Friday, April 4, 2008

"Why do we come here?"

I want to post something insightful and/or inspirational about coming back from illness and training hard and so on and so forth. But in my head I just see Sifu telling me to ceshoufan faster, or myself trying vainly to wrench my leg around in mopan saotui. I am starting to feel desperate about ever regaining the head flip; I'm regressing to fear of bawang zakui. Every time I jump I feel like I'm half as high as people who are half my height. I'm not worried about testing. It will come and go and I'll do my best. I'm more concerned that my best has ceased to impress me. I haven't been training two years and already I have learned so much, but then the other half of me says, I've been training almost two years and I still go at a snail's pace in ceshoufan...

I'm not trying to get all gloomy; testing time is always a moment for self-assessment and I feel like I have never trained as hard as I claimed or intended. I mean, if I wanted a better ceshoufan I would have gotten it by now. It's not an aerial. The head flip I had, so there's no excuse for wallowing around in self pity over it. I've spent a lot of my blogging indulging in complaints about this or that soreness, or the alleged difficulty of something. EZ says in class "Not just hard, Hard-ER!" And while this makes myself, Sifu, and everyone else laugh good naturedly, it's true. I'm not saying I don't train hard, but I can definitely train harder.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Lately, in spite of trying to bring the chi, I've been feeling sort of degenerative and sloppy. Training has been good, but I haven't felt that super about my performance. Not a good feeling right before testing. Luckily, the last few classes things finally started to click, I felt like I was training hard and actually pushing through to a new level instead of training hard and feeling like I'm getting worse. Maybe it's because Friday N'ou came back after a long absence from Level 2. (I love all our L2 teachers but no one pushes us quite like N'ou.) Maybe it was training 6 days last week, I was not just maintaining but moving forward. Or maybe it was going off coffee for a week..... Whatever the cause I was in a really good place - which is why I was so bummed when I got sick yesterday.

Monday morning I biked to work, and felt ok. But as the day progressed I got more and more tired and started coughing something fierce; I knew I shouldn't/couldn't train. Coming home to a fever of 102, I saw I had made the right decision. Aside from possibly passing out, it was wise because there is no greater sin than making everyone else sick right before testing. But now as I sit here tonight, continuing to recuperate, knowing they are just now starting forms, I am really lamenting my terrible luck in falling sick. But is it bad luck? Or is it possible, **gasp**, I over-trained and weakened my immune system? Now that's just crazy talk. Everyone knows training kills sick. I'll be back in action tomorrow, but will the streak be gone? I don't want to lose the chi! Testing is coming! Sick delirium spiraling into illogical panic and nervous breakdown! Ok, so KF does make you sick, but in a mentally ill way... :P

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Twisting and Soaring through the Sky!

For the past year, I've had a nemesis. Its name was Téng Kōng Fān Yāo (騰空翻腰). I could never twist fast enough or jump without taking steps and therefore I would lose my momentum. I was halfway falling through the sky instead of soaring through it. I closely watched and studied Xu, Li, Zhou and Josh. They have really amazing and beautiful Téng Kōng Fān Yāo's. When they are soaring, it looked as if they were suspended in air on a puff of cloud. Then, gently, the clouds would part and set them down gracefully. Oh!! How it would pluck the strings of jealousy in my heart!! I know it takes time. I know the muscles need to be built. I know techniques need years of refinement. But, I wanted to SOAR!! I wanted to FLY!!!

Today, for the first time, I felt a glimpse of what Teng Kong Fan Yao is all about. Zhou led the line and had us do it over and over again non-stop. I twisted, I jumped, and I soared!! I popped into the sky and landed softly. The feeling is incredible. It's everything as I imagined it would be. The exhilaration!

The key is the step. It's all in that one step. To achieve the lift necessary to soar, you have to step quickly into the next jump to build up more and more momentum. That step is the epitome of everything we are learning at temple. That step takes courage, heart and confidence. If you lack in either of those, it's easy to falter. It's easy to fall. It's too easy not to believe in yourself.

"If you don't give your heart wings you'll NEVER never ever fly."

I hope today is the start of a new me. The start of flight!