Doing tai chi in a motel room on the road, or doing tai chi outside in the parking lot, is never quite the same as doing it in one’s own back yard or house. It’s the same movements, the same intention. But somehow the follow-through is never quite the same. It doesn’t have the same flow to it, and it doesn’t have the same energy. Part of you is keeping an eye out for whether or not someone unknown is watching — and whether they’ll have an opinion of your work — when you’re outside. Inside, you’re worried about banging your knee or your foot on a too-low dresser in a room which isn’t familiar to you.
You wind up taking thing more easily than if you were home.
Of course, many of the risks remain the same. You could fall on a spin, or unbalance during a kick. You could whack your shin on a piece of furniture just as easily at home, as in a strange place. You can lose track of where you are in the form just as easily on the road as at home. You can do not-enough-tai-chi, and you can do too much. A stranger can mock you when your form is inaccurate, or maybe show you a ‘better’ way of doing things than you do now. Or maybe nothing happens at all, except that you do your tai chi, and go back to bed; or maybe just do your tai chi and get on with your day.
Maybe that’s best.
So don’t be too concerned about doing your tai chi on the road. Watch out for those low dressers and suitcase racks; don’t eat too much junk food on the road. Keep an eye out for strangers, but try to make friends where you can, or at least casual acquaintances unlikely to attack.
Remember that everywhere you do the form, is one less place where you feel less at ease. Yet both you and your work belong there. You’ve chosen to be there, and you’ve chosen to do your form there. You belong, even though home is far away.