Mark Twain

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do ...
Explore. Dream. Discover." Mark Twain

Saturday, July 24, 2010

#2 Tai Chi - and stretching

Oh my how hard it has been to get time over the last 3 days to sit down and write. My weekends are usually filled with 3 dogs (my "kids" dogs - my grand-dogs) and this weekend has been especially busy since my daughter is in New Jersey seeing a friend. I usually have her helping hand. This morning is a good example of how most days go with 3 dogs. Got up at 6:00 am (got to bed early so I wasn't dragging like usual), got them all out together for a walk - well, "walk" isn't the right term because they all have their own agenda and there is alot of confusion, tangled leads, corrections from "grandma" about not picking up and eating everything that comes along (well that is only the puppy, Milo) and stuff like that. Then we come in, I feed them - all 3 have different meds that are added to their food - managing their pills is harder than managing my mother's meds, then we had bone chewing time (there was peace for about 10 minutes while that was going on), then the puppy started leaping on the older dogs, so penned him in the kitchen with me while I had breakfast - then we all walked again - this time Meathead, one of the older dogs has loose stools - something he gets when he stressed (Milo is a "carrier" of stress - not stressed himself LOL), then I took them all inside, crated Milo, finally got dressed (yes, I still was in my PJs - I am sure my neighbors wonder about me), and then FINALLY took Grimace, the other older dog, out for his "grandma-only, walk" which I give him whenever I can in the morning. Of the 3 dogs he LOVES to walk and when he is with the other dogs, he doesn't really get to walk, or to sniff all the places he likes or to even pick the direction of the walk. It is small thing to give him his grandma-only time. We are back now at 9:15 am - the weather outside is steamy already - it is predicted to be the worst day in a series of really terrible hot and humid days *sigh* - how I just love winter. Yes, even last winter with all its snow and cold. Give me winter anyday.

FINALLY everyone is settled down for a morning nap - except me - and I am thinking I could use one too. LOL Anyway, enough about the little "time-eaters" in my life. Must take advantage of these quiet moments while I have them.

Another high value activity for me is Tai Chi. Unlike walking, I have been active in Tai Chi for about a year. I have wanted to take Tai Chi from the moment I saw two elderly residents in my community doing Tai Chi in unison one morning in a local park. It was so tranquil and graceful. Starting Tai Chi at a local senior center, I discovered that Tai Chi is also strength building and strenuous - not in the way walking or running is strenuous ... you don't get breathless, but physically demanding enough to make you sweat in an air conditioned room. Besides the grace of the exercise, it builds stronger legs and improves balance. Both of these are important for me. My mother lives with me and in the last 4 years I have watched her slide down the slippery slope of mobility. She walked with a cane some when she moved in, she now can't walk without it, holds on to furniture as she moves around and when she is outside, she uses a walker. She can't climb the stairs to the bedroom level, so we had to put in a chair lift. And she is unable to get into a standing position from sitting without a firm chair with arms. She works her arms more than her legs. I am hoping that with Tai Chi, I can avoid that fate. Currently we have learned the 18 form routine and starting in August we will learn the missing 6 movements - movements that require more leg strength and balance than all the others. The advanced Tai Chi class (they have been with the instructor for 2 years or so), they now work with Swords ... really cool - waving the swords around while doing the moves.

In conjunction with Tai Chi and Walking, stretching must become (once again) part of my routine. I have been in physical therapy for various conditions and they all improved with stretching. I used to do various yoga moves and had a regular routine of stretching mixed with yoga. And as with walking, I felt great - so great that I stopped!!! I am secretly hoping that this behavior of dropping positive and life-improving activities is a human failing and not just my failing LOL.

Hoping for cooler weather tomorrow.


  1. I think stretching feels so good. I have made that a part of my day too.
    Your morning with the dogs sounds quite hectic. :-)

  2. It is in the 90s here where I live in Virginia. I was out this morning for about 3 hours - boy was it HOT HOT HOT!

    Tai Chi sounds really interesting. I will have to research it.

  3. Yes, when the dogs are all here together it is hectic. The puppy by himself, or the two older dogs by themselves, are manageable - but the mix can drive you to poking knitting needles in your eyes (just kidding - but it feels like that at times). Of course I love them dearly, dearly. And the puppy will grow and be less irritating. We just have to wait a bit more. After all, just 3 weeks ago we were getting up twice in the middle of the night to take him out for a pee. He now sleeps through the night! YEAH!


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