Sports Massage Tai Chi Wasdale Lake District Cumbria

 

 

T'ai Chi Ponderings

" He Who Knows Others Is Wise. He Who Knows Himself Is Enlightened.” - Tao Te Ching

Cycling 'app'en?

Monday. It’s early morning and it is hot. Sky is blue and my bike and the road calls. Cycle before it gets hotter, a rare occasion in England. I have a cycle app on my phone which i have not used (i’m not into apps). However, i’ve watched friends use theirs, so i decide to give it a trial. Thinking that it would not make any difference to my cycle ride. How wrong was that thought. rather than being in the moment and listening to my body and surroundings, i was irritated by a voice that would announce at intervals my mileage and speed…creating tension and a harder than normal bike ride…
Same bike ride today, with two friends, no tension, much laughter, a cool swim in a mountain stream, more cycling, no competition, not caring about mileage or speed, just enjoying the moment, in the sun…and it felt easy… 

Posted 123 weeks ago

May 2014, K2B, 40 mile walk

May 2014, Keswick to Barrow-in Furness, 40 mile charity walk

In May, I took part in a 40 mile walk from Keswick to Barrow, raising funds for the Give Us A Break Charity.
The weather was fecking awful, but we stayed together as a team, through floods and through thick and thin. Some started with injuries, others gained them on the way, but we walked every step as a team, supporting each other along the way. 
Thank you to all who sponsored me, as we raised £2,600 for a great cause.
Thanks to those who supported us Dave Jones for the early transportation to the start line, Emma for food and drinks, Julie’s parents who brought a camper van of food and drinks to Lowick, Lindsay for putting me and Lisa up the night before.

…and thanks to my team mates:

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 ChrisJennyDavidJohnMartinLisaLindsayGary,Julie you guys rock!image

http://www.giveusabreak2010.org/eskk14_39.html

Posted 136 weeks ago
<h5><span>27/4/13…CYCLING SPRING</span></h5>
<h5>FIRST CUCKOO HEARD WHEN WALKING MY DOGS THIS MORNING, BLUE SKIES, COOLNESS ON THE AIR…LATER, I’M LOOKING OUT AT GREY SKIES, WATCHING BRANCHES MOVE AS THE WIND PICKS UP; I COULD JUST STAY HERE AND ‘ADMIRE’ THE VIEW, BUT I FORCE MYSELF TO TAKE MY BIKE OUT, AS I KNOW THAT I’LL FEEL PHYSICALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY BETTER WHEN I GET BACK – JUST A FIVE MILE CIRCUIT, SO MY LEGS DON’T FORGET…DOWN TO THE LAKE I CYCLE AND THE VALLEY IS QUIET, THE AIR IS INDEED COLD…TAKING THE LEFT TURN TO RETURN ON THE ‘TOP’ ROAD…FIRST RAIN DROPS FALL AND I HAVE NO WATERPROOF, BUT NO MATTER, WHEN YOU ARE WET, YOU ARE WET, AND GENERALLY THE HUMAN FORM IS WATERPROOF…ON-WARDS, A FLASH OF WHITE TO MY LEFT CATCHES MY EYE – A WHEATEAR, JUST ARRIVED IN FROM AFRICA, ALONG WITH THE SWALLOWS THAT ARRIVED EARLIER THIS WEEK, AND THIS MORNINGS CUCKOO…MY HEART LIFTS AS I WATCH IT FLY FROM ROCK TO ROCK…I COULD’VE STAYED AT HOME AND NOT SEEN THIS NEW ARRIVAL…THE BIRDS ARE TELLING ME THAT SPRING HAS ARRIVED, EVEN THOUGH THE WEATHER TRIES TO TELL ME DIFFERENT..I CYCLE ON WITH A LIGHTNESS, THANKS TO THE WHEATEAR.</h5>
27/4/13…CYCLING SPRING
FIRST CUCKOO HEARD WHEN WALKING MY DOGS THIS MORNING, BLUE SKIES, COOLNESS ON THE AIR…LATER, I’M LOOKING OUT AT GREY SKIES, WATCHING BRANCHES MOVE AS THE WIND PICKS UP; I COULD JUST STAY HERE AND ‘ADMIRE’ THE VIEW, BUT I FORCE MYSELF TO TAKE MY BIKE OUT, AS I KNOW THAT I’LL FEEL PHYSICALLY AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY BETTER WHEN I GET BACK – JUST A FIVE MILE CIRCUIT, SO MY LEGS DON’T FORGET…DOWN TO THE LAKE I CYCLE AND THE VALLEY IS QUIET, THE AIR IS INDEED COLD…TAKING THE LEFT TURN TO RETURN ON THE ‘TOP’ ROAD…FIRST RAIN DROPS FALL AND I HAVE NO WATERPROOF, BUT NO MATTER, WHEN YOU ARE WET, YOU ARE WET, AND GENERALLY THE HUMAN FORM IS WATERPROOF…ON-WARDS, A FLASH OF WHITE TO MY LEFT CATCHES MY EYE – A WHEATEAR, JUST ARRIVED IN FROM AFRICA, ALONG WITH THE SWALLOWS THAT ARRIVED EARLIER THIS WEEK, AND THIS MORNINGS CUCKOO…MY HEART LIFTS AS I WATCH IT FLY FROM ROCK TO ROCK…I COULD’VE STAYED AT HOME AND NOT SEEN THIS NEW ARRIVAL…THE BIRDS ARE TELLING ME THAT SPRING HAS ARRIVED, EVEN THOUGH THE WEATHER TRIES TO TELL ME DIFFERENT..I CYCLE ON WITH A LIGHTNESS, THANKS TO THE WHEATEAR.
Posted 137 weeks ago

