A Story Of Inspiration

Anyone who knows me will attest that one of my flaws is that I do not accept compliments very well. I do not look for attention or praise and it makes me a bit uncomfortable, however I received a review written eloquently by one of our members, and I felt I should share it. She is an inspiration to others in the class, with fearless determination, not satisfied with just practicing the movements of the form, she regularly engages in applications with some strong, and in some cases, intimidating looking men in the class. Hopefully to inspire others in something that may help them achieve a higher quality of life.
I am a senior lady and I want to share my story about Tai Chi.
I took ballroom dancing lessons for over 20 years competing in local, regional, and international competitions. It was a great social opportunity and I met many people. I had to stop due to health reasons and family obligations. I told my instructor I would be back, but that didn’t happen. Dancing was a passion for me; it was a part of my life that was missing.
About 5 years ago I read a fiction novel where one of the main characters, a senior lady, practiced Tai Chi. Then I started hearing more about it. Finally, 2 ½ years ago I googled Tai Chi for my zip code and numerous websites came up. I started reading them all, but one really caught my attention: Andrew Masterson’s school in Westville, NJ. I got the courage to send an email and within a week I found myself attending my first lesson.
Now after 2 ½ years of studying and practicing Tai Chi, I have a new passion that has replaced the passion I had for dancing. When I started, I had limited tolerance for standing and walking, Fibromyalgia, and Arthritis. Within 6 months my walking improved and I could be on my feet for hours. I saw great improvement in my agility and balance.
Then 6 months later when I was taking great enjoyment in Tai Chi, I fractured my foot. Following that, over the next year and a half, I tore tendons in the same foot, sprained ligaments in my knees, and developed an irregular heart rhythm. How does all of this tie in with Tai Chi you may ask?
In both foot injuries the doctor wanted me to have surgery and I kept refusing. Sifu Andy guided me in feeling the healing flow of chi opening my joints and increasing blood flow. I was having physical therapy and shared with my therapist the things I was doing with Tai Chi. Fortunately, she also studied Tai Chi and discharged me in only a few weeks saying there was nothing she could do for me that Tai Chi couldn’t. I fully recovered from both injuries and did not need surgery.
As for my irregular heart rhythm, Tai Chi helps me focus on relaxation and being in harmony with myself. It helps maintain a normal heart beat and my blood pressure can drop 20 points after an hour session.
In addition to all of the health benefits of Tai Chi, and I have only mentioned a few, it has improved my life in so many ways. There is no stress of competition as with dancing, but within myself a deep satisfaction of a sense of wholeness and accomplishment and enjoyment.
Yes, Tai Chi has replaced dancing as my passion. Sifu Andy brings out the best in his students. He is patient and offers gentle guidance in the understanding of movement and form. I look forward to every session whether private or group.
Oh yes, one more thing I must share. I am one of 2 women who study Tai Chi with Sifu Andy, and about 99% of the group sessions I attend, I am the only female. It was very intimidating the first time, but as I got to know the guys I felt accepted and respected. We each come from different walks of life, but one thing we all have in common is our passion for Tai Chi. I recommend Tai Chi for anyone, but most all for seniors where you’ll discover an exhilarating and satisfying new pastime, and as a bonus, better health.
Dorothy Groves
Thank you Dorothy for your very kind words. It is enormously rewarding to be able to offer something that can have such a positive impact.