My story begins over ten and a half years ago. I was working for myself as a self-employed plasterer, engulfed in the Celtic Tiger era and the profits that could be made. I neglected my health by overworking and pushing beyond my limit. This lead to me feeling very unwell, my blood pressure was high and I had gastritis. I was also a very shy and anxious person. Blushing uncontrollably was part of every day, it was my norm and I just got on with it. I also had a bad shoulder injury from work which interrupted my sleep from time to time.
After having a visit to my doctor, several tests and a prognosis that time was of the essence to get my mental and physical health on track or the outcome would not be favourable. The search began for an art that unknown to myself at the time would change my life forever, and open my eyes to a tradition of respect, health and happiness. The tradition was Shaolin and the art was Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan.
I could not believe my luck when I first found my Sifu’s website. It felt as if all my dreams had come true that very moment. I read of the incredible health benefits and about Chinese medical philosophy and overcoming illness with Shaolin Cosmos Chi Kung. I read of the martial training of Wahnam Tai Chi Chuan and the benefits of courage, confidence, patience and the incredible feats of past masters. I decided there and then that this was the art I had to learn to get my health back. My next step was to sign up for a course.
On the evening of the course, I was filled with fear and anxiety as it was the first time I did anything like this. I almost did not go into the venue but luckily I pushed myself through the door and meet my Sifu for the very first time. My Sifu portrayed a very happy and positive outlook on life and the art I was about to learn. In my head, I was full of fear and I did not know what to expect.
As the weeks passed the skills that Sifu passed on to us each night began to deepen and the experiences and feelings of happiness that developed, made me realise that these arts were something very very special. I finished that 12-week course feeling a lot better about myself. I was hooked and full of hope for the future. My journey was only beginning and my determination to take back control of my life pushed me to keep moving forward with these arts.
I am very grateful that my Sifu accepted me as her student almost ten and a half years ago now. Many things have changed since then. I am now very healthy and happy. I do not blush anymore, my blood pressure is normal and I have not suffered from gastritis for many years. My shoulder is perfect. I am confident with a positive outlook on life. I am married to a wonderful woman and we purchased our own home recently where we live a happy life together with our little dog.
You never know where life will lead you but I believe if we put work into something that will bring us positive results and improve our lives and the lives of others we are on a very good track.
Thank you Sigung, Sifu and to all the past masters.