Chinese characters: Guang Ping Yang Tai Ji

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2020-November 7: The Cape Cod Guang Ping Tai Ji Quan Club Working Toward the New Normal

By Clif Genge

During the summer months and into the fall as the Cape Cod Guang Ping Tai Ji Quan Club practiced outside it seemed to be a constant process of changing and adjusting.   Most of the changes were caused by the weather.  Initially, we held our classes in the late morning to catch the warmth but soon they moved to earlier in the day to avoid the once welcome heat.  Occasionally we were forced to move by the field maintenance equipment, lawn mowing, and such.  One class was followed across a large field by a sequentially operating sprinkler system.  We moved every 15 minutes and hoped that we would finish the class before we ran out of field.  

As we outside practiced a number of people observed us and ask to join our group.  Initially, we tried one or two but found that bringing in new people when the group is outside wearing masks and social distancing is very difficult.  In order to accommodate their requests, we decided to offer a five-week introductory program for just beginners.  The Club put a one-paragraph free entry in the local newspaper and expected about a dozen people.  The paper picked up the idea and ran a half-page story about our club and the class and we ended up with 2 classes totaling about forty people.  Although challenging, we found the classes refreshing and the people eager to learn.   While we experienced some attrition those remaining are integrating into our regular groups now and with a few bumps here and there we have made a smooth transition.

As we moved into the fall the days transitioned from cool to cold with a few classes canceled by much needed but unwelcome rain.  At this point, new and old club members are eager to move inside but due to COVID-19, all our usual inside locations are still unavailable so we have started looking for creative alternatives.

Before we started our search our Treasurer put together a member survey to find out what days and times people preferred.  Using the survey results and member suggestions as our guide we contacted numerous organizations from churches to schools to social groups.  We made numerous personal inquiries, telephone calls, and site visits until we located a few inside places.  Our choices were definitely limited but with the permission of cooperative and gracious hosts starting in November, we are able to have 5 inside practices that can accommodate all of  our members at least once a week.  We found that organizations outside the school system some with large gymnasiums, the Falmouth Gus Canty Center, and The Cape Cod Boys & Girls Club as well as a small ballet school, The Turning Pointe were the most cooperative. Out of concern for exposure to COVID, some of our members choose to continue practicing outside, until the snow flies.  

We continue to look for protected outside locations for those people and more inside choices so our members can practice more frequently.

It is heartwarming to see how the members of the Cape Cod Guang Ping Tai Ji Club have pulled together and worked hard to keep practicing and share the taiji experience with each other.  

As we keep saying, there are still no hugs but it is great to just get together and share a joyful time with friends!

And, when we finally get there our new normal will have lots of BIG HUGS!

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