Got up this morning promptly after going to bed early. the pollen has been bad, really bad, and I’ve had to fill my neti pot with hot salty water four times daily (twice in the morning, twice in the evening) just to keep breathing.

Which makes it remarkably difficult to move forcefully, slowly and deliberately through a martial arts form. Yesterday was great, today was not so good, and for much the same reason in both cases. There’s a limit to how long I can go without air, of course. When it feels like one is breathing but no air is coming in, that’s a problem. The movements and the breathwork yesterday were both attuned to one another, and in sync. Today they were not so much in alignment with one another. The result was alternately coughing fits and sweats.

But maybe the sweats are good. I’m definitely breathing better today than I’ve been able to do in a while. That’s how it usually is at the beginning of the day, though (after neti pot’ing my sinuses so hard that I I leak white snot {look, they’ve elected a pope in there!} for about ten minutes afterward.) Having snot dripping out of my nose may be ugly but it’s better than having it wind up in my guts with post-nasal drip.

A few things for future reference: I notice when I’m feeling poorly, like today, that the first half of the tai chi form usually goes quite smoothly, and then, when I reach the halfway point or so, I tend to speed up. I’m much more familiar with the first half, and so that’s the part I’ve been able to slow down most effectively. The second part is much less programmed in my muscle memory, so it’s not memorized. When there’s no reason to slow down, I don’t. So I have to be as conscious in part two as in part one.

The second point is an awareness of my knees. I weigh three hundred pounds, or thereabouts. Two years of daily exercises haven’t shifted that at all. Maybe I’m a bit more compact around e middle, and I’ve certainly improved my musculature and bone density and physical strength. But today there were a couple of unexpected twinges from my knees. And I have a question rising now about what I’m doing wrong that’s putting unnecessary stress on my knees. I’ll have to do a little more analysis of my movements to see what’s going off kilter, or if it can be specifically attributed to the weight I’m carrying around.