Sunday, July 15, 2012

When Monks Start Getting Annoyed

I've improved to the point that I've started taking a kung fu class taught by Shaolin monks at the university although I have to lie down and konk out for the rest of the day and sometimes the next day. Basically, the only things I'm doing right now are tai chi and recently adding in yoga and kung fu now that I am able to.  Although I lose the short-term productivity, they are producing a long-term trend in improvement.  Other forms of exercise such as walking did not help, as I tried walking for years and didn't get much farther than the mailbox.  The non-walking non-aerobic exercises actually increased my walking distance but most of my improvement has come from orthopedic massage, mainly trigger point therapy, on the spine area.

The first day of class, a monk with shining eyes caught my eye as I walked into the courtyard.  So far in the class, I do things closer to tai chi speed and don't take as wide a stance which lowers the amount of energy required.  The monk told me my drop stance was too high.  I had to quit that after abut a minute.  The next week we had to run a lap around the small courtyard.  I hadn't reached running ability yet so it was more of a hoppy walk while I watched everyone zoom by.  The monk ran around and said "It's okay. :)"  Last week, my run was classifiable as a slow jog.

There is one gal who arrived and promptly announced to the monks and everyone that she is partially deaf in one ear so she would need to stand in the front to one side.  That's fine but she didn't do that.  She stood in the last row and then yelled to the student who was translating for the monks to speak louder, in a tone that said why aren't you speaking louder?!  The monk told her to move to the front.  The next week, she stood in the front near the monk and must have mentioned something about being partially deaf again because the monk was almost annoyed, saying in a stern voice "I know!  You.. look with your eyes.. follow."  A few minutes later, he had to repeat something similar again.

Sorry... if you're partially deaf in one ear, it doesn't affect your ability to do kung fu and follow movements just like everyone else in the class.  The monks speak so little English that everyone is pretty much in the same boat.  Also, how about getting a hearing aid?  And learning to lip read?  Or the universe has to revolve around a relatively minor handicap.

The kung fu class is about 3/4 female.  The young monks seemed to be showing off for the ladies before class the other day, playing like children, tumbling and flipping in the air, and kicking tree leaf targets.  I swear one of them makes borderline flirtatious gazes at me.


Anonymous said...

Great to hear of your gains! I took my first mat pilates class and really liked it. Less pressure on arms and hands than yoga. Nice to mix it up

Fourth Breakfast

dancing dragon said...

I signed up for a pilates class as well and find yoga challenging with weak arms. :)