Last night Ma and I went to our first T'ai Chi class. It was very neat. Just what I have been looking for. Ma hadn't a clue what I had gotten her into, of course. But she's willing to stick with it in spite of being so stiff that she's unsteady on her feet and feels like a klutz. It will get better. She kept having to drop out, standing to the side, and she thought I was going to yell at her; but since my thigh muscles were quivering from the effort of doing the basic "commencing form," I knew she must have really been feeling the strain...
It's funny, the movements are very gentle, and not hurried, flowing, as advertised, but it produces a profound effect. We got a great deal of exercise. I could feel myself beginning to get very warm from the effort. And yet, it didn't exhaust me. And neither Ma nor I had any aches or stiffness today.
What we're learning is the Yang Style Taijiquan, Simplified 24 Form. According to the info sheet, "...it is the most popular form today all over the world because of its even, flowing, slow, circular movements." I believe it. We're also being taught some Qi Gong, or breathing exercises. Did you know that there's an Olympic form of T'ai Chi? Yep. And a bunch of other forms, too.
The instructor, David, is a local guy, come to find out, too.
This is an excellent adventure, as Bill and Ted might say. And on Thursday Ma and I start Yoga.
It's coming up on 4 a.m. and I just shut the back door. Again, not because of the temperature, but because the wind is kicking up. There's a warm wind blowing the stars around. Scorpius has blown free of the pine branches and is twinkling to the sound of my wind chimes. Earlier tonight, I watched a pretty golden cresent of a moon floating serene in the western sky. And between times, I walked home from Ma's on streets that sparkled like a starry sky because of a very briefly passing thunderstorm. It's been a beautiful night, weatherwise.
Otherwise, it has been a severe trial. The yoga class turned out to be very... daunting? Depressing? Humbling? I hadn't realized just how stiff I've become in the past few years. Tonight, lying flat on the floor with my hands clasped behind my neck, I couldn't get my elbows to touch the floor without causing severe discomfort in my upper back muscles. It's pretty bad when you can't even lay flat on a floor right. My only consolation was that Ma was even stiffer than I was.
Ma went to have her taxes done after work. At 6:40 p.m., ten minutes after our Tai Chi class began, I decided that one of us had better go to class so that we wouldn't fall too far behind. I called Ray, her tax guy, to let her know (and to make sure that something besides taxes hadn't happened to her), and off I went. I was only twenty minutes late.
On the way home from Tai Chi which was enjoyable the Jeep started its bucking routine and stalled. I put the clutch in and tried to restart on the fly, but no go. I put it in gear and tried a bump start, but that didn't work either. Luckily, Steere Farm Road is all down hill from the Elementary School where we had our lesson, so I coasted into town. I had to come to a stop at Central Street because of traffic, but I couldn't have coasted any further anyway because that's where the flats start.
I was under a street light there at the intersection, so I put the emergency blinkers on and got out and put the hood up. I poked what could be poked, and jiggled what could be jiggled it's not the battery, by the way; the battery is fine and the engine turns over strongly; it just won't catch tried again, and gave up. I put the interior light on (the cops like that because it makes the vehicle very visible), locked the door, and hoofed it. It was a beautiful night for walking.
The library was still open. It was about 10 minutes before closing, so I went in and called Moe's Towing. Their answering machine said to page them, so I did, and gave them Ma's number. Then I called Ma to tell her what to tell "Moe" if he called. (One of these days I'm going to remember to ask if there is a Moe at Moe's.) Then I hoofed it to Ma's.
When I got to Ma's I called the Cops to let them know that the getting of a tow was in process, and I was waiting for "Moe" to answer the page. They said the officer was already on the scene it had been twenty minutes by now and they'd get "Moe" and call me back. About 20 seconds later, "Moe" called and said he was on the scene, too, (the officer must have called him before I did) and wanted to know how long before I could get there. Five minutes. I took Ma's car, and I followed "Moe" over to Eagle Motors. They know me and the Jeep there. I locked the Jeep up, but I didn't leave the key. They don't have a drop box, and since they fixed their front door, there's no space to slip a key under. And besides, I figured I should leave a note...
I went back to Ma's and demonstrated the new Tai Chi forms, Parting the Horses's Mane, and White Crane Spreads its Wings. I had the Mane thing down, but I wasn't too clear on the Crane when I came to demonstrate. We'll have to pay extra attention next week. I made Ma do the breathing and relaxation exercises with me. Then I had a chocolate milk and some peanut butter and jelly crackers. Then I wrote a note to Joe at Eagle. While I was pondering how and when I'd deliver said note, Ma volunteered to drop it and the key off on her way to work in the morning. I thanked her and went home.
I had supper with Ma, and then we practiced our T'ai Chi and yoga. Ma is actually improving. (I am, too, but it's not as unexpected.)
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