I was going to post a fitness update tonight. Instead, I greet you with a weather report. I can’t help it. I sat down at my desk with the warm dusk wind blowing and our patio wind chimes loud in the best of ways, drifting through the open door. I’ll say it again: there’s something truly mystical about this desert, something incalculably powerful. Tonight I’ve been distracted by the wind animating the trees I can see from my office window… our two palo verdes, our date palm’s fronds, the mesquite across the street. I’ve lived in this desert for almost 30 years, and its magic still startles me.
There wasn’t much to report in fitness news, anyhow. Weight-training class (Body Pump): I increased more of my weights today, and that wasn’t even the plan! Kickboxing (Body Combat): it continues to be a different experience at my second gym, mainly due to the A/C and fan. Long over are my days of drowning in a pool of my own sweat as I drive home. Cardio (Step): I haven’t been going. Sunday morning workouts just aren’t fitting into my weekends, and that’s okay. I’ve been doing my 10-minute version of cardio every day here at home, so there’s no cardio deficit in my workout week.
Finding alternate ways to work out usually isn’t a problem. I’m thinking of the time years ago that I went to my then-boxing gym one evening to find it closing early for some reason I can’t remember. I remember what I did instead, though, and I remember it precisely because of the weather that night.
I drove east through a gathering storm so I could make the evening T’ai Chi forms class at the dojo where I occasionally trained. We did the Crane Chi Kung form, which was my favorite of the Chi Kung animal forms. It was a time during which I preferred Crane to the other animal forms, energetically speaking. Crane is powerful, graceful, and deadly. The Crane form’s expansive movements and deep stances felt good.
Wind actually echoed in the darkened sky as the temperature dropped, and hail began to hit as we practiced Crane. In the next hour, there would begin a heavy rain that would fall throughout the night and a few hours into daylight. There would be thunder and lightning.
It was all quite unusual. Later that night, I turned on the television to watch the weather report – this was during a more analog time – to see that it had actually snowed in Phoenix! It was March, and so rare that such a storm would visit Arizona in the spring, or even in the winter. We’re used to sub-tropical monsoon storms in the late summer.
It was March, and the icy edge of that storm sliced through the Valley like the edge of a crane’s wing through water.