Underneath my yellow skin

Healthy? Wealthy? Wise!

It’s official. My left thumb is trigger thumb. Met my new doc yesterday and she confirmed it. Gonna get a steroid shot next week. I asked what happened when it wore off. She looked at me blankly and said that there was the possibility it would take care of it for good. Yeah, right. My mother has had to get steroid shots more than once, but it could be because she’s not proactive about not reinjuring herself. She’s really good with rehab, but no so good at preventative. I’m the same, actually. Once I know the problem, I’ll tackle it single-mindedly. Figuring out that problem? Also on it! Preventing said problem from happening? Hahaha, no. My new doc said that I should try to figure out what’s triggering it, no pun intended, I’m sure. I have a hunch that a certain taiji spear drill started it. When I mentioned it to my doc, she looked confused but gamely said maybe I shouldn’t do that drill. I reassured her that I’d stopped doing that particular drill.

It’s funny how little I use my left thumb in my daily life especially now that I’ve retrained myself to smash the spacebar with my right thumb instead of my left. I do mouse with my left so maybe I should change that back. I rarely mouse, though, as I do most things with keyboard shortcuts. I don’t even use my thumb to mouse, really. So the tendons running up and down my thumb are swollen. The steroid shot will reduce the swelling and the main mission is to make sure it doesn’t swell again. I am not giving up taiji weapons for the left side, though. There really isn’t any pressure on the thumb itself so it shouldn’t be bad for my thumb. I dunno. I may give it a rest after I get the shot next week. We’ll see. I’ll ask the doc what they think (ortho specialist). It really doesn’t bother me on the regs and only hurts when I touch it. But, bending it would be nice. Also, not flinching in pain when I accidentally touch it.

Let’s talk taiji weapons because I can and because I love them. The Double Saber is my current jam and I love them so much. I have escrima sticks when I want to go as quickly as possible and not worry about smacking anything with the blades. I also have my showy flimsy blades that have colored scarves on the handles that look fantastic as I wave them in the air. It’s definitely more for show than for praticality and one day I will get a truly magnificent set that is both gorgeous and useful. My sword is both beautiful and useful–or rather, it would be if I sharpened the blade. I paid a pretty penny for it, but I rationalized that I would have it for the rest of my life. This was five or six years ago…maybe more? I still have it and still use it every day.

Of course, I will get a non-wooden saber at some point, too, but that’s less of interest to me at the moment. I’ve grown to appreciate the saber in a way I never thought possible when I first started it, but it’s never going to be my favorite. Well, I can’t say never, but it’s highly unlikely as long as the sword and the double sabers exist. Also, my teacher mentioned the Bagua Sword Form and my eyes lit up like it’s Christmas. I have too much to learn and yet the mere mention of another sword form jazzed me.

Right now, I’m teaching myself the left side of the Wu-Li Wudang Sword and the Saber Form. The former is going better than the latter because–well, see, it’s like this. The Wu-Li Wudang Sword is about the 13 sword energies. Since I know the Sword Form, I know all the energies even if I didn’t know the names for them. I’ve practiced the Sword Form so many times, it’s like second nature to me. Teaching myself the left side of the Sword Form was surprisingly seamless and only took me two or three days. I had anticipated taking a week or two to teach it to myself, but I should have known better. First of all, I taught it to myself before. It took longer than three days, but it didn’t take two weeks. Two, I sorta fudged postures I didn’t understand. Three, the one movement that took me the longest time to teach myself, ironically, was Fishing Posture, which is the easiest movement in the whole form. The first time I taught myself the left side, I could not for the life of me figure out the Fishing Posture. There was no reason it should have taken me more than five seconds, but it showed how easy it was to gloss over things that I thought were easy. In contrast, I didn’t have much difficulty with the whirlwinds because I had to pay more attention to them the first time around.

A bit of vanity: I am loving my biceps. Doing weapons is a weight-bearing exercise, obviously, and my biceps are the better for it. This is big because I don’t like most of my body. My hair, my eyes, my smile. That’s about it. My tats, but those aren’t endemic to me. My biceps are nicely defined, but not grossly bulging. And, I have to give praise to my ass. First, the fact that I actually have one. I’m Asian. I was not born with any junk in the trunk. I had made my peace with it and then about three years ago, I caught a glimpse of my ass in the full-length mirror. I actually had one! It wasn’t much of one, but it was definitely an ass. Now, when I tense it, it’s rock-hard. Buns of steel! I attribute it to tai ji weapons and doing the horse stance in classes. How to explain. Ok. Normally, the feet in taiji are shoulder-width apart. For the horse stance, you want to roughly double that and bend your knees as far as you comfortable can. When you’re ready, lift your hands to chest height and hold them inwards with your shoulders relaxed. Just remain in this position for five or six breaths and release. That’s it, but it’s done wonders for my glutes.

I’m pushing myself harder in my daily taiji routine because I’d gotten a bit too comfortable with it. I’m not into the ‘no pain, no gain’ mentality, but I do know that I tend to stagnate when I don’t push myself slightly. I’m too willing to just stay in stasis and this year-plus of the pandemic has shown me how much more I could get done when I put my mind to it. I have mentioned before that I have learned more (weapons) during the pandemic than in the prior five years in the Before Times. I know that I’m a fast learner and yet, I had allowed my inertia to drag me down.

One thing I’m doing is setting all my forms to music. I’m not ready to talk about it yet (the greater theme), but I have to say that it’s given my weapons a whole new life. It’s exhilarating and I can’t wait to keep it going.



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