Neuro- Psych testing, after my brain injury, revealed that I’d lost half my processing speed and working memory. I was lucky to see a therapist who taught me some exercises to rebuild pathways in my brain. Today I use computer games for the exercise and have greatly improved my memory, but I have no balance and thinking things out, even simple things, takes long, long, long.
After watching a video on bringing the ancient martial arts of China to New York, I began to wonder if my lack of balance is connected to my reduced processing speed. I began to wonder whether I had learned as a young child techniques that formed a basis for my speed in thinking, and that when I fell and injured my brain, I broke the connection I’d had to those techniques.
In Chinese Preying Mantis martial arts the first things that are studied take a year each to incorporate so strongly into the person learning them that after the first year when the person goes on to learn the second technique, the first learning is so strongly a part of the person that no thought need be given to it going forward, it is simply there, a part of everything thereafter. And, the things that distinguish Preying Mantis are balance and speed. See where I’m going with this?
As an aside, the video link at the top of this page is great for learning how to topple an attacker.
I’ve found a video on Tai Chi for beginners. The Preying Mantis video that got me started had mentioned Tai Chi. So, I’m going to base my learning/experiment on Tai Chi. The 5 Minutes a Day video says it takes a hundred days.
Day 1 ~ I’m using my iphone to watch the video while following along. I can do the first bit, which is feet together, then slowly lifting and lowering arms. I can’t properly do the second bit, of lifting one foot, because I don’t have enough balance to do it without holding on to something. I did it holding on to my walker.
Day 2 ~ I particularly like that the Tai Chi video emphases doing the exercises for 100 days because forming a habit of doing the exercises is Key. I should add that I also do an exercise designed to be done sitting down:
Day 3 ~ I was surprised today. I’d put off washing my hair as long as I could. I don’t like losing my balance as I do when my eyes are shut, like when I’m avoiding getting shampoos suds in them. The surprise was that today when I was washing my hair I didn’t lose my balance. What surprises me is not that doing the Tai Chi can help, but that it appears to have helped so quickly. Yet, I think that must be what’s happened.
Day 4 ~ It’s becoming easier to do the first Tai Chi exercise, but I can’t do it smoothly yet. Still, I am having less pain, so I’m doing more things. Today I got as far as the Hug the Tree movement.
Day 5 ~ Today tested my resolve. Would I do what someone else wanted with my time, or preserve this tiny little 5 minutes for myself? Happily I chose Tai Chi and me.
Day 6 ~ I’m beginning to wonder if my lungs feel congested in part because over several years I’ve felt a lot of fear… of being foreclosed and losing my home, even though it’s clear Wells Fargo has filed false affidavits, etc. The point is, perhaps because I was scared so much of the time I was breathing very shallowly.
Day 7 ~ I’ve been working extra on expanding my lungs, even though my basic breathing is not even remotely in sync with the video. I can see why this needs 100 days.
Day 8 ~ My daily improvement is very slight.
Day 9 ~ I wonder if I’m being unrealistic to expect this Tai Chi to work like WD 40 for my muscles and joints… 12/26/18
Day 10 ~ One thing I have learned is that my lung capacity is severely reduced. Maybe it’s from living in hydrogen sulfide for years, or maybe it’s related to having had tetanus. When I had tetanus and for sometime thereafter I sounded extremely old when I talked, wispy and old like someone way over 90 years old.
1/6/2019 ~ On the 28th of December I was so cold I could not do the Tai Chi. On New Year’s Day I collected the mail from the day before and found that on the 28th the New Mexico Supreme Court denied my Motion for Rehearing, clearing the way for me to be evicted from my home. I’ve done another motion centered on the fact that the foreclosure violated the UCC, New Mexico statutes 55-3-301 and 55-3-309. I was freezing cold all day today, so I’m worried that tomorrow’s mail will bring another denial. Just to be clear, on each of these two days it was warmer in here than on other days when I hadn’t been so cold.
Also, my legs have been collapsing and I’m having a crippling kind of pain, so until I feel better I won’t be able to do the Tai Chi… I really hope there’s some kind of miracle and the New Mexico Supreme Court changes its mind.
Jake Mace Image (at top) ~ A critical review says,