Monday, April 19, 2010

How I Became a Class Project

Life's like that, right? You're walking along and WHAP! you hit a low tree limb, a surprise that jolts you.

That's what happened to me with my tai chi class. I signed up thinking it would be a nice change. "Tai chi" means "peaceful energy." I could use a bit of peacefulness in my soul.

Of course, I was running late for the first class. We meet from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m., so getting out of bed and dressed so early is new for me. Lately, we've turned into night owls with David's store hours. I took a spot in the back. The class was doing warm up exercises. Okay, fine, got that. Then the "instructor" said, "Now we'll do tai chi."

Everyone turned around and stared at me.


Turns out, this particular group has been meeting together for six or seven years. The only other newbie has been attending for two years. And the "instructor" is a class participant. The original instructor had to give up teaching the class, so the participants decided to keep meeting and to take places leading the sessions.

Obviously, I stuck out like a sore thumb. But my classmates were just lovely. They explained what we were doing. They take turns correcting me. They brought me handouts on the second session. I might be the youngest person in the class; I'm certainly one of the youngest. Suddenly, I feel like I have "parents" again. Especially when we finish the session and walk together to Whole Foods for breakfast.

I went for the peaceful energy. I think I'll keep going for the camaraderie. I'm happy to be their class project.

How about you? Ever get hit by a low hanging limb with something you didn't see coming? And did you say to yourself, "What a lucky dog I am?"


signlady217 said...

Sounds like you made some new friends! That's always a good thing!

Camille Minichino said...

For me -- and, it seems, for you, Joanna -- peaceful energy comes with camaraderie.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Signlady, I just adore these people. They are wise and giving.

Joanna Campbell Slan said...

Camille, you and I value harmony, don't we?

Betty Hechtman said...

I have taken tai chi with several different teachers. Each class was totally different than the other. My favorite was Franco - who was Italian and barely spoke English, but had been a Shoalin Monk for awhile. He just played music and did Tai Chi and the class tried to mirror his moves. It was mediative and wonderful.

I won't even go into the orange outfit he ended up getting me to wear. Sadly, he moved on from my gym and now gets $300 an hour to teach tai chi to celebrities.

Enjoy, your class, Joanna.