September Alumni Spotlight

 Dana pic for blog 
 [Photo taken by Keith Uyemura]

1) When did you get into Wushu?
I started my freshman year -- way back in 2009!

2) How long were you in the club?
Five years if I count the year I was a captain.
(Half a decade sounds cooler, but it also makes me feel older...)

3) How did you find out about Wushu?
My roommate and I went to the same taekwondo studio
before college, but since UO didn't have a taekwondo club at the time, we decided to give Wushu a shot after she brought back a flyer from the 
Club Sports Fair. We also saw them running around with weapons
during IntroDUCKtion and may or may not have followed them to see if they were going to demo (they didn't). They seemed like fun people and
in hindsight I'm really happy the random group with weapons were Wushu people.

4) Were you ever a coordinator or captain?
I was a coordinator for two years and a captain for one. Being a captain is definitely more fun, but coordinating is fulfilling in its own way.

5) How did you balance all your activities during college?
In short, I was terrible at balancing school and Wushu. If I could do it all
over again, there'd definitely be way more efficient time management and studying going on. However, I can't really say that I regret focusing on 
Wushu so much because it was something I really loved and I was able to share it with a bunch of wonderful people.

6) How did the people you meet impact your life?
Now activating sappy mode: joining Wushu introduced me to people who are now my best friends and although we don't talk every day, they definitely continue to impact me. Also, I wouldn't have heard about or got the internship and job I currently have without the help of Wushu people -- to me, that's amazing that one community can do so much. Wushu people are stubborn, resilient, and the most diverse group of oddballs I've ever met and I definitely wouldn't be anywhere close to who I am right now if I didn't meet them.

7) How has Wushu impacted your life?
I just said so much cheesy stuff about the people, but in terms of the sport itself, sometimes I half wish I never went to that first Wushu practice 
(but not really). You hit a point where you realize whether you do the sport because you love the activity itself or the people. For me it's both, 
but loving the sport and not getting to practice the way I want to on a 
regular basis for a very long time because of various reasons bothers me more than I thought it would. I'm not sure why I like Wushu so much, but I think about it every day whether I want to or not and it makes me antsy. It's definitely had a huge impact on me! On a less gloomy note, I'd say that overall it's made me more determined and willing to struggle for things I want rather than just giving up.

8) Where are you now in life?
I currently work in Tokyo as an assistant English instructor at elementary schools, middle schools, and for different businesses.

9) Do you still have practice?/Are you still involved with Wushu?
Working on it! One of my current goals is to start attending a class 
by the end of the summer and to get my splits back.

10) Do you have any words for current/future members and the general public?
- Don't overthink things
- Work hard, but remember to have fun
- Pay your coordinator/s on time
- Remember your [very important] basics. Beautiful stances. All the time. 
Especially when you think no one's watching.
-Additional stuff: I hope everyone has a wonderful summer and next year is awesome!! Jiayou!