Archive | January, 2015

With Apologies to Ronald McDonald

19 Jan

A larger 20-something, guy, lumbering stature. A 30-something  woman, tall, stereotypical Midwestern mom-like in appearance.  A man of about 50 years, short, with a ready smile and laugh, a feisty attitude. An 18 year old girl, thinner, quiet, pretty.

“Everyone take one quick step backwards and try to land in a good, balanced stance. Again. One more time. OK, now two steps back; remember, pay attention to your stepping, landing and balance.”

The Midwestern mom does rather well. The smaller, feisty guy not too bad. The girl is very tentative and her body stays rotated awkwardly. The lumbering guy steps and lands with his legs too twisted up, appearing uncomfortable, almost teetering on the edge.

This could be any taekwondo class. People come in with all variety of physical habits and capability. Our job is to overcome those, move things closer to a functional norm, and yet also realize that unique habits, differences and limitations always come out, sometime always stick around. A lifetime of habits and movement patterns become our status quo. It’s tough to change the status quo.

The situation I described above, however, is less typical than I implied. Those four participants, and others not mentioned, are all Continue reading

The Voice. (Not a tribute to Adam Levine or Blake Shelton)

5 Jan

I lost my voice just recently, teaching classes. Not a complete loss; I’d lost the usual projection and boom. I was more raspy and soft, and words were catching in my throat, voice cracking.

I’d started classes just fine but by half-way through the first youth class, a bright-eyed 10 year old girl declared, “Master Chris, you’re losing your voice!” Of course, that opened the floodgates and it quickly became an obvious focus. “Why did you lose your voice?” a six year old asked. “Yeah, why?” inquired another. “Master Chris lost his voice!” “Do you need help finding it?”

The explanation I offered was that it was because I had to yell at them too much, that they were too loud and didn’t pay attention. All true, but they knew I was teasing-admonishing. Continue reading

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