I have been studying Taiji for fourteen or fifteen years. I have come so far, and I am proud of the progress I have made. I was a terrible student in the beginning because I was so resistant to everything my teacher was telling me. I apologized to her later, but she laughingly brushed it off. That’s part of what makes her a good teacher–she’s able to take people as they were and not demand that they learn in any certain way.
For me, I am skeptical of everything. Esepcially as my first Taiji teacher was a manipulative, skeevy, slimy fraud. Even without that, though, I take everything with a grain of salt. I must have been so irritating because I was constantly questioning what she told me. She was patient with me, though, and answered all the questions I had. If she did not know the answer, she would tell me so. Or she would look it up and come back with the answer.
She was never abrupt with me or showed any impatience. She was upbeat and positive, and I appreciated that she did not pooh-pooh my skepticism. I was used to people telling me that I should just accept what was told to me (raised fundie Christian), and as a resault, I did not trust anything told to me. I’m not saying that’s a good way to be, but it’s understandable given my history.
The first two or three years, I was fighting against the practice. I hated it. I will be frank. The Solo (Long) Form was the first thing she taught to me, and it was painful. Physically, it hurt my knees, and mentally, I just did not want to do it. And yet. There was something deep inside me that knew it was what I needed. That kernel was planted, and the trtee took root–to mix my metaphors.
By the time I learend the Solo (Long) Form (learned as in taught all the postures. Not learned as in knew it by heart), I still disliked it, but I did not hate it the way I once did. I could see why it was a good thing, even if I did not feel it yet. However, I could not make myself practice at home, so I added a second class as a way to make myself pracitce more. This was in a different place and a few years later. I added a third class, too, and that was where I was at when the pandemic hit.