Taiji Day 312: Shape Shifting

I’m late writing this morning’s entry because after I did tai chi this morning, I saw that Gordon had a new entry about re-membering the world.  Iron Man suit.  Huh.  (My whole tai chi practice for the last year is largely me pulling something out of my memories — my tai chi lessons back in 1997-1999 or so — and reinvigorating the practice.  My friend Hollie recently said that she had a psychic look over her, and say, “wow, you don’t keep anything, do you?” And it turns out that this is because she gave away all her memories to notebooks and journals.  Re-membering your world.)

Me, I’m learning to shape-shift.  Irregular readers may think I’m going bonkers, because when we say “shape shift” in our society, we usually mean “dude, that guy on the screen just turned into a werewolf!” or a cloud of bats, or a pile of rats, or whatever. Whatever.

But no.  I mean, I’m usually and normally a pudgy, overweight guy in my early 40s.  Yet last night as I was cleaning up around the house, I happened to be in the bathroom, and I realized, “hey, there’s some muscle in those forearms.”  And my stomach is flattening.  And as I sit here at my computer, my belly is against the edge of my desk, and my knees are touching the radiator under the desk — instead of my arms extended and elbows locked to reach the keyboard over my gut.

Change comes slowly through tai chi.  But it does come.  A little at a time, over a long time.  Now, 312 days into this year-long experiment, with around two months left to go, it’s finally starting to have the effect on my physical form that going to the gym every day for six months might have had.  Not a great argument in favor of slow, regular, repetitive movements.  Except that, really, I haven’t been sick in almost a year.   The sniffles I had a week ago was as bad as it’s been in months.  Somehow I doubt that I’d be that way if I’d just been going to the gym.  Sure, muscle tension — that psoas pain was a right nuisance — but regular massages and some pampering would take care of that, right?  What’s not to like?

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  1. […] The annoying little grabber in my left lower back has returned; it’s probably the psoas muscle tightening again, and pulling stuff out of alignment. It occurred to me this morning that the short form that I do is only really working one side of the body effectively.  Sometime in the near future, I need to work out the set of steps that will transform my tai chi form from being primarily on the right side of the body, to making it be primarily on the left-hand side of the body, by reversing the actions or reverse-engineering them somehow. […]

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