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vendredi 14 novembre 2008

Praying Mantis vs Playmobil

Picture this:
The scene: a large, vaulted room with beautiful stone walls, wood floors and one whole wall made of mirrors. Plinky-plonky Oriental-type music (with a hint of "the Bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond" at intervals) and a smell of patchouli pervade the room.
The players: Pierre, a young (but thankfully probably not young enough for me to be old enough to be his mother), lithe athletic type - "Teacher" - and Yours Truly, a not very young at all, not lithe at all, Playmobil-rigid type - "Pupil"
The occasion: my Tai Chi class

(Plinky-plonk, plinky-plonk)
We go through our warm-up exercises, and I'm doing OK.
Then we move on to our first (and so far, only) movement.
For the first time (this is only my 5th class) I actually manage to remember about half of the movement. Not that I do it right, but it's more or less there.
Then we complete it and yes, it's all coming back to me now.
Turn your pelvis this way, your back leg that way, put your hand a little lower, breathe in, breathe out... stroke the dragon or whatever.
Yup, I've kind of got it.
Errr... well, no, not quite.
To explain the why and what for of the movement, Pierre (knowing that my only "knowledge" of anything martial-artiform comes from having watched "Kung-Fu Panda" this summer) transforms himself in turn into the Praying Mantis, the Monkey and the Tiger (strangely, he doesn't do the Panda - I guess that's my task). Leaping, light as air yet powerful. Lithe, supple, effortless.
Whilst I remain a slightly-chunky-round-the-middle Playmobil with the grace and agility of... well, Po the Panda I guess.
My only hope: that things turn out as well for me as they do for Po - but I'm not holding my breath.

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