Two qi gong forms, four tai chi forms. I had a lot of trouble on the south-facing and west-facing tai chi forms. I started over on each form, twice; and in the case of the west-facing form, three times.
There was also a tiny pebble or large piece of grit on the floor. Every third or fourth time I put my foot down today, I’d find that piece of grit again. But it would shock and surprise me, so I’d lift my foot in surprise, and the piece of grit would bounce loose from my foot. I’d hear it skitter across the floor, and I’d lose it … for three or four steps until I found it again. Surprise! And then kick, skitter, oops, where is it? Here I am!
During the north-facing form I put my foot down after Golden Pheasant Stands on Right Leg, and I found it again. This time I put my foot down, and very carefully lifted my foot even as I reached down to grab the thing. It was stone-like, hard and unyielding, irregularly shaped, and nearly invisible in the dark room without my glasses.
And so I invented my first tai chi form: seize the pebble in the dark.
I carried the stone for the remainder of the form between my thumb and index finger of my right hand. Then I put the stone in the garbage can when the form was done.