What brought me to the studio?
I stumbled upon T’ai Chi by accident when I was in college. I had arranged to meet my boyfriend at a particular place on campus so we could talk. While I waited for him, I saw people arriving to do some kind of movement or martial arts demonstration. I lost interest in waiting for the boy and watched demo instead. Those people were doing T’ai Chi. I fell in love with their smooth movements, meditative concentration, and surprising self-defense skills and joined the class on the spot. The boy never did show up, but T’ai Chi has been part of my life ever since. I found a new teacher to study with when I moved from college to grad school. When I moved to the Twin Cities after completing my program, I looked around for another school at which to continue learning. The yin-yang symbol near the studio’s street-side door caught my eye several times as I drove past, and finally I went in to see what Twin Cities T’ai Chi Ch’uan Studio was all about. I immediately felt at home and as if I could learn a lot in that place. That was more than 15 years ago, and now they can’t get rid of me.
Have I found what I was looking for?
Yes, and then some. My first class at Twin Cities T’ai Chi Ch’uan created the expectation of receiving expert and personable instruction in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere, that that expectation has been met every time I’ve come to class. I also hoped to find new friends and a sense of community, and I have been richly rewarded in those areas as well. The steadiness of the classes and the solid foundation of meditation in motion have provided me with stability in changing times.
What have I found that I was not expecting?
Boxing. Boxing saved my sanity. The spring of 2000 was rough for me, and I was mad enough to hit something (or someone). I had been attending classes at TCTCC for a couple years by then and was aware of the Eclectsis/boxing class, so I decided to enroll and learn how to hit correctly and with maximum impact. However, I soon learned that there was a lot more to boxing than just hitting things: There was a lot of thinking involved! Soon I was too busy paying attention to my feet and my hands and my body position and my guard and my target to think about the things that had made me so angry. I also learned that I could indeed throw those punches I’d been wanting to throw—and I could take a punch, too. I found that I could stay on my feet when I got hit and, quite often, hit back. Hard. My attitude shifted from “Woe is me” to “Try me. I dare you.” It was the best therapy I could have asked for.