An Extra Day in Paradise

by Johnny Packard • March 10, 2020

February 29th I leapt into a new season with a day full of tai chi. When the universe grants you an extra twenty-four hours, you best do something worthy of it. I embraced the opportunity by updating my TCA certifications with MT Ralph Dehner and his team of facilitators, ST Erica Heinrichs, and Sarah Greenhagen. The workshop ran like a well-oiled machine, and Ralph’s instruction was lucid and deep, as always.

Johnny Packard grabs a selfie at a February 2020 TCA workshop in Lake Forest, IL.

The participants were just as inspiring as the workshop leaders. Many were Physical and Occupational Therapists, relatively new to tai chi, but already animated by its ability to transform their own and their patients’ lives. I didn’t get a chance to meet nearly half of all the twenty plus participants, but those I did chat with impressed me with their knowledge, talent, and passion. And we all knew that we were part of a special group when Erica told us that one participant was celebrating his twelve birthday, at the age of forty-eight!

When I crossed the “Cheddar Curtain” on my way to Lake Forest, Illinois that morning, it was still 10 degrees in Wisconsin. As I write this twenty-four hours later, the forecast promises mid-50’s, the snow is melting, and my boy and I spotted these beauties timidly poking their buds above ground on our way to some driveway sword practice!

Many of us are relieved to put a challenging winter in the rearview mirror, and happily welcome whatever signs of spring we can get. These are indeed interesting times, and the Winter 2020 newsletter and our contributors have offered us many perspectives on “Surviving and Thriving with Tai Chi.” They are to be commended for their honesty, clarity, and efforts.

My own experience of embracing an extra day in paradise confirms what I know in my heart, even if sometimes I fail to do my part. Every day is a gift, and we are granted a body and a life to take care of ourselves and those we love, so we can help those whom we barely know and haven’t even met yet.

Sharing tai chi for health improvement grants us rich opportunities to face challenging times with courage and conviction. Won’t you join the Community in doing just that, as we boldly embark on a new season, year and decade, with an extra day in paradise to treasure?

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