Sunday, December 4, 2016
This weekend I was privileged to participate in the Florida Senior Games that featured taichi for the very first time.
A good number of participants showed up and the games were termed a success. Throughout the morning various taichi forms were demonstrated. Some very familiar and some I had never seen.
Classifications were for beginners (novice), intermediate and advanced participants. I was listed in the advanced class. After all I have been teaching taiji/qi gong for 10 years, I guess they got it right.
A change in classification of classes had been decided upon by the games admin persons, and I was allowed to sign up for an advanced Beijing 24 (Yang 24) form. This is the national form of taichi for China. It is also the most practiced taichi form in the world. I enjoy this form and am relatively accomplished at it.
At the end of my first demonstration I felt terribly good for in my mind I have done the form flawlessly. No mistakes, in the prescribed amount of time, great energy, very upbeat. After the other contestants performed it was my thought that two of them were very good and most probably outperformed me. The third man was a very senior person, more senior than I. Being as fair as I could be I definitely felt I had outperformed this gentleman. So a quaint and quick medal ceremony with pictures, etc. ensued and I was handed my yellow ribbon. Wait! There were 3 medals, nice shiny medals ahead of my fourth (4th) place ribbon. Oh no. I had in fact been scored last of 4.
Of course I know that it is not the prize that counts it is the process or journey that is important. Yet, hmmmm. Last? Really? So starts the self aggrandizement. I was better than he! He was slow, blah blah blah. Self justification, blah blah blah. Oh lord I was in a self mess. A bit of meditation and self examination led me to hug the beautiful elderly guy who had outs scored me and tell him I thought he was great, and he was.
Well that was done, now to wait for the last form contest which is the Beijing 24. We broke for lunch at that moment and one hour later were back in the gym ready to go. Oh oh, wait a minute. They stated they were done with taichi and were moving along to the next forms which were "push hands". Not my cup o tea and I would be leaving as soon as I was finished with my next form.
Here is where I get emotionally crazy. Still harboring a little ill feeling about my 4th place ribbon, I was not being told they were going to skip the Beijing 24 form for I was the only man to sign up for it. Huh. That would mean I would have been the only participant and an automatic "Gold Medal"!!! Yes, thank you God.
Then the thought that I would be given a medal simply because I was the only one in the category. I did not even get to perform the form. "Just give him a gold medal and let's move on" I heard. Sigh, by now pride had me in its grips of torment. A medal charity case is what I am now huh? Never mind. It is fine, I don't need a medal.
The personnel putting on the games were so sincerely apologetic about their mistake and were so adamant about correcting their mistake I did participate in a quick and personal medal ceremony and had pictures taken. Every one seemed so happy and yet I was feeling just a bit childish and embarrassed.
It finally dawned on me that the Divine takes care of all. I got what I deserved in my first form participation, I also by rule got what I deserved for my second form which I never even performed. The Divine was balancing the scales. What was my problem? None. None at all. I will cherish and display both prizes equally. I love them both. Why, wouldn't I? They are a gift from my creator.
I will forever and always remember this day. Even when my head goes negative and self engaged, the Divine is always there to bail me out. God is Good, always, all ways.
Love and light