After three days, though, the audience knows.
I’ve had three days of light — nay, call it what it is: almost-nonexistent —tai chi practice in which I’ve not really cared for my work or done it deliberately. And the result is that today I am stiff and sore.
So I did about 38 minutes of tai chi. Not an hour, not 45 minutes, but something more than 30 minutes. Much of the stiffness and soreness has vanished.
It’s not to say that I’ve gotten no exercise, though. I’ve been up and down from the floor more times than I can count: kneeling, squatting, bending over, twisting, and carrying this wizard head around from place to place. Aiee! It’s almost done, though. A few more swabs of paint on the the lips, and some details around the eyes, and I think it will be done.
If we hadn’t lost so much time to the weather, it might be more elaborate or more sophisticated in its paint job. But tech week starts Monday, and the play opens Friday night. It’s time to let this project go.
And because of that, I feel like I can turn my attention to tai chi again. I don’t know why I let that practice go to pot while I was working on this head. But I did, and it felt right to do that for some reason. TOday’s practice was radically different as a result, because I knew that this project was off my workbench in some fashion. I did Five Golden Coins, and then I ran through the form about four times in various ways: concentrating on footwork modification the first time, moving through water another, focusing on agility the third time, and then finally trying to put all of it together.
The last time sucked. I simply don’t have the strength or agility or skill to manage inverse-breathing, footwork, moving through water and deliberateness all at the same time. I will in time, but it’s not all put together yet. And I can’t afford to give up practice days, really. It’s this deliberate cultivation process.
But by the end, my stiffness and soreness was mitigated quite a bit. Tai chi, and movement generally, allows me to move better and more effectively than when I don’t move or when I move less deliberately. And I have to remember: strength, flexibility, and endurance — two out of three ain’t good enough.