A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
I think that I wanted to write something profound here, but the profundity just want come. So, I’ll just share my thoughts about my Tai Chi practice over the past year.
Of course, when I walked into The Peaceful Dragon on Tuesday, April 6th, 2010, I had never taken a Tai Chi class in my life. I had no idea what to expect, therefore, no expectations.
My first few classes were intimidating, as the 30 minute warm-up prior to class was pretty intense. However, we were always told to do what you can, push yourself, but don’t hurt yourself. That’s what I did.
A year later, there are still some things in the warm up that I cannot do, but I do my best to do them in a modified way.
Tai Chi, as a moving meditation has greatly improved my fluidity of motion. I feel like I walk better, am more graceful. Tai Chi as a meditation has given me more focus and a lot more peace. I really feel at peace, sometimes, when I’m doing the movements. I say sometimes because sometimes the Wild Monkey Mind is chattering away and refuses to be calmed. Tai Chi as a martial art is impressive. From the outside, no one would expect that there are martial applications. As far as they are concerned, these are just nice, graceful, calming moves. They would be wrong.
After attending for a while, I have found that I break into form practice spontaneously in most unlikely places. I’ve practiced my form in my cubicle while waiting for a software build to finish. I’ve practiced on the elevator … when I’m alone. Heck, I’ve even practiced at the stop light. Arm movements only, though. It just brings a real sense of peace to do these motions.
I’ve found that I’m not in a hurry to do the next part of the Solo Form because I want to get better at this part before moving on. Some of my classmates are way ahead of me, but this doesn’t bother me at all. I’m more patient. Is Tai Chi some kind of magic? No. I don’t think so, I just think that I’ve found that martial art that really fits my personality. So, doing it is a pleasure, even when it’s difficult.
Speaking of when it’s difficult: That part is great. That has built a lot of confidence and given me the desire to continue to push the envelope and see what I can do!
Physically, I’m a different specimen, to be sure. Losing all of that weight has made a huge difference in how I feel. My goal was to lose 100 pounds (45.5Kg) in one year. I didn’t make that, but I am very happy with the 73 (33.2 Kg) that I lost. I’m still shooting for the 100, but at a slightly slower pace. I really feel good about what I’ve accomplished and where I am right now.
Overall, it has been a pleasant journey. I’ve never felt pushed, rushed, intimidated by teachers or students, and just felt really welcomed and part of the family right from the start.
It’s been a fantastic experience. I have taken the first step of my journey.