As I enter the middle years of my seventh decade I draw inspiration from those who embrace this time with joy and playfulness. The apotheosis of this might be my friend, Patrick Deluz.

I have known Patrick for forty years (I can’t believe I just wrote that) and we’ve shared numerous adventures. He inspired me to “get serious” about this t’ai chi stuff thirty years ago and I haven’t looked back. Patrick designs hoops with LED lighting for the passionate hooping community and is known to them as “Merlin.”  He gave a rousing demonstration of hoopiness at TCA.




Patrick at TCA in Sedona

Check out his website: Psihoops.

At a time when many humans are concerned about brittle bones and hip replacements, Patrick leads a physically active life. And that includes caring for two horses at his farm in North Carolina. This idyllic life carries some risks, as I found out.

Here’s his account:

I now know what it feels like to have a galloping horse hit me full on while I am standing, and the sound of my exhale/gasp/groan/scream as he hit me and then the sound of the exhale/scream as I hit the ground and then the sound of my exhale/scream as the legs trompled me …..and was interesting how relaxed I was through it all until the legs didn’t immediately untangle from my body and I thought “come on that is enough” I think the response I had which was to relax completely and go with the flow, was helpful, interesting to note the reactions in there as well

A couple days ago I was leading the mare Sophie downhill into the pasture through a gate when Sage, who was up the hill, got spooked by a cold wind and tried to thunder through the gate and didn’t seem concerned that I was there ….there was a moment when I noticed him coming out of the corner of my eye and had a firm belief he would not hit me, then as it turned further I realized he was coming straight at me, then the impact and just the sounds and whirling.

During the impacts there was definitely a feeling of connection and one-ness until I was lying on the ground under lots of hooves and legs and found myself thinking that it was enough already!

I had to have quite a long chat with Sage and will need to train him to give more space to humans etc, but I am glad to be in one piece and not in hospital or whatever. Apart from a small cut around the eye where my glasses scraped me on their journey into the pasture, and some minor bruises/tweaks on elbow and knee and chest, I feel fine, perhaps better than before…..

interesting how the it/you played out back and forth . Don’t really understand how I could have had that much abrupt contact and be fine, wish I had a video of it all but no matter how many times I go through it I cant sort out the details exactly.

I had a dream this morning of teaching push hands and just connecting with and following the incoming movement before redirecting, and my Dad was there putting up large posters with sayings on them, and people were understanding how to respond and not react, a dog was biting my face and I was receiving it without reaction…glad to be reading your book and have some homework material going on!!!