To Tai Chi or not to Tai Chi – getting over myself

It takes me a while to figure out how to incorporate new things into my life. My typical practice is to muddle along with an idea wrapped in frustration until I have an aha that reflects how simple the thing really is. Yes, I try my damnedest to complicate things.
I’ve been taking tai chi for about 5 months now and have enough body memory to attempt a session at home but I have been unable to wrap my mind around the logistics. Where? When? Is anyone watching? Music? Silence? Will I do enough? Will I do it right? Will I get bored?
Where? In the front room.
When? Whenever I find the lull I seek.
Is anyone watching? Probably Ron Scot Fry, but he thinks that my movements are pretty.
Music or Silence? Yes.
Will I do enough? Yes.
Will I do it right? Yes.
Will I get bored? No.
This last question is the crux for me. I used to get bored, bored, bored training for my marathons. Last week, Sifu Kevin explained that tai chi is never boring. Today, I agree. There’s a wu chi space that happens after monkey brain stops flinging poo for a nanosecond. I’ve experienced it in class but never doing tai chi alone.


I want to want a good cry

A good, cathartic cry might be just the wonderful storm that leaves the garden refreshed and ready for planting.

I’m mystified. I’ve assiduously accumulated plenty of worthy excuses to have a heart-wrenching sob. Not to brag, but I am an expert at tallying emotionally charged hoo-hah – storing it – nurturing it – and the moment that I can get away with it, having a total melt-down.

crying girlI feel gypped.

You tell me. Here’s my cherished, sharing-way-too-much information tally…

  1. A few days ago, I read the suicide letter of a friend.
  2. A few months ago, I suffered the worst and longest PTSD episode in years. The trigger is still dancing around the peripheries of my life.
  3. My Mom died last Thanksgiving and I couldn’t get out to the west coast in time to say goodbye.
  4. We closed Shakespeare in the Park about a week ago. We work all year to put on this show for a couple thousand people. It’s a massive undertaking fraught with success, failure, terror, financial ruin, and a stupendous show.
  5. My physical health is for crap and I’m having serious angst about taking care of myself. As if I don’t deserve it slash don’t see the point.
  6. And whatever is behind door number 3 where the grand prize waits just for me.

Yadda, yadda, blah, yadda, blah, etc… you get it.

Are my meds working? Is the mindfulness meditation working? What the heck?

Maybe I’ll get around to it later. Perhaps there will be some sort of straw on my camel-like back. The kind of non-event that makes it impossible to explain why one is sobbing uncontrollably. “They only had yellow widgets in stock!” Guaranteed to earn puzzled looks and a dawning suspicion that I do actually need an Ativan prescription and some serious attitude adjustment.

All kidding aside (right, let’s see if that happens) I do feel a suspicious lump in my throat. A good, cathartic cry might be just the wonderful storm that leaves the garden refreshed and ready for planting. But, for today, I’m dry-eyed and chugging along. There’s good stuff happening. I love and am loved. Oh well. Maybe next time.



November 27, 2010

I know what I need to do to fix my insomnia. Loose weight and exercise. Cool.

I am distracto-dog this morning.  I started this blog and went downstairs to replace candles in their holders.  I looked at it again and switched to facebook.  I poised my fingers over the keyboard and they drifted to a stack of folders.

Okay, candles replaced.  Facebook perused.  Folders sorted.  Is that what’s significant about this day?

No.  I think that what’s significant is knowing what I need to do to fix my insomnia.  I need to loose weight and to exercise.  I get up 5 times a night to go to the bathroom because of the extra weight on my stomache.  I get up because my feet cramp or they’re freezing cold because my circulation is for poop.

What I don’t need to do is go to the Dr. and complain.  I don’t have a disease.  I don’t need a pill.  I need to take better care of my body.

I did ask a Dr. once and he was almost embarrassed when he concurred that diet and exercise would really help a lot.  He acted like most men do when a woman brings up the subject of their physical health.  He shied away from it as though the topic were hot and he’d been burned too many times.

Another Dr. whacked me back with a sarcastic comment.  I said something about having plans to care for myself better and he said, “Yeah, we all have plans.”  He almost blushed with how defensive he sounded and quickly changed the subject.

Even more significant than knowing this is being 100% comfortable with it.  I don’t feel bad for needing to loose weight and exercise.  I packed on about 50 pounds in the couple years it took to get Shakespeare in the Park launched.  I became a laptop troll.  I ate junk (mmm… bbq potato chips….) and stopped exercising enough to break a sweat.  I’m feeling distinctly done with that phase of my life, now.

I don’t believe that sacrificing my health was a necessary part of the whole process.  I just didn’t think about it.  It happened.  C’est la vie.

Of course, once I’m aware of something, guess What’s Next?

If I could wave a magic wand, I wouldn’t drop the 50 lbs and fix my circulation problems.  I’d lighten up (puns!) every woman’s body image.  The love that she feels for herself would shine through at all times.  The words “in spite of” or “regardless of” would disappear.  All women would take for granted that their body image is just another wonderful part of themselves and is not conditional.

I haven’t always had this image of myself but I didn’t set out to specifically change it.  As I changed how I feel about me, the self-loathing that extended to my looks went away all on it’s own.  It’s been years since I’ve felt fat and ugly.  I can’t pinpoint when it went away.  I can just enjoy the glow of peace as I realize what’s missing.


Susan Scot Fry

Update… It’s so hard for so many women to accept even the concept that improving our physical health may improve our lives.  The idea is too tied up with our insecurities and views of our selves as flawed human beings.  Women will try desperately to justify or deny and, failing that, to accuse other women of being traitors when they won’t go along with those efforts.

Well, fuck that.  I feel a crusade coming on.

April 10, 2010

I remember thinking, “oh, it’s only 5 or 8 miles today”. Now, the idea of walking the dog more than 2 blocks has me nervous. Apparently, I don’t need any resistance training. I’ve got that down pat.

I need more stamina.  I’m chagrined to say that churning out 15 contracts yesterday took me out.

It wasn’t my only task by a long shot, but they were the capper.  By the time Ron got home from working on the set all day, he was the only one of us with the capacity to make dinner.

Oh man, Susan.

My mentor, Arlene, is also a marathoner, which makes me love and hate her at the same time.  Okay, okay the truth is that I don’t hate her at all.  I envy her.  I remember what that felt like.  Springtime doesn’t help.  I want to be outside and I want to break a sweat.  I want to run more than 10 steps without falling over and gasping like a fish out of water.

I remember thinking, “oh, it’s only 5 or 8 miles today”.  Now, the idea of walking the dog more than 2 blocks has me nervous.

I’m so hosed.

I live in a world where food is love.  Where hunkering down over a hot laptop all day is easy to do.  I also live in a world where if I don’t keep up, I might as well hide under the bed with all the other little dogs and dust rhinos.

Oh no.  Now, I’m conscious of it.  I have been for a while, but now I’ve also said it out loud.  Crap.  That means I’ve got to do something about it.  And, I don’t want to.  Why not?  Heck, I don’t know.  I just know that it scares the bejeezus out of me.

Apparently, I don’t need any resistance training.  I’ve got that down pat.


Susan Scot Fry

Update…  We had a great walk down by the river.  I was hobbling along by the end of the trek, but I made it.

I don’t know — this one is going to take some consideration…

I wonder, does that really mean procrastination?