Tiger Force

Before I started learning about taiji, the only kind of exercise I found that I really liked was walking.  I’m not big on sports, I’m not naturally coordinated enough to be good at them fast, and I haven’t enjoyed any of them enough to want to spend the time to get good at them.  But walking, now, walking I can handle.  I’ve been walking for a long time, my feet have pretty much worked out the mechanics.  I only trip on flat ground once in a great while now.

More than that, something about walking activates my brain, it helps me think, and helps me sort out my thoughts.  I have a natural inclination to think about big philosophical stuff, so an activity that ends up exercising both my body and mind is a great thing.

Several years back, when I first discovered I really like to walk, I worked my way up to walking hard for up to an hour a day, four or five times a week.  Hours a week, spent pacing off the miles and pacing out ideas and plans and stories — great, enormous stories.  It still makes me smile to think about that.

I don’t remember why I fell out of the habit of walking, but I’ve struggled ever since then to pick it back up.  I know it’s good for me, I know I really enjoy it, but I haven’t been able to ingrain the habit.

Last week I finally started walking again, with the help of a good friend and a Facebook group.  Michael Tiger is a fellow student at my martial arts school, a talented martial artist, and a strong proponent of physical fitness and pushing one’s limits.  More importantly, he is a great encourager and understands how important it is to have support in pushing oneself, that it’s so much harder to go it alone.

A couple of weeks ago Michael started a Facebook group named “Tiger Force,” with the intention of forming a space where people can post their workout results, cheer each other on, ask questions and trade ideas.  It’s been an active, successful group from the start, and it’s still growing.

It’s gotten me moving again.  I’ve been going for walks consistently since joining in, maybe not as fast or as long as I used to, but walks nonetheless.  It makes a big difference to have a space to be accountable in, to announce that I’ve gone out walking and have someone say “attagirl.”  It’s inspiring to see what other people are doing — sometimes intimidating, because there are a lot of people who are far more serious about physical fitness than I am and who are consequently in much better shape.  But I refuse to let that stop me from being involved.  I am myself, not Michael or any of the other crazy people awesome physically fit people who reel off hundreds of pushups or squats or things-I’ve-never-heard-of every day.  I refuse to feel bad about that.

It’s raining today, so I was tempted to stay home … but drat it, I’d rather get some fresh air, even if it is waterlogged.  I think I’ve got a lightweight poncho around here somewhere.  If you want me, I’ll be out on the road.  Putting one foot in front of the other.

Thanks, Michael.

Tiger Force is an open Facebook group.  If you’d like to be part of a great, welcoming, encouraging group of people who are all working on taking care of their bodies, we’d love to have you.


1 comment so far

  1. Lynn on

    Humans are social creatures. Even introverts like you and I do better with a good hunk of human interaction every day. That’s why Michael Tiger’s prodding helps – yes, you wanted to walk anyway, but it took another person poking you to get you moving.

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