Cycling and thought revolutions (12/04/2013

….again needing ‘essentials’ (more bananas and a newspaper) I set off for my nearest shop. There are two roads into the valley that I live in; whichever one I decide to use I have to climb out of the valley. For a change I take the road that will make my cycle a circular ride. Realising that this will make my ride longer, but acknowledging to myself that I’m choosing this way as tomorrow I will be sitting in my car for three hours on my way to a course in a city and then another three hours to get home. I pedal away from home off my pot-holed track onto tarmac with the road rising gently, I can see the hill ahead of me; knowing that the bridleway to the right will take me down tracks, through farms and woods and will give me the opportunity to cut out this hill and make my ride easier. I choose to ignore it and stay on the tarmac. A storm damaged tree catches my eye and causes me to circle back and take a photo.

tree1

I carry on pedalling, watching my knees staying in line with my toes…thinking about cyclists I’ve observed with their knees not in alignment with their feet and thinking that surely that will cause problems and perhaps pain.

I arrive at the shop and buy my few things and pack them into my small rucksack…thinking that transporting our food from shops in our cars has perhaps been one of the factors that have caused people to get fatter…I set off cycling for home..observing people  carrying pies from the bakery to their vehicles…I have to stop to re-arrange the items I have bought as my rucksack is uncomfortable…noticing people passing me in their cars eating chocolate bars…thinking about shopping when I was a child and how it involved a two mile walk with my mum and other siblings (she got travel sick on the bus)…shopping for seven in our household and then carrying our weekly food back…thinking that when you are physically transporting food home, you become more selective in your food choices…buy one get one free offers? No thanks I can’t carry the extra…thinking that ease of transportation of our food has not done many of us any favours….thinking it’s hard to eat and cycle….

Posted 143 weeks ago
<p>Shadow Cycling (6/4/13)</p>
<h5>SATURDAY MORNING, BLUE SKIES. NOT WORKING AT THE BARN DOOR SHOP NOW AND MISSING THE CYCLE RIDE DOWN THE VALLEY. TAKING THE OPPORTUNITY OF ‘NEEDING’ A FEW ESSENTIALS FROM MY NEAREST VILLAGE: THE SATURDAY PAPER = TO LIGHT OUR FIRE (THAT’S AN ESSENTIAL, RIGHT?) AND BANANAS (ESSENTIAL, RIGHT?). USING THIS EXCUSE TO CYCLE THE MOSTLY UPHILL 5 MILES OUT OF THE VALLEY…BLUE SKIES BUT A COOL BREEZE AROUND MY EARS, THINKING MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE PUT ANOTHER LAYER ON, BUT KNOWING MY MUSCLES WILL SOON WARM…BODY RELAXING INTO THE MOVEMENT AND MOTION…LEG MUSCLES FEELING AT EASE AS I PUSH PEDALS…GLIMPSING THE WHITE RUMP AND TURNED HEAD OF A DEER IN A WOOD AS IT WATCHES ME CYCLE PAST…SOON PASSED BY A CAR, WONDERING DID YOU SEE THAT DEER? PROBABLY NOT…</h5>

Shadow Cycling (6/4/13)

