Sometimes when I’m doing tai chi, there’s a cracking sound coming from inside my body. Usually it’s around a joint — elbow or shoulder or occasionally neck. At first they were surprising and worrisome, but they never appeared to do any damage, and I decided (more or less) that I would stop worrying about them. The longer I work daily, the fewer of these mysterious crackling or popping sounds there are.
But this morning? Phew!
The crack was loud enough that at first I thought it was a car on the street outside. When I realized it was me, I had to stop what I was doing and figure out where in the form I was, and if I’d done myself injury. Wow. It was loud, and startling enough to bring me to full wakefulness, and make me check my spine and elbows and knees, and be sure I hadn’t popped a tendon or something.
I seem to be fine. This small cloud of tension in my lower left back has mostly dissolved, which is where I think the sound came from. And my neighbors weren’t awakened, so that’s good.
But boy, was that startling. I think this is part of the reason why learning a martial art takes so long, and is so difficult. The body makes noises when you put it through its paces. If you don’t know what those sounds are like, you’re unlikely to be able to fight for very long; you’ll keep thinking your arm or your leg is broken, or something.
But hey, it’s a new Bak’Tun, or something, and I feel fine.