest buzz amongst the instructors at Haru’s gymnastics class.  But other than a few glances at the TV from time to time, she seems to be totally uninterested in the Olympics.  I suppose she still doesn’t understand what its all about, and that the athletes are competing to be the best in the world.  Hopefully, by the time the Rio de Janeiro rolls around in 2016, she will express more interest in her sport as well as the Olympics.

Haru will be finishing her summer camp at the American School in Japan.  She seems to be enjoying camp a lot.  She talks about the camp counselors a lot.  It’s always Mr. Eric this or Mr. Andrew that.  Although she hasn’t really pick up too many words, she has learned a lot of new songs in English, and is constantly singing them at home.   She seems to be having fun, and is more motivated to speak English at home, so I guess that’s what counts.

I am finally putting end to my Atkins diet.  I have done it for 40 days, and lost about 4.6 kilograms (just over 10 pounds) and within 2.6 kilograms (6 pounds) of my goal , but I still have some body fat to lose.  I don’t think I will be able to lose the rest on the Atkins diet, so I have begun lifting weights.  The good things is that I feel stronger and healthier, the bad part is that since I am putting on more muscle weight, the weight loss has really slowed down a lot.  So instead of monitoring body weight, I am looking more at bat fat percentage, and it is coming down.  My suits seem to fit a bit looser to so, I guess I am losing fat weight…but it’s hard to tell.

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The Weekend Gymnast


The weather has gotten a bit warmer lately.  Pretty soon, I won’t have to wear my coat to work anymore, but it is still a bit chilly in the morning and evenings.  We also had a bit of a storm last night that felt like a typhoon.  It was so bad, that we were all sent home  from work early yesterday, because the national weather service had sent out an advisory earlier.  Today, the weather has gone back to being nice and warm.

Its spring break for Haru.  She will begin her second year of kindergarten next week.  As much as I said that I didn’t like her teacher, Ikeda-sensei,  I think I am going to miss her.  She actually wasn’t really that bad.  My only complaint is that she seems so robotic when she teaches.  I rarely saw her express any joy or real enthusiasm on the rare occasions when I visited her class.  She was always very straight faced.  The times when she did express any glimmer of emotion, it really didn’t seem that genuine. Very much like a robot, programmed to do what she is told and nothing more.

This spring was spent exploring Haru’s interests.  She is very hyperactive, and so we needed to find something she could focus her energy at.  We explored putting her in swimming class, but she didn’t seem to enjoy it too much.  Afterwards, she would say I don’t want to go anymore.  The last thing we wanted to do is force her to do something she didn’t enjoy, otherwise she would wind up either resenting it, or quitting.

We then tried to see if she would take to karate.   She seemed to enjoy the class, but for the wrong reasons.  On the days she went to the trial class, they were having the older kids carry the younger kids on their back and run around the room.  Of course, Haru loved being carried.  As much as I would love to have Haru take karate, I think that when they start doing the real stuff, she isn’t going to enjoy it as much.  I remember how much work it was when I took karate.  There were some days when I felt as if  I were going to pass out from working out too hard.   So for now, karate isn’t exactly out, but its on the back burner.

Finally, we took Haru to check out the gymnastics classes.  I genuinely think that Haru has a strong aptitude for gymnastics, and if taught and trained properly, she would do really well.  Its an area where I did well at as well, so I can also train her at home.

The trial classes lasted 3 days.  I attended the first day last Sunday.  My first impression was that the gym was too small and wasn’t going to be big enough to be able to do proper tumbles.  But after a while, it seemed that although the gym itself was small, it was effective.  It had all of the essentials needed to be able to do the routines that gymnasts do.  Haru, for the most part, did really well on her first day.  Of course there were things she couldn’t do too well, like the bars for example, but she can tumble really well.  As a matter of fact, she did as well if not better than some of the enrolled students there.  But the most important thing is that she really seemed to like it.  She even likes her teacher whom she refers to as Aya sensei.  Aya sensei looks a lot her kindergarten teacher, Ikeda-sensei, which is probably the reason why she was able to bond to her so quickly.

Haru completed her last trial class yesterday, and was presented the choice of classes she wanted to take: swimming, karate, gymnastics, soccer, or ballet.  Ballet was always Haru’s first choice, but again for wrong reason.  She just wanted wear the ballet tutu and shoes, so we eliminated that as a choice for her.   So out of what was left, she opted for the gymnastics class.  So it is now official!  Haru is now a weekend gymnast.  She will be will be attending class every Saturday which is perfect because that means I can go too.

 


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