My 4-month journey
It’s been 4 months since I started kung fu and I have seen a lot of improvement. My stamina and endurance have increased a lot and even my flexibility, while still not the best, has improved greatly. This goes to show that patience and hard work really does pay off. I can’t wait until I’m at the point where I can perform with the perfect amount of grace and intensity.
It’s still early days for me though and there’s a lot of things I need to work on. There are certain things I struggle most with which I will be challenging myself to improve on in the next couple of months.
Top 4 things I want to focus on
1. Maintaining a consistent workout schedule
Sometimes, life just gets in the way because things come up that you have no control over. For the last couple of weeks, even though I’ve been pretty busy with planning a relative’s wedding, I’ve still been trying really hard to keep up with training everyday. It’s been going pretty well so far and I even felt ready to do a 5-day challenge which I posted about on Twitter. I had prepared different exercises for each of those 5 days to work all of the muscle groups in my arms, but unfortunately I didn’t make it to the last day.
I failed this challenge, not because I gave up, or because I forgot about it, but because there was so many last minute preparations to get done for that relative’s wedding, so I had to prioritise. Sometimes things in life become so hectic that it’s impossible to fit everything in and you have to make sacrifices. For me, I sacrificed posting the last day of my training in order to help with the organising and decorating for the wedding.
2. Maintaining good posture
Imagine being in the middle of going through a form and you’re thinking in your head “yeah, I’ve got this. I’m totally doing this right.” But then suddenly, there’s a little rap on your shoulder. And you dread that rap because you’ve been feeling this rap continuously for the last several weeks and it can only mean one thing. You’re form is wrong; you’re posture is off.
Sifu Dan always calls me out whenever I make a mistake, and the one mistake I make the most is trying to connect my shoulder to my ear.
“Right shoulder meet right ear.” Yeah… I don’t think Sifu was impressed by that either.
Trust me, I know how silly it looks when I raise my right shoulder too high, Sifu has made me watch myself do the form in front of a mirror before.
Anyway, for the next few weeks I will be focusing on trying to keep my shoulder down until it becomes habit. This is probably the hardest thing for me to accomplish on my list of kung fu fitness goals.
3. Staying in a crouched stance
What can I say about this? It’s just so tiring to hold a crouched stance for so long. Sometimes Sifu Dan will have me do the same form over and over again and after a while, my legs just get so wobbly and tired. But Sifu will still tell me to stop trying to straighten up and to crouch down lower.
Right at the beginning, Sifu Dan would have me do the forms going as low as I could hold until my legs felt like they were about to buckle. Now that I’ve gotten farther along, rests are fewer and farther between and I have to crouch even lower until I feel that burn. Some of my kung fu brothers and sisters can hold this stance for a long time before needing a rest, and there’s no way I can beat them in a challenge.
4. Remembering to breathe correctly
Yes, I know, I just recently posted an article all about breathing so I really shouldn’t be forgetting this important step. But it’s hard okay! I get so into mastering the forms that sometimes the fact that I need oxygen to live just seems to slip my mind.
I’ve gotten a little better at this though. Especially since I have to let out a great “HA” at certain points and if I haven’t inhaled, this becomes tricky. So while my breathing has improved, it’s not one hundred percent in control yet. Part of the reason I don’t breathe is that I’m a little on the shy side and my “HA” is more of a quiet “…ha…”
Maybe I should include confidence on this list too. Anyway, I can’t wait to find out how I improve in the coming months.