Tai Chi for Health Community

"The Inner Torch"

  Ernie HallBy Ernie (Ernestine) Hall

  (Originally was written in summer 2012 when the Olympics were held in London.)
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People around the world pause in anxious anticipation. London Summer Olympics are about to begin. Media hype permeates every possible source. Ride the wave, feel the buzz, absorb the excitement even though continents of geography restrict most to tele observation, newscasts and conversation around the water cooler.

Elite athletes assemble at various venues, each proudly representing their country in individual or team competition as the famous torch circles the globe, passed hand-to-hand, country-to-country, symbol of unification. Bearers of the flame exhibit commonality of purpose, males and females, young and old, inclusive of races, ethnicities, abilities-disabilities.

Are not all these individuals -- athletes, non-athletes, bearers, observers alike -- also carrying an internal torch? Deep inside the core, fueled by each breath of oxygen, a flame builds and burns. Player and vicarious bystander hope to qualify, compete for a medal, finish the race, participate, watch.

People around the world pause from everyday activities. Players assemble at various locations: Zurich, Christchurch, Kansas City, town park, community center and local gym. Tai Chi for Health class is about to begin at the neighborhood church fellowship hall. A young, post-polio lady drives with hand controls, retired teacher with leg-length discrepancy smiles cheerfully, older lady of color pauses on a cane with each step. Cancer patients in treatment find support in peer therapy. Many are limited, but visualize and think the possible while others gracefully step through single-whip and hands on cloud. This is our microcosm, small corner of the earth where they all come with commonality of purpose and no one is excluded.

Are not all these individuals carrying an internal torch? Deep within, the dan tien controls the flame as it builds and burns, fueled by open-close. People assemble with various conditions of arthritis, osteoporosis, diabetes and disability along with supportive family and friends. Ride the wave, feel healing and health, balance and strength of body and mind. Absorb the excitement, knowing it is shared across continents of geography, unrestricted.

We gather and express shared energy during class, carrying hope for universal wellbeing. We are inspired and bear the inner torch, marching forward into everyday life as individuals and together in team spirit. This is our Olympics where everyone wins a medal.

Ernie Hall is a Senior Trainer and TCHC board member from St. Joseph, MO.

Tai Chi for Health Community, Inc. is a charitable organization under Internal Revenue Code 501(c)(3).
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