Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Big Wheel keeps on turning


This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending a Tai Chi for Arthritis Instructor workshop, under the instruction of Master Trainer Jim Starshak.  I did not have plans to attend instructor training for at least another year, I was just enjoying being a student of Tai Chi, taking classes, etc.   Then my bestfriend Gayle, asked me if I ever thought about it.

Now this is funny, I started doing Tai Chi for Arthritis, then she started taking classes in Yang 64.  We would check in regularly and see how each was doing, etc.  Asking me to go to instructor training was the LAST thing I expected to hear from her.  Funny thing about it, the timing was perfect.  We had less than two weeks to get in the class, get all the info for the workshop, and do any pre-work to be ready.  Everything fell into place.  I kept telling myself I was there to support Gayle, I didn't have any plans to teach at all, and in spite of the fact that it wasn't my idea to begin with, I truly enjoyed myself.

First of all, I hadn't seen Gayle in about 6 years, we have both been through a few traumatic events since then, and our friendship picks up right where it left off.  Unlike other workshops/retreats, there was no anxiety about my partner, e.g. will she be unhappy, will she get upset over just about everything from the weather to the people attending, etc.  We worked on our forms the night before until we felt comfortable, and just talked until after midnight, oh and we laughed.  We laughed ourselves silly over everything and everyone.  I had forgotten how nice it was to be with Gayle, no drama, no obsessing, no need for everything to be perfect, no worries about what people think, etc.  It was refreshing, and uplifting.  It helped heal a part of me that wondered if I could make any of my friends happy ever again.

Master Trainer Jim worked us hard and thoroughly, but by golly, everybody knew their forms by the time we fell into bed Saturday night.  Isabel, one of Jim's senior trainers, took us to a new asian buffet for our evening meal, one that just opened in Wichita, it was packed!  The food was awesome!  Japanese, Chinese, American, you name it they had it, or so it seemed.  It was good food, made well, surprising sometimes to find at a buffet, not to mention a newly opened one as well.

We also met some great people.  Its funny, when you first enter a room, and you don't know anyone, I think we all get an impression initially.  I like how those impressions get turned upside down by the time the workshop is over.  I know there are some people in Missouri, who are going to receive excellent instruction in Tai Chi for Arthritis.  Seeing how much these new instructors care about their students is inspiring, its one of those traits that make people want to come back again and again.  I will try to do you Missouri ladies proud!

My instructors here are happy with me, hopefully I made them look good, I tried my best.  Poor Jim, good thing he was warned I was coming!  I think we wore him out.  I wonder if he knows that we are intending to come see him again in June?  Take your vitamins Master Trainer Jim!

So, I am Merry, Tai Chi for Arthritis Instructor.