Monday, November 3, 2008

Orange Crush

It is no longer an object of fancy for your humble Narrator; I finally got the call to the big leagues, to wear the orange robes, and no, I couldn't wait to try them on, as evidenced by the photo above. :)

It has been a mighty struggle for me, especially from the time I blew out my knee to not passing erluquan during testing six months ago. Well over a year had transpired since I finished erluquan, and I had to find ways to understand why I needed to be in Level 1 for another six months after not being elevated to Level 2 this past April. Of course, one can always polish and refine what one has learned, and one can become stronger, but the challenge also became a mental one.

Mainly, I had to fight to maintain my motivation. This was not about going to class and having Shifu motivate me with his barking. Rather, this was about me pushing myself, in spite of myself. I have witnessed several of my dearest friends who started after me get to Level 2 ahead of me, and while yes, I know it's about the individual journey, and not comparing yourself to others, most of us have enjoyed success in our lives largely due to a competitive sense. I wanted to be able to train with my brothers and sisters, learning new things together, like we used to. I admit to feeling traces of jealousy at times when hearing my fellow dorks discuss new moves. I felt bad for feeling simultaneously proud and envious of them for progressing through subsequent Level 2 forms while I remained stuck on erluquan. And so, when I cried like a baby after last certificate ceremony, it was for a multitude of reasons, none of which were hugely attractive.

But I had to keep reminding myself that I'd get there eventually. Maybe it'd take me a little longer than others, but I needed to keep plugging away. While I was recovering from my knee injury and couldn't train and missed my friends for two months, I remember thinking, geez, I can't wait to train kung fu again. Just to be able to caijiao and mabu again with my peers would be a wonderful thing! And it goes to show that it's not about how high you kick, or how fast you fly, but that you're doing it, and you try and try again to do it better. The action is meditation itself -- it's not about what you're doing, necessarily, but the doing itself.

We see people come to train at Temple with varying skills. Some so very amazing and lithe, others needing much training. But we judge not how well people do in terms of ability, but how hard they try, vis à vis their expressions of chi. I hope, for me, that ability to express my chi never dries up. As long as I can move my body, I hope to keep moving forward.

Thanks to all of you who've been so supportive. I am so glad to have had you along for my ride. All week long before yesterday's ceremony, I promised myself I wouldn't cry again, yet surely I did, but at least this time they were tears of happiness. I was one of the first Kung Fu Dork bloggers to write; I am the last of the bloggers to move to Level 2, and to that, I say, better late than never!

So, in five minutes, I shall depart my laptop, and jump on the subway, for what will be my very first Level 2 class, which promises to be scary and fun and challenging. I cannot wait to train harder, to learn new things, and to continue forth with the next chapter of my journey of getting to know myself.



Congratulations to everyone who passed their forms!

It was a pretty gratifying ceremony, with tons of cheers and a few (happy!) tears. I'm still mildly curious if there was a Xiao Hong Quan mix up. I can wait another 6 months to find out though. After all, I did add an extra move to my form during testing, and sadly the error was not just chalked up to my expressing myself :)

I'm just hoping the confusion related to faulty record-keeping is not a foreshadowing of any dubious voter-calculation activities which may want to rear their ugly heads tomorrow.

One more time: Congratulations!