I usually go to Tai Chi class every Saturday. I have been taking the beginners’ class for about three sessions over the span of two years. Every time when we started a new beginners’ class, I would sign up for it. I don’t practice much Tai Chi other than on Saturday, so it has not been easy for me to memorize all 108 moves. Consequently, I was hesitant to move up to the continuing class because I couldn’t remember the sequence very well.
After two years, the beginner class gradually becomes uninspiring because the class is really geared to people who start from zero experience with Tai Chi. The repetitive class from point zero is no longer challenging enough for me. In mid-September, when the new classes started again, I decided to join the continuing class this time and then stay late for the beginners’ class as well. The decision turned out to be the best way to push myself forward.
Immediately, I could see myself making progress! Although I joke about the instructor who is like a drill sergeant and pushes us to do tons of Don Yu squatting over and over again, I am beginning to refine my skills and correct the errors and bad habits that I have accustomed to from the last few beginners’ classes. Sometimes I stay longer for the beginners' class after my "Tai Chi Boot Camp", I can take my time to break down steps and review each and every move that I have just reviewed from the boot camp.
Human nature often forces us to step back and withdraw ourselves from unfamiliar situations. We are afraid of the unknown and concerned about embarrassing ourselves in front of the others. As a teacher, this experience is definitely a lesson learned. I usually encourage my students to take challenges but there I was so hesitant to do so myself in the adult world. It is a good example of why teachers should always encourage students to set a higher expectation for themselves. To aim high and work solidly for the goal is the only way to push yourself forward.
After the beginners’ class today, a few of us stayed late to do a whole set of Tai Chi. My instructors from the beginners’ class took me aside to talk to me. They told me that they have been very interested in me and would like to recommend me to take the assistant instructor’s role. Hahaha…. Me as a Tai Chi assistant instructor! No way. I know myself every well. I would be just the same as my continuing instructor who really pushes students forward. (Oh, no! Attention! Grandmas and Grandpas in the beginners’ class, watch out for that spunky Julia. Here she comes!) Honestly, I don’t think I am ready for the role, but it certainly could be a goal to aim for in the very near future. It is an honour!