Friday, September 26, 2008

Learning to Fly

Before we learned to walk, we all repeatedly fell down over and over again until we were able to develop our muscles and coordination to the point where we can balance ourselves precariously on two feet. It is after millenniums of evolution that humans have become one of a handful of creatures that has chosen to walk on it's hind legs. And now, I'm on a quest to further that evolution. I want to aerial, butterfly twist, and TengKongWaiBaiLiang as my only mode of travel from Point A to Point B.

I feel like a child learning to walk again. Oooo...boy! I sure have the bruises to prove it too. On Wednesday night Level 2 class, I walked in and both John and Heng Ji (Branden) said to me, "So you landed an aerial, eh? Let's see it!" They proceeded to pull out the big mats for us to play on. We had about 20 minutes worth of jumping and fumbling through the air trying our best to land our aerials and butterfly twists. None of us landed it but it was nice to have the mats and not have to worry about landing too hard on the ground. It does pose an interesting question. Is it better to learn how to land it on a mat, build the confidence there and then land without it? Or is it better to venture out onto the real surface where we will be doing the aerial anyway? I suppose it comes down to personal preference. Do you want bruises now or later? You are going to fall a few times. It's a fact. It's overcoming that fear of self-preservation. It's letting it all go and just fly. During class, I put that philosophy to the test. Heng De let us do BaiWangZaiKui for about 10 minutes. I think the way I was falling was scaring some people. "Leo, when you land fall, it's like seeing and hearing a sack of potatoes fall on the ground. Ka-Boom! But you do it with no fear though. I don't know if I can do that..."

My body is still a little battered today. I am not sure if it is from the falling or my muscles getting used a new way of coordination and use. I would like to think it's the latter because if I let my fear control me, I will never be able to fly. It really isn't about the falling down. It's about the getting back up and trying again after you just failed. But maybe I should invest in some protection, just in case. A wearable airbag. I sure could use that!

Even though I wince in pain every step I take, I can't wait to get out there and learn to fly again.

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