31 August 2007


One thing my practice of t'ai chi and qi gong is supposed to teach me is focus. That is, mind and body are one--when practicing the forms, the mind must be on that time and place, that moment, and not on some other thing. I learned a powerful lesson yesterday about the lack of focus. I was riding my mountain bike on my favorite trail, a flat, woodsy, well-kept single track. I let my mind wander to the delights of this trail, and the joy of riding it, rather than simply stay in the moment. Sure enough, just as I remembered that the stretch of the trail I was on requires a bit of focus to "thread the needle" between a couple of big rocks, it was too late. I rode the bike directly into one of the rocks. The bike came to an almost complete stop. Now, Mr. Newton wasn't bullshitting about the 1st Law of Motion. My inertia sent me over the bars and to a hard, hard landing on the trail. Fortunately, I landed on my hip and rolled on to my shoulder. I gave my elbow a beautiful case of road rash. My gluteus is very sore, and I have an impressive bruise just below my hip bone. Minor injuries, really. (1) I was going too fast. (2) I'm out of shape and out of practice and should not have pushed myself so hard. (3) I let my mind drift from the time I was in and the place I was at. Just desserts.

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