Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Week of Intense Work


The workshop is done! What a wonderful week it was. As my friends know, I recently attended a week-long tai chi workshop. I have never known such a supportive and giving group of people.

The broad diversity of the people in the Tai Chi for Health Community makes the workshop an incredibly rich environment for learning and for teaching. There were people at the workshop from Switzerland, UK, Korea, Singapore, China, Australia, India, Canada, and from all over the US. (I apologize if I missed anyone.) We are all working with a common purpose to create a safe and supporting environment for people to learn to help themselves and to help others.

The workshop was held at a small private college in Connecticut. We stayed in the dorms and ate at the student cafeteria. It was a simple environment that allowed us to focus on our work for the week. There is tremendous value in getting away from our everyday lives and the distractions that are part of that. Here is where I lived for the week.

We worked hard for 6 days, from Monday to Saturday. Classes and education ran from 9:00 AM until about 4:30 PM. In addition, 3 of the days we also had optional evening classes and activities from 6:30 PM to about 9:00 PM. And Friday evening was a social dinner and dance. Saturday morning was for group practice. The afternoon was for demonstrations where each class showed everyone else what they had learned.

This is a very intense experience. We would spend from 4 to 8 hours each day on our feet practicing our tai chi. Our brains and bodies were filling up with new information. It was so exciting to see the woman that was using her walker at times during the week so she could maintain her strength to participate in the class and the demonstration.

Almost everyone experiences a "melt down day" where we become so tired that we cannot function effectively. For me, it was Wednesday. There is a section of the set that I was working on where we count our steps so the class can stay together in a group performance. By the end of the day, I was so tired that I couldn't count to 4 and synchronize it with my steps. I had dinner and went for a walk in the nearby greenspace to regenerate a little energy.

I called my wife about 8:30 that evening. After about 2 minutes, she told me to get off the phone and to go to bed. I followed her advice and finally got a good night's sleep. The next day I was recovered and the rest of the workshop was full of energy and became everything I wanted.

I have just 2 final thoughts. First, I encourage anyone interested in Tai Chi for Health to participate in weekend workshops or in the weeklong workshop. You can learn about upcoming workshops here. I also encourage everyone to join the Tai Chi for Health Community. You can learn more about it here.

Second, I have accepted some new roles within the TCHC organization and the Tai Chi for Health Community. You will be hearing about over the next year as the details get worked out. I'm really looking forward to it because it gives me more opportunities to help people. At the same time, I am a little bit apprehensive about it because I am stepping outside my comfort zone with some of it.

I will continue this topic with next week's article.

© 2013 Eric Borreson