My childhood was spent on the North Shore of Auckland, near a beach and a pony club. I spent most of my spare time riding and looking after horses, also swimming and playing on beaches and in the small boats that my father built. My work for almost 40 years has been in the computer industry – starting with Air New Zealand’s computer systems, then working for IBM in NZ, UK and Australia, and since 1985 I’ve mostly run small Australia/NZ subsidiaries for overseas computer software and services companies, one of whom was bought by IBM 2 years ago – so I’m now working for the IBM Software group. I still sail boats, haven’t ridden horses for a long time, race historic racing cars a bit (it’s a family thing), visit art galleries, music, and theatre whenever I can, and cook for family and friends. In the first week of May 2007 I’m moving to Singapore to spend 2 years in IBM’s ASEAN region; I’ll greatly miss Master Ric Lum’s classes and my fellow students, and look forward to re-joining whenever I can.
First I want to say I am very glad to have the opportunity to return to Master Ric’s classes, after leaving Sydney in May 2007 and an absence of more than 5 years from tai chi practice. The first class I rejoined was shortly before the Christmas break; I enjoyed being able to follow others in the class, finding I then started to remember the basic movements of section 1, and I felt tingling in my fingers when I moved through this first section with the class. It was harder when I got home, and found that some of the section 1 sequences which had felt clear when moving with the class, vanished in the short distance from Jubilee Park to my home!
I realised I would need to re-learn the basic movements and that this will take time, but I’ve also learned that the classes provide the path for this, both in ongoing teaching of each component (including from class members Magda, Danya, Neelica and Rodney in past few weeks) and also through participating in the overall Dance surrounded by all of the class members. Now that classes have started again in January my enjoyment of building the form has increased and I’m frequently surprised – such as by feeling my arms ‘floating’ upwards with the class movements. At the end of the last two Saturday classes Master Ric has illustrated some energy flow movements with class members, almost all of whom smile at the effect of this (as I did too, last Saturday.) I am enjoying the journey and am looking forward to continuing this path with Master Ric and his class.