Two sets of pushups today: one of fourteen, and one of fifteen. Also did qi gong and tai chi out on the lawn. It’s hot, though not as beastly-hot as it was earlier this week.
Today’s poem is to be Fair Lady Works the Shuttles 3. This is the third movement that sort of resembles the same action — shifting weight from back to front, at the same time that the hands, one over the other, deliver a push along a vertical axis line toward an opponent. The four movements each touch one corner of a square, and the back foot usually winds up at some position near the center of the square. When considering the whole tai chi form, the square is orthogonal to the line created extending directly behind the practitioner from opening position. Fair Lady Works Shuttles 1 points southeast (if the practitioner faces east at Opening), while Fair Lady Works Shuttles 2 points northeast. So, this one, Fair Lady Works Shuttles 3 is going to wind up pointing northwest, while Fair Lady Works Shuttles 4 is going to wind up pointing southwest. Phew!
The really nice thing is, the poem can pick up where yesterday’s left off. Even so, this feels like a bear to wrestle. Fair Lady Works Shuttles 3 is the shortest of the movements, and I shortened it further by including some elements of Fair Lady 3 into Fair Lady 2.
As you shift your weight, make both hands align
as though you were knocking a pillar down:
right hand pointed up, your thumb a strong tine
pointing at the thumb of the left hand’s crown.
Push off with your back foot, don’t just shift weight—
use the front/left foot to resist the thrust.
Bend knees to keep your head at the same height.
Be wary: don’t over-extend or bust
the wall that rises straight up from your toes.
That is ever the edge of your power
in this form, and any foe overthrows
you when you extend beyond this tower.
Beyond this border, your chi can extend
but your flesh should not: this edge is your end.