Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Don't Cramp My Style!

I don't want to speak too soon, but I do feel like I'm at the beginning of another good training phase. All day I wanted to train. When the 4:00 blues hit, I still wanted to train. And when I walked to temple, I still wanted to train. When I got home, I got right back to blogging; two nights in a row! Good things are definitely in store.

I am still working at getting back in the swing of things. Yesterday, while not the hardest class of late, I did experience something I had thought was far behind me: stitches in my side. I learned long ago when running, and then again when I was a swimmer, that despite appearances, you can train through such cramps, and you end up stronger as a result. I applied the same philosphy to training kung fu, but I was extremely happy when I put the days of double-me-up stomach cramps behind me.

Last night I felt the chi from the first "Line up!" And Sifu even gave me muttered encouragement during caijiaos. But the amped up popping and extension caused me to start feeling those side stitches before we got to cetitui, and they didn't leave for the rest of basics. Luckily, they weren't too severe and I was able to finish class with the same chi I started (relatively). Still, it's a sign how my strength and endurance have dropped off. This time last year I had just finished my training mini-marathon. I really miss that fitness and chi-level, even though they came with a fair amount of soreness.

Luckily, as Spenser says "there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought." So I have never really lost my chi or my endurance because it is always there waiting to be rediscovered. Or, for a less esoteric reference, someone said (maybe Bruce Lee?) that kung fu isn't learning, but reminding yourself of things your body forgot. (Something to that effect. I'm better with 16th century literature I guess.) In any case, I'll do my best to not have those concerns either way, by not forgetting/losing/regressing anymore, but always moving forward, as we're taught.

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