Sixty push-ups today, in the form of three sets of twenty — each separated by a rest and a qi gong or tai chi form. I took a break yesterday, and the result was better form in my push-ups and the ability to do ten more than I’ve ever done before. I think it was commenter Io who pointed out that your nose doesn’t have to touch the floor; your body just has to stay plank-like.
Today’s movement is called Left-Hand Push. It’s pretty simple. The body ends the previous movement, Double Punch, with the left foot in front. The body withdraws to the right foot, extends the arms up into a push position, and then moves forward again. It’s usual for Push to deliver the attack through the right hand; that is, from the left foot to the right hand. This one is the reverse of that; it’s the left foot that’s forward, and the left hand directly above it is what will deliver the push — and the force of that push will come from the right foot.
Draw back from double punch, but keep both feet
planted on the floor where you left them last.
You’re shifting your weight, preparing to meet
a foe one more time; but you cannot blast
one more strike in the same way as before.
Press forward from right foot and raise your palms.
Keep balanced as you shift across the floor,
Straighten your elbows without fears or qualms
and push outward from right foot to left hand.
In this way, the final movements transmit
the weight of your body. As your command
over flesh and bone increases, commit
to moving slower, and with greater grace:
thus do you master your own time and space.
I was telling my lady yesterday, or maybe it was Saturday, that I’ve never been so happy to see the approaching end of a sequence of poetry as I’ve been to see the end of this one. The last two weeks of writing these entries have been a royal pain for me, and I will be mightily glad to see the end of them, really.