Don't Sic Your Mini-Monkeys on Me (And Other Tales of Tai Chi)
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Today was my busy day.
This morning I had my appointment with my trainer. We worked on upper body today. Form is everything.
I did deadlifts, but I had to maintain the "pervert pose" -- which means I pose for perverts looking at me, not that I'm the pervert (wonder what he calls it when he has to make men do it?).
Anyway, you have to stick your chest out and lift your butt in the air to maintain the correct curve in your back. I could tell when I was doing it WRONG, because if I did it wrong, it didn't hurt. If I was hurting in every little muscle in my back, I knew I was doing it right.
We discovered that I have a minor issue with my left shoulder, so he gave me a good exercise for that that I can do at home with my big exercise ball. You have to do it on both sides, even if you only have a problem with one shoulder. You push the ball against the wall at shoulder height, and then you roll it on the wall. He had me write the alphabet, because that's more interesting than just doing little circles.
By the way, if you ever decide to do this exercise for yourself, I recommend lowercase over uppercase letters. (Actually, cursive writing might be even better.)
After my training session I went and did cardio, since I don't do a Step class today, and I had the urge to move to music. Unfortunately all the (good) treadmills were full. So despite experience telling me I shouldn't, I went on the gazelle. I have learned that I should avoid the gazelle on my Tai Chi day, but I threw caution to the wind and did 20 minutes anyway. By that time the treadmills were empty so then I did another 20 minutes on the treadmill.
I am unrepentant.
I had been missing that type of exercise so much, I experienced a brief moment of euphoria, quickly suppressed, at the joy of pushing myself at the pace of the music. I don't know if it's significant or not, but the particular piece of music was called "Sausage Fest". I think that's perfect for Oktoberfest, which is a German cultural festival being celebrated right now in a big way in this area.
And I still went to Tai Chi tonight.
Tonight we were warding off monkeys.
Mini monkeys -- small enough to sit in your hand. Push, push, push. Bye-bye monkeys!
We also did a move called "Slanting Flying" (what the heck?) which is better imagined in this modern world as "Serve the Pizza".
Tonight I finally figured out "brush knee left" versus "brush knee right." If it's left, your left hand is down.
I know! Easy, right?
It seems so simple now -- but I hadn't really stopped to figure it out before.
I always had the impression in previous classes that everyone was getting it perfect except me. Today I actually noticed that others, even the people I thought were especially good, were flubbing some of the moves too.
My hip was aching halfway through this evening's Tai Chi session, so I probably did overdo it with the cardio this morning. Still, I felt better about doing the moves tonight. Must be the amount of repetition finally making it stick in my head. It definitely works better if I use "muscle memory" instead of trying to figure it out in my mind.
Except for "brush knee left" versus "brush knee right". That definitely works better if make sure to think about which hand is down.