“Do remember; one part moves, every part moves; one part still, every part still.”
(“Thirteen Postures: Comprehending External and Internal Training” by Wang, Zong-Yue)
When I read that quote on the Tai Chi Spirit calendar, it reminded me of my struggles with Centering. As I briefly described in my previous post, we’re taking small steps to learn how to avoid being pushed off center by our partners. We have to sense their movements and be quick enough to get out of a dangerous situation by turning our waist, bending our knees, opening/closing our chest, and moving our elbows. By learning how to get these separate parts to work together, we can create just enough distance and time needed to stay centered. It’s a very difficult and long work in progress.
Meditation: I found the best position for me to avoid having my legs fall asleep. I sit on the cushion and make folds with the blanket to form cushions under my knees. It’s better for us to sit without back support to build our back muscles, but this makes it difficult to relax and breathe.
Sequences: YMAA Boston is hosting the 1000 Lian Bu Quan (Lien Bu Chuan) Challenge!
By the time I heard about the challenge, I was already past 50, so here is my 68th one.
One drill we do is hold a stick and jump over it, forwards and backwards. All the training we’ve done has helped me improve in jumping forward. But it somehow changed the way I jumped and now I can hardly jump backwards.
Another drill we do is jump up stairs. We’re not only going for height but also for distance and it’s mentally challenging for me because I fear I’ll bang my shins if I don’t make it. Physically, I was capable of jumping up 3 steps, but it took me a few days to finally do it. Jon says I can make 4 steps, but I may need a few days to be mentally prepared.
It’s why we shouldn’t eat that piece of dessert. It’s also why we can :) Sometimes I figure, “It’s going to be hard anyway, so I might as well enjoy this cake.” I’m not eating the way I should be, so I started keeping a food journal to deter me from eating too many treats.
I decided to start running with weights during week 2 because that is what we’ll be tested on. Plus, running without weights is hard anyway, it’s just a little shorter. Here are my times:
16:54 0 lbs (mostly walking), 14:49 0 lbs, 14:43 0 lbs, 14:14 0 lbs, 16:13 9 lbs, 16:11 10 lbs, 16:03 12 lbs
I’m not improving as much as it seems because the temperature was initially pretty high (mid 90’s). For my last run (16:03 on 9/17), I sprinted from the garden to the driveway to shave off a few seconds. My heavy steps made a few people look up to see who was making all the loud noises :p
TIP: Keep your ankles flexible
My ankles weren’t flexible to begin with and I had a minor injury on the left one last summer so it’s tight and cracking most of the time. It’s making it difficult to shift from Si Liu Bu (4-6 stance) into Deng Shan Bu (Mountain Climbing Stance) and we do that for EVERYTHING. I’m trying to stretch them more (along with my growing calf muscles), but I have ways to go.
For homework, we learned the basic terms in media production and our assignment was to compose still shots, trade them with the other group and analyze. Here are my shots:
For our next assignment, we chose a photo from the previous assignment and created a story in 5 images.
We grow a lot of eggplants in the garden and here’s my first Chinese style eggplant dish! I used garlic, onions, green peppers, basil, soy sauce, and corn starch.