The first training day had arrived. Andrew woke with a calmness despite the unknown. Commencing with Qi Gong (pronounced ‘chi’), immediately it became apparent he was less coordinated than he thought. The practice is centred on slow movements coupled with breathing that helps to balance chi, an energy which courses within the body. He felt heavy on his feet and lacked balance. He had never been a good dancer.
The training offered variety, from body conditioning drills to traditional Kung Fu forms. A common theme continued throughout – he felt like a slug trying to move like a gazelle.
His life had always felt mundane and conservative. Whenever something called for flare, he looked for every possible opportunity to hide. The same thoughts erupted at the academy. What am I doing here? I shouldn’t be doing these techniques. I probably look foolish. How will this benefit me?
Fortunately he was able to push these destructive notions aside. There had been a growing realisation within him that life was a story. He had grown up watching shows and reading books, which followed the development of a character but had failed to realise that he was the main character of his own tale. He could do what he liked. He no longer had to be tied to a life of servitude to material possessions and the belief that life had to be lived a certain way.
He embraced the day, forgetting what others thought of him. Maybe they thought he looked silly. Maybe they thought that walruses moved with more grace. Maybe they didn’t like him. It didn’t matter. Today and his time at the academy would be an opportunity to learn. Not only would he learn from the Shifu’s, but everyone and anyone he interacted with.
This would be one chapter of the adventure tale of his life and he was going to make it something worth reading.