Reflections: A Journey East

By Larry Burcher

Where do I begin? Well right now Iím trying to think of a million different things to write but all I can think about is how I forgot to put sunscreen on my legs again! You know that feeling when youíre dangling your feet over the edge of the dock in the water and there are a bunch of those tinny little minnows nibbling away, tickling your feet? Well it feels exactly like that, except these little guys have piranha teeth. Lol. I sure did it good this time at the beach.
Thereís a good place to start now. My friends and I thought it would be perfect to head to the beach and relax in the sun for a bit after deciding the night before. (Bai sha yue wan), which means White Sand Moon Bay, was where we went today. Itís about an hour and a half from about where I live in Taipei City, but to be honest it was closer to over two hours from transferring off the MRT (Mass Rail Transit / Subway), to waiting for a local bus to get there. It was worth it though and Iím already looking forward to going back or exploring other beaches in along the northern coast of Taiwan.
As Iím writing and slightly shivering, (I love aloe gel) Iím thinking about how much fun it was today to see and breathe the ocean air again. There is something about being next to the ocean and feeling the spray of the waves as they come rolling and some times crashing into the coral rocks and sandy beach. I love the feeling and the sight. Itís like tasting freedom and on a sunny clam day, relaxing too. If you havenít felt the ocean before, itís an experience youíll love having.
While I was at the beach having fun with my friends enjoying the sun and sand, I also practiced some of my Bagua Pre-Heaven palm changes walking the circle in the sand and the Heaven Section of the Post Heaven linear forms in the water as the tide came in and out. I have to say that both were very challenging to do with the change in environment from that which Iím used to training in on a regular basis, mainly flat pavement or concrete surfaces. It was really interesting and made think a lot more about my foot work among other things, but the main thing is just how important it is to train with a variety of different environmental conditions. If all you do is train on a flat smooth unbroken surface, then youíre limiting your potential for learning how to adapt to other surfaces, let alone other environmental conditions such rain, snow, wind, or temperature. Now Iím not saying you should go out right now and train in the freezing rain! But it has made me start to think a lot more about different ways of improving my own ability to adapt and how I can have more fun deepening my training.
Just looking at the time here, almost midnight and Iíve got to be up at 6am tomorrow, so time for me to crash out and get some sleep much needed sleep. Iíll have to write more next time and give a more formal introduction of myself and my life here in Taipei, Taiwan. Till then,!

P.S. - Wan An: Literally means "night safe", but in translation really means good night.

P.P.S. My table just shook. There goes another random mini-quake I think.




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