[From my 2008 archives] Saw the doctor last week. He did a lot of tests and said I am a “fall risk.” Suggested Tai Chi, said it would help with balance. Tried to do research but apparently there’s never been a decent Tai Chi movie in the history of the world. Jackie Chan’s Drunken Master was recommended. Hmmm.
Wore my new Tai Chi outfit to first class at the Y. Most class members seem to be wearing very old clothes and no shoes. Maybe underprivileged group? Didn’t see donation cup.
Teacher says we do Yang Family Style Tai Chi. It’s a martial art but directed toward personal health and well being rather than self defense. Lots of arm waving and sudden turns. Talked about Beautiful Lady’s Hands. Note to self: get hand lotion.
I can’t remember all this stuff. I’d get a much better workout in Zoomba. Classmates very friendly. Said everyone started the same way. Doubt it.
4th Day in Tai Chi Class
Teacher talks a lot about Chen Man Chi’ng. Lived in China, then Taiwan, then United States. Moved a lot. This is what we learn from Tai Chi. Important to keep moving.
Not quite so scary or confusing today. Seems like the same things keep happening – there’s sort of a rhythm to it.
Teacher says we should practice rooting –
“Yaaay, Tai Chi,” something like that, I guess. Relaxing is very important. Took off my shoes today. Hole in sock. Big toe came through. Not easy to relax nude big toe.
6th Month in TaiChi Class
I think I’m starting to remember the form. Not scared any more and only normally confused. Feel like the Yang Family are neighbors right down the street. If I take them a welcoming hot dish, they’ll teach me their short form. Only turned the wrong way three times.
More relaxed and rooted.
Checked with doctor.
Blood pressure is Definitely lower.
Lots more energy
Another class member says she’s decided to give it a year. I’ll do that too.
New member in class. Seemed confused. Told her not to worry, she’ll catch on.
I don’t think she believed me.
Note from Dorothy: As you can tell from my diary, Tai Chi grows on you. If you wonder whether Tai Chi is for you, why not give it a try? There’s no other activity so likely to improve blood pressure, balance and relaxation. It doesn’t take the place of other exercise, but if you combine Tai Chi three times a week with a brisk mile’s walk the other three days (You get to take one day off.) You’ll notice a difference.
Many of our members are still very active, even in their 80’s. For myself, I will be 86 in four months, and I’m lucky to still be employed full time at work I love. I know I couldn’t have done it without using Tai Chi for the center of my fitness plan.
But see for yourself. Come join us for the Fourth Annual Tai Chi at the Washington State Fair Grounds on Friday, September 20. Sample the delicious, easy dishes our Empty Step folks whip up, and enjoy Sunny music by composer/singer John Reed and jazz singer Cara Francis whose new album, Goodnight, Starlight Motel, will be released in the spring.
We’ll all be there in the Home Arts Pavilion. You’ll see and be encouraged but not forced to join in basic Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Sword Form.
September 20, Home Arts Pavilion – 10:30 to 12:30. First six guests to arrive and say hello to me or one of the Empty Step members will receive a prize of great sentimental value. See you there.
Information: Dorothy@itsnevertoolate.com, 253-582-4565
I NEVER KNOW IN THIS PUBLICATION IF THE “TYPOS” ARE A MISTAKE OR A PUN…..SO I REREAD TO SEE IF I’VE MISREAD (VERY POSSIBLE). THEN I CHECK TO SEE WHO WROTE IT. IF IT’S DON OR JOE, I OFTEN THINK, EVEN AFTER A SECOND READ, “I JUST DON’T GET IT!”
IN THIS CASE, DOROTHY, I DON’T THINK YOU WERE REVEALING A CONNECTION BETWEEN TAI CHI AND DAIRY PRODDUCTS….OR, AM I NOT GETTING IT???
T Ah says
Best comment. Had a great laugh.
Mary Hammond says
Yes, I kept waiting for the ice cream to show up. Very disappointed! Does Ben take charge of headlines?
Dorothy Wilhelm says
Ben is in charge of the universe as far as Sub Times goes. In this case, it was entirely my mistake.
But you know, I’ve been thinking it over and have come to believe that it may not be a typo after all. I am charmed by the picture of a dairy where the contented guernseys are doing Snake Creeps Down and Grasp The Swallows Tail and thus becoming even more contented.
Mrs. John Lathrop says
I love my Friday morning Senior Chair Yoga classes at the Fircrest Community Center. Lots of balance and fall prevention exercises and none of that getting down on the floor stuff.
Our instructor, Cynthia Endicott, really takes our 70 and 80’ish physical problems into consideration. Love your columns. And admire your energy.
P. S. I’m older than you are.
Dorothy Wilhelm says
Yes, Cynthia is great!! She’s guested on my show, and some of my Tai Chi programs. She wasn’t available this year. But your letter points out something important, I think. If you want to keep your body moving – don’t give up, if you try Tai Chi and don’t like it, or if you try Yoga and don’t like it. Something will be right for you, and it’s essential that you do something. I love the idea of chair yoga. So many people wait to feel better before exercising, and the sad fact is, you’re never going to feel better until you get going. The other thing is, no matter how you love to swim, and it’s great for you, it doesn’t take the place of something like Yoga or Tai Chi which are load bearing exercises.
Thanks for writing.
Jaynie Dillon Jones says
Regarding the baffling headline “Tai Chi Dairy” I believe it is a typo. I believe Dorothy meant for it to be “Tai Chi Diary” (not “Dairy”) and for what it’s worth, Ben does not write the headlines except when he has personally authored one of the stories. I used to write articles for The Suburban Times myself, so I can tell you that with some certainty. Now what baffles me from Dorothy’s article is that at the beginning it states that this is from a 2008 Archive. With that being the case, at what point does it transition over to the current time? Or does it transition? Perhaps it doesn’t. Maybe it is entirely from 2008. Or perhaps only the photo of the Tai Chi class out in nature was from 2008. The thing that really confounds me is the mention of Cara Francis performing at The Fair. I love Cara! I have known her since she was in her teens. She was one of my Broadcast Journalism students at Green River Community College all those eons ago. She is a phenomenal talent as a vocalist and songwriter. So…is she singing this week in Puyallup or did she sing there in 2008? I am so confused…