Tai Chi: Fake it Gracefully

Dear Annie and Carter:


If you’d met me in person … you’d probably say “my granny is always busy with so many exciting things to do every day,” or “sometimes it is hard to keep up with her,” or “she moves so fast it’s hard to believe she is seventy.” Well, the secret to my success is that I am a “closet quiet person.” What I mean is my favorite hours of the week, and the most peaceful are those I do TAI CHI.



Tai chi is a series of v-e-r-y slow movements that originated in China. People all over the world do them everyday for both meditation and health reasons. I have been doing tai chi at least weekly since 1990 when I moved to Chico State. In Monterey my tai chi teacher Catherine Wenner gave her own names to the movements of TAI CHI CHIH like “ocean currents” or “sea waves” or “silent strength” or “daughter on the mountain.” She tells her students not to worry about performance, but to watch and “fake it gracefully.” I think that is a good way to learn anything.


She doesn’t teach any more but a dozen of us meet weekly on the top floor of a senior community in Monterey where I can actually look out the windows and see the coastline as I do the moves silently. Each time I speak words of gratitude for just that: being there taking care of my body this way. When we moved to the little town of Aromas ten miles inland, or community Grange, has tai chi two mornings a week. I just came from there and feel so relaxed and ready to start my week.


I hope somehow the Physical Education programs in your schools focus on some of these easy to do stress reducing things, and not just competitive sports.


Love your secretly slow and still busy Invisible Grandma, PAT

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