Sunday, November 11, 2007

Training mini marathon

I'm taking the day off. My ass hurts. My back hurts. My hips, hamstrings, quads, knees, ankles, shins, feet, and calves hurt. Basically my everything hurts. Yesterday was my 7th day of training in a row. I was determined to get a whole week done, even though really it's as arbitrary a number as any. But I wanted to say I had done it, even if it meant it would hurt. I just wanted to train hard as I could. I always said I wished I could train every day and now is my opportunity. It was sort of like an extended version of class and far as the mental and physical pushing of myself. And it definitely helped reveal things to me about why and how I train.

I spent a large part of the week getting to class early and working on my left handed ceshoufans for a new move I learned in Level 2. As we all know it is not my strong side. I spent over an hour in L2 on Friday doing cartwheels over and over and over again and still not getting it. I know what to do; I know not to be scared; but my body is just retarded and won't obey me. I really started to get angry at one point. It's so frustrating to not be able to do something so basic even after spending half the class doing nothing else. I tried to focus my anger into chi but I just got worse.

I am terrible about getting really angry at myself when I mess something up. In kung fu this hasn't been as bad because the mental training has helped me mature beyond internal tantrums, (mostly), but there were several times this week when I was learning something new, or even going back to something I already know when I just got so frustrated I wanted to hit something. It was somewhere around my 500th ceshoufan that I realized that this anger was actually holding me back. I couldn't "use" that anger to train better because I was just going into the whole thing with the wrong attitude. It was weighing me down. After all, I didn't decide to train every day because I wanted to be angry at myself for not being perfect at things. I trained because it's fun to work at getting better. I guess this is a fairly straightforward revelation, but I had always operated under the understanding that you could focus anger or frustration as energy in what you were doing. But for me at least, I realized it was just making me worse, and that what I actually had to do was let it go entirely.

Once I started to focus on having fun and being happy that I was learning I already felt lighter. My ceshoufans improved dramatically in how they felt and even some in how they look. :) Of course, I got to the point (today that is) where what I really needed to make things better is a little rest. But it was good to remember that training harder does not mean you have to take yourself too seriously. However, I seriously am enjoying resting my legs. :)


  1. That is a wonderful revelation. I feel that it permeates through most of what we do in our lives. Joy and happiness will get us much further than anger and frustration. Negative energy only begets more negative energy.

    As far as ceshoufans go, I didn't really get it until this week. I used to dread doing ceshoufans in line, but now I can't wait to get to it. It's funny because it clicked while doing erluquan (I finished the whole form this weekend. Yay! :) Thanks Richu! ) Before going into the first ceshoufan, you kick your leg up to generate momentum. It is such a simple idea, I just don't know why I never did it. I always jumped onto my hands and start going down the line. I was watching Han teaching Richu no-hand ceshoufans and something else occured to me. It is exactly like the butterfly kick in L2, except that you do it going forward in a straight line. I might be wrong but that's what it looked like. And for all you crazy nerds out there who loves studying this stuff. ahem! Richu. Check this link out. No hand Ceshoufan. And Cheng, this would be good for you to look at: Cartwheel
    And this is just good info:

  2. Awesome to hear that you did 7 days in a row! Does it make you appreciate your day of rest more?

    Yeah, I had the same problem as well with my ceshoufan's. Then during one of the L2 classes N'ou had me train in the back for work on ba-wang-zha-qui. Being sent to the side, actually gave me the determination to get it right! Also, to be more comfortable with my left-handed ceshoufan.