SATURDAY MORNING, BLUE SKIES. NOT WORKING AT THE BARN DOOR SHOP NOW AND MISSING THE CYCLE RIDE DOWN THE VALLEY. TAKING THE OPPORTUNITY OF ‘NEEDING’ A FEW ESSENTIALS FROM MY NEAREST VILLAGE: THE SATURDAY PAPER = TO LIGHT OUR FIRE (THAT’S AN ESSENTIAL, RIGHT?) AND BANANAS (ESSENTIAL, RIGHT?). USING THIS EXCUSE TO CYCLE THE MOSTLY UPHILL 5 MILES OUT OF THE VALLEY…BLUE SKIES BUT A COOL BREEZE AROUND MY EARS, THINKING MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE PUT ANOTHER LAYER ON, BUT KNOWING MY MUSCLES WILL SOON WARM…BODY RELAXING INTO THE MOVEMENT AND MOTION…LEG MUSCLES FEELING AT EASE AS I PUSH PEDALS…GLIMPSING THE WHITE RUMP AND TURNED HEAD OF A DEER IN A WOOD AS IT WATCHES ME CYCLE PAST…SOON PASSED BY A CAR, WONDERING DID YOU SEE THAT DEER? PROBABLY NOT…
Posted 146 weeks ago
<p>…just thinking and cycling…  (<em>March 2013)</em></p>
<p><span>…cycling towards the lake today, still negotiating branches strewn on roads, hearing the buzz of chainsaws in the wood, dealing with the storm damage…thinking that we often have 70mph winds rage down through the valley, with no resulting damage. Got me thinking to how in Taiji we often use tree analagies…be rooted, yield, be like bamboo…thinking about these trees that were twisted, lifted and then thrown into fields on Friday/Saturday…thinking that these trees had been growing and yielding to winds usually from a south-westerly direction and then were caught out by a wind from a different direction; thinking about the amount of rain last year that would’ve undermined the trees roots and weakened their structure…thinking about trees in woods, that have other trees surrounding them, competing for space, other trees pressing in around them….thinking this is very like the human condition…that outwardly we may appear strong but if something has been slowly undermining our roots, stopping us from being grounded then our structure (mentally/physically) will eventually topple…thinking that if we have too many demands put on us; by others around us, family, work, society, (the wood), emotional stresses leaning upon us then it only takes an undexpected stress to topple an already weakened person…just thinking and cycling…thinking maybe those old Taoists’ knew a thing or two…</span></p>

…just thinking and cycling…  (March 2013)

…cycling towards the lake today, still negotiating branches strewn on roads, hearing the buzz of chainsaws in the wood, dealing with the storm damage…thinking that we often have 70mph winds rage down through the valley, with no resulting damage. Got me thinking to how in Taiji we often use tree analagies…be rooted, yield, be like bamboo…thinking about these trees that were twisted, lifted and then thrown into fields on Friday/Saturday…thinking that these trees had been growing and yielding to winds usually from a south-westerly direction and then were caught out by a wind from a different direction; thinking about the amount of rain last year that would’ve undermined the trees roots and weakened their structure…thinking about trees in woods, that have other trees surrounding them, competing for space, other trees pressing in around them….thinking this is very like the human condition…that outwardly we may appear strong but if something has been slowly undermining our roots, stopping us from being grounded then our structure (mentally/physically) will eventually topple…thinking that if we have too many demands put on us; by others around us, family, work, society, (the wood), emotional stresses leaning upon us then it only takes an undexpected stress to topple an already weakened person…just thinking and cycling…thinking maybe those old Taoists’ knew a thing or two…

Posted 148 weeks ago
<p>Taiji Cycling</p>
<p><span>…today was a day of mostly pushing my bike against the forces of nature…having to pedal down hills that I normally free-wheel down was interesting along the lake side…but before that negotiating snow and ice patches on roads; mighty trees toppled, branch avoidance…thinking I could turn around and go home, but keeping on…watching waves building and crashing; powdered snow being picked up off Scawfell and Mickledore by gusts of swirling winds, trying to work out if it was snowing again or was it just being blown off the mountaing tops…in awe of birds and animals who survive in these hostile environments…knowing if I don’t carry on then no bird seed will be scattered for the birds that sit and wait each day by the shop, and their days are harder than mine…</span></p>

Taiji Cycling

…today was a day of mostly pushing my bike against the forces of nature…having to pedal down hills that I normally free-wheel down was interesting along the lake side…but before that negotiating snow and ice patches on roads; mighty trees toppled, branch avoidance…thinking I could turn around and go home, but keeping on…watching waves building and crashing; powdered snow being picked up off Scawfell and Mickledore by gusts of swirling winds, trying to work out if it was snowing again or was it just being blown off the mountaing tops…in awe of birds and animals who survive in these hostile environments…knowing if I don’t carry on then no bird seed will be scattered for the birds that sit and wait each day by the shop, and their days are harder than mine…

Posted 151 weeks ago

Taiji and the Art of Cycling

image

March 2013

Taiji thoughts…
Battled with sub-zero winds down the valley again today. Listening to muscles, contracting, releasing, stretching. Muscles working together…thinking about the way muscles shorten when they contract and therefore can only pull and never push. So muscles working in pairs together or against each other, so that whatever one muscle does the other has to undo…thinking that if I was sat in a warm vehicle I wouldn’t be listening to my body as intently; thinking is this one of the reasons why people seem not to be body aware, sat in vehicles then working in sedentary jobs; wondering if people of the past with physical jobs were more in tune with their body movement and developing rhythms of movement and awareness of their environments…lots of thoughts drifting, legs pedaling, heart beating, lungs working with icy cold blasts, body temperature sensors very aware of the cold, blood pumping…beautiful snow covered mountains…exhilarating and very much alive!
Posted 152 weeks ago