My Journey

by Joanna Szulc

In one of the recent classes, Steve said, “And then the magic begins and you are hooked.” I believe many of us at the club have experienced this magic and are hooked. It was this that inspired this article I have been struggling with for a while.

I joined the club four years ago. Prior to joining the club, I thought Tai Chi was a sequence of graceful meditative movements which, of course, is true. However, the complexity of it became apparent with time. I still feel that I have only scratched the surface. I first started with the 108 which appeared impossible to learn. But step by step, with perseverance and some patience, I reached the first major milestone. I learned the 108.

At that point, I had a brief moment of “What’s next?” However, just as Steve promised, learning the 108 turned out to be only the beginning. Before I could even conceptualize the thought, I began to see glimpses of the long road ahead. Many opportunities opened up. First, I started with the fan a little and then came the opportunity to begin learning the old yang… and the road got that much longer. As someone who enjoys long books, journeys and adventures, I very much look forward to this journey.

During my time of practicing tai chi, I’ve had a number of ups and downs. The journey is anything but a straight path. There are times when one feels overwhelmed and frustrated and then there come breakthroughs. The latter make it all worth it. The progress, in my experience, is not linear. With regular independent practice, one will notice progress and beneficial results. Then practice becomes part of one’s life. Often it takes weeks, months or even years to begin to be able to do something that was discussed in class. I have to remind myself of this consistently, accept it, continue to persevere and remain content with the gradual progress I’m making. Then there are the “aha” moments when things come together. Thus, tai chi is teaching me perseverance, patience, and discipline. More, it is helping me overcome depression and anxiety and gives me something of an anchor. My outlook on life has become more positive.

With all that said, I feel the true magic of tai chi still lies ahead. I am so happy to share this journey and the magic with the wonderful people of Cold Mountain.