In my twenties I was involved with a Tae Kwon Do club. It was my first time working with a group with the same goal.
Some of the things I learned helped me to be more conscious of my surroundings. It also helped me to stay away from situations that would endanger me or others. So when my doctor told me that I needed to do some light exercise– walking, etc. I was pretty sure he wasn’t referring to martial arts. So over two years ago I looked for something besides yoga (I have done some yoga, but my body just doesn’t bend that way very well) so I could keep my body limber. I found a Tai chi group– but they were into the martial arts and didn’t want to deal with someone who had multiple illnesses. So I thought that I was done.
The reason I thought of Tai chi as a light exercise was because when I was in Japan, I would see groups of elderly ladies doing exercises in the park. Some of these women were in their 80s. If they could do it, by damn I should be able to do it.
A friend, also a veteran, suggested that I go to the fitness club and inquire there about classes for people who had illnesses. I did know that in some areas there are classes for seniors and people who had problems with movement. So I did. They didn’t do Tai Chi– they did Qigong.
The instructor, an elderly man who was sprier than most sixty-year-olds I have met (he was over 70), showed me how to breath, showed me how to walk, and showed me how to move. I have a habit of holding my breath to0 long and I don’t smile. So that is my homework– breath, walk, and smile. All things that are hard for me, especially smiling.
Yes, my ribcage, back, arms, and legs are sore today. I moved in ways that I haven’t since I became ill. The important point is that I can move.
Why do I want to learn this style of exercise?
I used to run, lift weights, and do aerobic classes for years. It was the strength in my body that saved my life from dying the first time I ended up in the hospital. Plus I sit a lot when I write and craft. To do this exercise, all I need is a small room and a few minutes to do an exercise in between my writing. I can stay limber and those problems of stiffness in the mornings will become less. Plus this is good training to stay in the present moment.