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Just ignore it
People prefer to ignore their bad back, their sore knees, fatigue, stress, headache and chronic tension. Their bodies become less and less supple.
Eventually, the person rationalises the problem: it is just part of aging... It is easier to do nothing. Less effort. Why bother?
Problems seldom go away. In fact, health problems tend to get worse each year.
If your fitness deteriorates to a point where medical treatment is required, you have already let matters get out of hand.
In lieu of dealing with real problems, people are adept at finding something else to do instead. Doing something else is called 'procrastination'.
It is the skill of finding an alternative activity such as work, the kids, etc.
The alternative to fixing a problem sounds reasonable and can easily be justified. After all; if you want money you need to work. But the problem itself is never fixed.
The individual genuinely wants to fix the problem but they never seem to get around to actually doing so...
No time. No money. Too tired. Everyone says these three excuses. They are over-used and easy to hide behind.
Tackle difficult jobs while
they are still easy,
and big jobs while they are small.
The troubles of your life can only be solved
before they get out of hand.
The journey of a thousand miles
begins with a single step.
Sooner rather than later
The best way to handle problems is to deal with them whilst they are still small. Small issues are manageable. If you are losing flexibility, sort this out. Poor alignment? Remedy it.
The sooner you start, the easier it is to fix.
Some people try to bully their own body into submission. Instead of patiently, progressively improving their fitness they opt for a quick fix. This attitude commonly results in injuries.
The road to hell
It is quite common to see people exercising with appalling alignment and emotionally anguished faces. They are not improving their fitness. They are making matters worse.
In the quest for fitness people frequently adopt a narrow-minded approach; working on one facet whilst damaging another.
Problems are often the outcome of the well-intentioned amateur failing to research their exercise adequately. Or lacking mindfulness.
Have some humility
Any exercise takes skill and requires professional guidance if you want to do it in a healthy way. For example: taijiquan is complex and necessitates long-term qualified tuition.
Amateur meddling is dangerous.
How many biomechanically-sound runners do you see on the streets? How many taijiquan people really understand and follow the Taijiquan Classics?
Become aware of your body in everyday life. Does it feel comfortable, supple, mobile and strong? If not, why not? What is the problem? Can you fix it?
Your body should feel good. It should be capable of performing most physical movements without impediment.
Attending classes is a start. But no more than that. If you are earnest about fixing a problem, you need to work on your body every day. Between classes.
Habits are not easily shed. You must re-train your body slowly, carefully and regularly.
18 June 1996
Last updated 29 April 2021