Tai Chi Y4D65: Five Times

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Time heals all wounds. And time makes you better.  Yesterday, I watched a student of mine deliver a presentation on their martial arts training since the time they were young, until today. This kid could do moves that I’m not sure I will ever do.  But they also have six years of practice, when the body is all young and flexible and finds it easier to learn moves like that.  At two or three one-hour sessions of practice a week under a teacher, that kid has put in close to a thousand hours of time toward their practice; when you add in competitions and additional practice at home, and just casually swinging a stick in the back yard… I bet this kid has achieved the thousand-hour mark.

When I start with a guess that I’ve spent fifteen to twenty minutes a day for three years and two months on my martial arts practice, it’s harder not to do the mathematics, and figure that I’m somewhere between 275 and 300 hours of practice. You might think that’s depressing, to discover that you’re way behind a kid you thought you were way ahead of… but it’s just not true.  First of all, there’s no ahead or behind in this. There’s only more practiced and less practiced.  Second of all, I’m encouraged.  I will get better.  This student will get better.  We’ll both be better tomorrow, and next year, than we are today.  Of course, other things may get in the way for both of us: life, career, love, health, all have their part to play in this dance.

Today I did 20 push-ups, 20 squats, the two qi gong forms, and the tai chi form four times.  That was a half-hour of practice.  A half-hour of practice a day for a year-and-a-day is 183 hours of practice.  An hour of practice for a year-and-a-day is 366 hours of practice. Forty-five minutes of practice is 274-and-a-half hours of practice.  Ten minutes of practice daily is  61 hours of practice a year.

So ask yourself: What’s your level of commitment. What would you like to be able to achieve?  Set your schedule and your priorities accordingly.

Tai Chi Y4D64: Loopy

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Today’s tai chi and druidry practice left me… loopy.  I felt like I was stuck in a time-warp, to some degree. And here it is, 6:30 am with not much writing to show for it.  Forty-minutes of tai chi, and 30 minutes of tai chi and meditation… where did the time go?

Tai Chi Y4D63: Thirty Minutes

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Did thirty minutes of tai chi this morning: two qi gong forms, twenty push-ups, some extra squats, and the tai chi form four times.  It was about right for a work-out.

I think the thing about a longer workout, as opposed to just “doing the form once” is that there’s much more room for improvement and performance goals inside of a set block of time than there is in a once-through situation.  There’s more that can go wrong; but there’s also more that can go right.  It’s not even a balancing act — giving tai chi more time, leads to better performance.

Tai Chi Y4D62: Bard

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I am a bard.  I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this.  I went through the ceremony yesterday, and so far I don’t feel all that different.  I’m proud of myself for completing the curriculum, of course, and for moving ahead.  But I’m also thinking hard about what comes next, which is the Druidic curriculum, which is much harder.

In that context, tai chi today was pretty much a cinch.  But the writing about, that’s proving more difficult in this expanded-time paradigm.  I’m already at work, and it’s not right for me to be writing at work.  So I have to figure this part out.

Tai Chi Y4D61: Six Years

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No, I’ve not been doing tai chi for six years.  It was six years ago yesterday that I began blogging on WordPress.  The archives go back to 2002, though, because I imported my journal archive from LiveJournal.  I would have done DiaryLand too, but that archive had been archived, and then deleted, by the time I started here.

Tai chi today was sort of a joke.  I’m experiencing a little bit of accidie, in part because I have a major undertaking today and I’m putting it off a bit while I read through the plan.

I am going to become a Bard in my druidic order today.  It’s a bit of a major program, and part of me is nervous about it, and delaying doing it.  But it’s happening.  The anniversary-ish of my blogging here is as good a time as any, right?  And truth be told, I wasn’t sure that today was the day until I started writing this entry on how terrible my tai chi practice was today.  It just suddenly felt like, “Oh, right, you did a bad job with this because you want to do a good job with that!” 

Sometimes life is like that.

Update: I am a bard, by examination and initiation, in my order, as of early this afternoon.

Tai Chi Y4D60: Short and sweet

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Did tai chi this afternoon, rather than this morning, because that’s what happened.  I had an early morning call for a departure, and I did that; and then a drive somewhere, so I did that; and then all that rushing around took its toll and I took a nap.

But I’m done now.  More later.

Tai Chi Y4D59: Sweat

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I actually hit the point of sweat today in a 45-minute workout.  Twenty push-ups, eight work-throughs of the form (two squats in each, in the form of Snake creeps down), the two qi gong forms of Eight Pieces of Silk and Five Golden Coins (thirty-two squats, Robert!).  And a 45-minute workout.

Now I know what’s entailed in an hour-long workout. And how to reach that level of performance.  It’s going to be easier from here to hit that goal.

Yesterday I happened to be wearing a short-sleeved shirt after work.  I ran into someone I knew slightly, and they saw my arms. He said, “I didn’t know you were so strong,” and gestured at my arm. I looked down and realized, wow I have biceps. And I’m starting to have arms, generally.

Ok, and you readers know that it’s not like I mean I didn’t have arms yesterday, and today I do. But I hadn’t noticed that I was getting visibly stronger, recently. Mostly I was feeling weak and not very skilled. But the change from “get the form done” to “do a half-hour” is producing results.

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