Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Getting Fitted

This week was no different than the last three; stressing over event registration, getting my passport paperwork, trying to figure out WHAT ON EARTH all of the French Websites are telling me about getting to and from here, taking shuttles there, and so on and so on...

One thing that did catch me eye was a message left for me as I arrived at work last week. "Kenneth someone named Dr. Kwan left a message for you - he said something about seeing you on KCRA and left his number."

...and WOW, THANK YOU KCRA!!! By some fortunate "accident", Dr Kwan had seen the footage on KCRA and said he had just the thing that could help to achieve my edge.

It turns out Arthur Kwan runs a not so typical dental practice up in Rocklin, CA. He wanted to introduce me to some new technology that's starting to blow up in the sports world. It's called a PPM, or "Pure Power Mouthguard". It comes in the form of a "mouthpiece", and has already undergone some in-depth testing with athletes all over the world. Dr. Kwan was nice enough to extend to me the opportunity to try one out!

Last night I went in for the fitting. The staff was amazing, and everyone was well educated on the benefits of using this technology. After taking a few molds of my teeth, we had come up with two different molds to work with. This is where things got interesting...

Now I'm completely aware that in every industry there are gimmicks. Everyone out there has something to make you faster, stronger, or more agile...and quite often they're too good to be true. When Dr. Kwan described some of the IMMEDIATE benefits, I was definitely skeptical. However, after experiencing the benefits firsthand, I was blown away.

We started with some simple strength and balance tests; Something to show how the human body acts when it aligns itself, and once again with the jaw and head "locked" in proper alignment. The difference was "jaw dropping" (literally...). The flexibility tests were astounding. I did some simple stretches, once normally, and once again with the test mouthpiece in. "WOW" is the only word that comes to mind.

Im very fortunate to have this type of support, especially in a sport where explosive strength and agility is a must. Not to mention trying to figure out how to breathe properly when your going all-out at high altitude. I cant wait to feel the difference when my PPM is finished!

Thank you so much Dr. Kwan and everyone at NuSmile Sacramento. For the rest of you following along, take a look for yourselves!!!

The MAKKAR PPM Official Website
Dr. Kwan's office: NuSmile Sacramento

Friday, December 11, 2009

My much anticipated story on KCRA!

What an unbelievable night!
Brian Hickey from KCRA contacted me a few days ago to let me know that the interview we did at Mikuni Elk Grove would air Wednesday night on the 6pm news. With alot of anticipation and a much needed boost after the bad news about France, the story aired as scheduled just before 630pm. With a little adjustment to the TV's at work, we all watched live as the story aired.
Brian and I talked a bit about exactly what it takes at this stage for a Snowboard Cross racer to make it into the Olympic Games. I clarified that the sport was relatively new, making its debut at the last Winter Games in Torino, Italy in 2006, and that there were a few things that need to happen in order for a rider to be "qualified".
The clip came out wonderfully, and I couldn't have asked for a better outcome. I came home to a flood of messages from friends and family that had a chance to see the story. In addition, two Fil-Am organizations contacted me about possible fundraisers and / or sponsorships. For that I'm extremely grateful, this is exactly the publicity I was lacking up to this point.

Regarding the story, there were just a couple things that I wanted to clarify regarding why I chose to take this "untraditional" route towards a possible Olympic career...
Some have asked why I chose to represent The Philippines since it was so complicated compared to competing as a U.S team member. For me, the choice wasn't complicated at all. My Grandmother has been the foundation of the Filipino culture in my family. In the same way that proffessional Basketball and Baseball players represent their "home countries" during Olympic time, I chose to do something similar. This is my way of having not only pride in the culture that has contributed so much to my upbringing, but also as a means of saying Thank You to my Grandmother, and the opportunities she provided for our family so many decades ago as they moved to the US. I took some time to go into detail about this during my KCRA interview, but understandably it was cut out to keep within the time restrictions.

Once again, I have to thank you all for your support and energy. I will attach a link to the clip (HERE)

Also a big thanks to the incoming support from:
FiliIslander Clothing

Stay tuned!

The clock ticks...

Another long week, with a handful of good and bad news from everywhere. With the weather finally starting to go our way in Northern California, I was able to get some much needed time in up on the mountain.
Towards the end of November, it was clear that I wasn't going to be able to afford to travel to the FIS Pre-Lim qualifier in France. I had to suck it up, rethink my plans, and start building energy for the next qualifier. Just two days ago I received an email from the head of registration for that event. The event was CANCELLED due to "poor snowfall conditions", with a brief "sorry about that" listed at the end. This started to make me wonder just HOW the rest of the athletes are able to deal with these sudden and unforeseeable changes. If I had booked the $1500+ travel and accomodations package for that event and received that same email, I would have been completely devastated. I can only imagine how many athletes that already reserved their spot at this event must feel.

So for now, the clock ticks...
One less event to build the neccessary points to make it to World Cup, and the deadline is only getting closer.