Today was one of those days that makes it seem entirely worth it.
This was despite the fact that on waking I felt like an old lady; joints and muscles sore, head heavy, shuffling around at 5.30am trying to make a cup of tea in the half-light. However by 11am and four and a half hours of practice I was incredibly hungry, and very much enjoyed my boiled egg and noodles with peanut sauce before a welcome nap. In the afternoon session my coach decided I needed to work on snake form, and after drilling me twice chose the weakest section and gave strict instructions to practice one particular movement 40 times. It is moments like these that the true power of kung fu, or any similar practice, show themselves. It felt beyond frustrating to have to do the same thing over and over, especially when "i couldn't do it" to begin with, the movement is "too hard", my "body is too stiff" etc.
By number 25 I was feeling pretty angry, mostly at myself for continually losing my balance at the same point and having a "stupid body". At 30 I took a long break and tried to keep breathing. By 35 I realised that if I stopped cutting the movement short by thinking about it so much it actually wasn't so hard. At number 40 I did it to a vague sense satisfaction. Then at 41 went for some fresh pineapple on wobbly legs.
Practice works, and our minds often hold us back from our true potential. That is what I learned today, or re-learned for what seems like the hundredth time. Luckily there are also kittens to make it worth the hard work.