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No more daily neigong

It might sound silly, but I feel somewhat empty. In March 2002, I had been practicing taijiquan for two years and was introduced to the first set of neigong exercises. These are exercises which are designed to improve health and structural integrity, as well as strength and some martial ability. Since I often do things seriously once I set my mind to them, I decided to practice neigong every day, at least four exercises each day. After having managed a thousand days without a single lapse, I have missed only two days in quick succession in the spring of 2005, which means that the day before yesterday, I had practiced the exercises daily for more than two thousand days.

Today I stopped counting, because I deliberately avoided practicing yesterday (the two previous cases were highly unintentional; this is very different). I stopped because my motivation has gradually dropped in such a way that it is no longer efficient to continue in the manner I have done previously. In the beginning, I set the limit of four exercises per day because I wanted to make sure that I practiced daily, no matter how briefly. Most often, I practiced much more, though, but that changed when I stopped practicing taijiquan altogether, and half-heartedly doing something for ten minutes a day, I have realised will not do me any good.

Since the exercises are extremely good in themselves and I still intend to keep an item on my 101-in-1001 list that is connected with them (apart from the one I have already completed, that is), I have decided to change focus from daily to weekly, aiming for at least an hours practice a week. This is roughly equivalent to what I have been doing until today, but concentrated and done more seriously, I hope that it will feel more worthwhile.

Still, I cannot help feel a little bit lonesome. Imagine that you were to stop doing something you have been doing every day for more than five years, like brushing your teeth or something. That is probably what it feels like. However, even if I feel a bit queasy about it, I am convinced that it is a change for the better. With this post, then, I end one of the greatest monuments of my often over-estimated self-discipline. I managed to do something for over two thousand (almost) consecutive days, because I decided to do so. Even if it might not seem so, it is almost a feat in itself to end an endeavour like that deliberately in a controlled manner, rather than letting it deteriorate over time and slip away.

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