I was out mowing the grass on the training field. Yes, that â€œtraining fieldâ€. As I went around and around with the mower, I swear I saw every teacher and every student again. I re-learned every lesson and remembered every practice that field has ever hosted. It was great.
I didnâ€™t even have to squint to see where Ted and Nick had that fight and Sam had them resolve it with the 108. I mowed the spot where Steven scattered his pocket change on the ground, and when he showed up wearing a sweatshirt with a drunk reindeer on the front asking for â€œMore Nogegg Please,” Iâ€™m pretty sure Sam and I bonded for the long haul right then and there. The training field is where we played Squish ball, sacrificing limbs for vitals, and dreamed of becoming the Squish Ball Champions of the World.
Dr. Yang taught sword here and Master Liang taught san shou. Gerald roared with laughter and I cried during every lesson for about three years. One day out there, Sam punched me in the nose and I swear I saw stars and birds tweeting around my head just like in the cartoons. I remember the exact day Jim surpassed my skill level, and l was grateful he wouldnâ€™t realize it for at least another year.
Who was that guy from Texas who stuck his sabre in the big rubber exercise ball? Paul, he wore a winter coat in August because up here in the North, he was just so cold! Lois was mistaken for Big John, Anna and Jim sword sparred while smoking cigarettes, and Christine and I laughed so hard, we fell to the ground â€” then both of us peed a little, making us laugh even harder.
Sheilaâ€™s spot is by the tree bench, Colin stands by the bamboo, and Kim lifted her head up here and I watched her spirit rise. The training field is where Dorian had her first lesson, Susan held her own, and John and Diane gave tai chi history lessons wearing matching Tilly hats. Ken yelled out the window that we should all ask for refunds! Laura sang in the field on talent night. Come to think of it, so did Gay. Pat played the dideredo, and Peet chased a deer. I remember lessons with Ed, Taso, Ron, and Bobby. I saw Ed and Bobby last Saturday – but itâ€™s been years since Iâ€™ve seen Taso or Ron. Remember that woman who told Sam that he was doing it â€œwrongâ€ and that he wasnâ€™t in his hip track? And Tam with the strange last name, created a #9 with the 1 to 8 â€” a kick to the head that Iâ€™m grateful we donâ€™t practice much.
There was that class that wore sacks of beans on their head for the entire 108. Lucy is buried out there. Weâ€™ve held intensive trainings, weekly classes, potlucks, private lessons, and talent shows out there. We built community.
Today as I run the lawn mower over the thick rich grass, chopping up multiple four leaf clovers, I remember how many times I thought the lawn would never come back to life, because of all the da lu and moving step training. Yet, this field is qi filled and rich.
A zillion memories danced though me today. It has been fun to remember and I am grateful. What is your training field memory? Iâ€™d love to hear it.