Taiji day 142: meeting challenge

Yesterday i said I wanted to master the windmill kick. Today I discovered what that promise entails. When I got to the Windmill Kick, after doing five gold coins and eight pieces of silk, and most of the way through the form…

I failed. I couldn’t even get my toes to hit my right palm. That’s the easy one. That’s the one I could do yesterday. Today, not so much. So, even when we set goals, the body challenges us. The mind challenges us. It’s hard to get these things done, even when we want to. Circumstances are always changing,

Anyway, I did about ten kicks with my right foot so that my right toes hit my left palm. I then did a similar number of kicks with my right foot to my right palm. One of the challenges I face in mastering this particular posture is the typically American tight calves, thighs, and butt muscles. If I want to succeed in this posture, they have to be more flexible than they currently are. Which may mean doing more yoga, but that will come in time if it must.

After these twenty kicks, left and right side, I did the Wndmill Kick, and I discovered another failing. My teacher Laddie always said that the windmill kick involves lifting the leg to the left palm, then swinging the leg from left palm to right palm, then down to the ground.

But a kick has no staying power. You urge the leg up, and then it wants to come right down again. It doesn’t want to stay up; it wants to come down again, right away. Gravity commands it, Newton explained it, yadda yadda ching ching ching. So there’s all sorts off muscles in the leg that have to xget stronger: the lifting muscles, that hold the leg up; the swinging muscles, that will generate the sideways motion; the kicking muscles that get the leg there in the first place. All of these subsystems are part of an interlinked whole — me — but currently they don’t work in tandem.

I find myself wondering if I’ll still be working on getting this move right in two weeks, two months, or a year from now. Or whether this will be something I never quite master fully.

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