Sunday, September 21, 2008

Riding on the Wings of Victory

The Aerial. I did it. I landed one.

After seeing it all my life in kung fu movies, tv shows and acrobatic tumbling routines, I did something on Friday I've never thought I would be able to do. I landed my own aerial.

It's not that I never thought I would be able to do it. Lots of people can do it. Most of the senior Level 2's can. I remember one of my first classes at the Temple when Heng Li was leading the line and we were doing 側手翻 (CeShouFan). He did aerials oh-so-casually all the way down the line. And if you know Li, when I say "casual", I mean FULL of chi. :) My fancy took flight and I told myself, "If I trained harder, maybe I'll get there too."

It's been a year and a half since that day and I have evolved physically, mentally, and spiritually. I've been feeling and witnessing exponential growth within me. Friday was the day I tasted my first freedom and learned to fly. That's exactly what an aerial is. It's suspended animation gliding through the air. It's as if a mini-worm hole was created and the laws of physics and gravity no longer applied. For that split second, time stopped and the world ceased to exist. I was in a moment of total amazement and bliss. The next second came and the world came rushing back. All I heard was the class exploding in clapping and cheers. I landed one. My very first.

I've been on the cusp many times. But, right when I get to the vertical point, doubt would creep in and I would reach out my hands and fall back down. Not holding out your hands to touch the ground takes courage and fearlessness. You have to believe that your head won't get smashed on the ground. You have to believe that your body has enough momentum to carry you over the 90 degree point. You have to believe in yourself.

I've had horrendous pain in my neck and spine in the past two weeks. I'm not really sure how I got it but it just wouldn't go away. Now I know what that was. It was the blossoming of my wings of victory.

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