The Heat Inside and Out

Day one is done! We are working our way through Laojia yilu with Grandmaster Chen Xiaoxing. The format is familiar. He shows us the moves, flows with us a few times, takes questions, then we practice. I love his demonstrations. He demonstrates four times allowing us to focus on different things each time. I watch his dan tian, his hands, his chest, his eyes. I also love to watch him correct students. He sees everything and sometimes he uses his hands and his breath to guide people through the movements. When you are being corrected in this manner, there is no need for a translator. It’s all completely clear. If only we could do it ourselves!

The heat is relentless and I am struggling. I’ve never done well in the heat and here is no exception. The highs projected for the rest of our trip will top 100 degrees. The Wednesday breezes were a fond memory yesterday. It was still and humid. We were indoors - not sure which is better, in or out. With no breeze it didn’t matter. The kids were outside doing their workouts all day - running, jumping, sparring. They are better adapted than me, apparently. We decided to do the 30 minute standing only in the morning because people are pretty wiped out after, leaving little energy for the form. Between the heat of the day and the heat generated from the standing… we could have fried some eggs. The irony is that at night we are cold under the air conditioning. At least there is that!

Four more days of training. Eat, sleep, train, shower. Repeat.