How time flies. Three years have gone by since I first took up Tristar Taiji. I came back to Vancouver in October 2015 after being away for ten years. I had then sprained my right wrist and developed symptoms of vitiligo on my right chin. My limbs were always cold and I felt lethargic all the time. I wanted to learn Taiji and Qigong to improve my health. I first took lessons from two instructors, one in Burnaby (6 months) and another in Richmond (3 months). They were teaching the Taiji forms but not the basics. Unsatisfied, I continued my search for the right teacher until I found Li Rong Academy of Wushu and Qigong in September 2016. I will never forget that fateful night I met Master Li Rong for the first time. It was a sense of coming home and I felt instantly drawn to her. During my first class, she only taught me how to stand but I was ecstatic after class that night because I knew my search was over.
I started dancing at the age of five. I did ballet up until I was fifteen, then took up modern dance through my university years. Dance was the only sport I could do as I was not physically agile with chronic asthma as a child. Years of intensive dance training have given me immense joy but also a lot of injuries. To begin with, I had forcefully twisted my hips and knees to achieve the perfect turnout required in ballet. To add on, when I first came to Canada in 2002, an accident which threw me off my bicycle left me with a cracked lumbar spine. In short, when I started Tristar Taiji as a 34-year-old, I needed a lot of fixing. After three years of Taiji and Qigong practice, I have come a long way on my path towards recovery, but my back, shoulders and hips are still very tight. Pain has been a constant companion throughout my journey, but according to Master Li Rong, it is a part of rehabilitation. No pain, no gain—that I have learnt as a dancer since young.
Strictly speaking, I have not been a consistent student these past few years as I was practising intermittently due to various reasons. My life took a downturn in 2017, but thanks to Master Li Rong and my fellow classmates at the academy, I was able to rebuild my life with their unwavering support and encouragement. The thought of quitting Tristar Taiji has not crossed my mind even when I was at the lowest point in life. Master Li Rong is strict and demanding, but that is how great disciples are born. I am inspired to be a Taiji Master like her one day.