Tai chi Y3D144: retreat for a rematch

I haven’t talked about my push-ups practice much, but yesterday I happened to notice that my chest and shoulders and arms have… Ah… bulked up a bit. My profile is changing in response to them. And surprisingly, my abdominals and back are changing too. I mean, I realize that all these muscle groups are connected to doing push-ups, but it’s only been a few weeks of work. When I started I could barely do five pushups without gasping and heaving. Now I can do twenty, though I still gasp and heave at the end of it. I’m also going lower to the floor each time. Pretty soon it will be time to up it to 25 or even 30.

today’s movement is called “retreat to the mountain camp for a rematch” but I’ve shortened the name in the title of today’s entry. Basically it’s a withdrawal from the previous position, Throat Strike, followed by an immediate push. The hands and forearms throw up an X in front of the chest, as the left foot withdraws. Weight then shifts to the left foot, and as the right foot steps forward, the hands push out rapidly. This event is followed by False Close, where the body comes back to the closing position before striking out again behind.

I had to do the three forms together about eleven times to figure out how to describe them, and now I have to do Retreat to the Mountain Camp probably four times more as I write the poem. It’s all rather like doing a literary high-wire act, isn’t it?

When the strike is delivered to the throat,
Step back with the left foot, withdraw the hands,
And cross your wrists to block. Don’t act by rote,
but mind your foe’s fists! Your safety demands
that your hands sweep down your front and your groin,
as your mass rests in your right leg alone.
Uncross your arms: and be sure they adjoin
empty spaces, and not your center zone.
Step with your left foot, but push with your right!
and plant your hands on your foe as seems best,
for though you should be reluctant to fight,
it’s good that any attack is addressed.
Push body forward, transferring through hand
Springing force coil’d where right foot touches land.

Ok, there’s some cheats in there. Maybe. Not bad, though, not bad at all. And I feel like today has suddenly become productive.

update: visiting my parents for a couple of days. We went to a pool, dad and me, within ten minutes of my arrival. I did ten laps without stopping. Pretty proud of myself.

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