eXTReMe Tracker WARNING: The opinions expressed and linked to in this blog are not necessarily mine (anymore).

My ideas are constantly changing as I learn. Sometimes they even change midway through writing a post.

Friday, September 22

Toilet Light

Wushu

Now that I've been learning Tai Chi for a few months, I felt brave enough to attempt a Wushu Kungfu class.

If I had to pick just one word to describe that experience it would be:

OUCH!



The first few minutes involved a bit of mild warming up and stretching. Then the drills began. They didn't LOOK that difficult. I mean, anyone can jump up in the air, kick out, and land again without even breaking a sweat. At least, I could when I was 16 and weighed about half what I do now (lucky for me I was a STICK back then or nearly doubling my weight wouldn't be a laughing matter). Nevermind doing variations of that for 30+ minutes.

By the time we stopped to stretch again, my legs felt like rubber. It was a weird experience to take a step and wonder if my legs were going to collapse under me or not. If I hadn't been so exhausted (and a bit self conscious about being the most out of shape person in the group), I would have found it funny. As for the stretching itself, it was nice to have one thing that I do fairly well. I can still "nearly" do the splits even though I haven't any done serious stretching in over 15 years.

Finally, we started working on forms. Of course, I was so exhausted by then that things that really ARE normally easy were difficult.

My class was Monday. Today is Friday, and I'm still sore. I can hardly wait for my next class Monday!

Wednesday, September 20

Creativity

What is creativity?

Is it related to intelligence?
Intelligence is the ability to learn. It also implies a certain amount of knowledge.
Creativity has to do with making up knew knowledge or applying it in new ways - which also implies making up new knowledge.

How does one go about making knowledge?
Mistakes? The willingness to make a mistake?
The willingness to give up or challenge one's assumptions?
Awareness. Awareness of one's assumptions. One can't really challenge assumptions one doesn't know one has.

When stuck, some of my best ideas have come from saying something really silly, something ridiculously impossible - and then realizing that some variation of it might be possible after all.

Tai Chi

OMG. I just read the previous post again. I'm starting to sound like one of those girls who can only talk about shopping, hair, and makeup! Ugh. Except I forgot to talk about hair, makeup, and Tai Chi.

I'm skipping to Tai Chi today to make up for that last fluff piece:

reprinted (with some edits) from an email, Wednesday, August 23, 2006
When I first decided to learn more about Tai Chi, I thought it would be
a good way to work on my concentration and fitness and maybe relieve a
bit of stress.

I thought of Tai Chi because of a book I read when I was a teen. It was
about a woman who is framed for murder by the mob. She gets sent to
prison and has a rough time there and is sent to solitary confinement
for a long while.


It was called "If Tomorrow Comes"

http://www.imdb. com/title/ tt0090455/ plotsummary

Tracy, the main character is stuck in isolation at
prison. She does some sort of exercises during her
month of darkness and isolation. Instead of stumbling
out of her month of isolation, she walks out serenely
and in good mental and physical shape. I think that's
where I first heard of Tai Chi.

I would go on about the movie/book - it was a learning
experience in itself, but I want to go on about Tai
Chi now.

I recently read an article about it that explained Tai
Chi Chuan meant "Supreme Ultimate Boxing". I've also
heard it called something like "Supreme Ultimate
Fist". It said that Tai Chi is actually a martial art
meant to train one for killing.

We've definitely learned some practical applications
for the movements within our lessons, but I can't
remember them well enough to make much use of them
yet. It has got me paying more attention to
balance - my center of balance, how I walk, etc.

My instructor has talked about how when he was
trained, students would practice standing in one
position for 20 minutes at a time. They were not
taught to move from one position to the next until
they could stand perfectly in each of the positions. I
find it difficult to stand still for even a minute!
Every little breeze could be an ant or a hair and
seems impossible to ignore. Hopefully I'll get better
at focusing with more training....