Whip lessons

One of my favorite quotes goes like this:

"We do not grow old.  When we stop Growing we become old."

There is no better example of this than my Great Aunt Billie.  I see her every week and she is youthful and vital at 83 years of age.

About a year ago she decided that the world was going down hill and she no longer felt that safe all alone in her house at night.  I thought that she was going to tell me she wanted a roommate or to go live with one of her daughters.....

No, as it turns out she had decided that ((we)) needed to "learn the Bullwhip"!!!  You know, so we could be safe.....and sexy like catwoman.  (ok, I added the sexy part myself)

Because I love her with all my heart and would do just about anything for her I agreed to find out what we needed and where to get them. 

I found a wonderful man in New Zealand named Peter Jack.  Bless his heart!  He didn't even skip a beat when I told him that two girls wanted him to make whips for self defence.  When I told him Billie was in her 80s he told me that he could make hers lighter with a different handle so it wouldn't take as much muscle to use.  I found him to be friendly and professional.  I can't say enough good things about him.  (some of the advice he gave me has changed forever how I view my world)

Check out his web site The Whip Man.

So, we have spent the summer playing with our whips and having more fun than I ever could have imagined.  I have gotten into the habit of doing it in the morning and at night before my meditation.  Right now I only know how to do 17 different cracks.  I am working with both hands because at some point I want to do two whips at a time.  I am finding that it is great physical therapy for my chest and shoulders.  I will do it every day just for that reason alone.

This is Aunt Billie!  Isn't she the cutest?  I really hope to grow up an be just like her.  (can you tell she is waring her cataract glasses to protect her eyes? ... wish I had a pair)

Here is closer look at how absolutely beautiful these whips are.  They are truly works of art.

My whip is the black and red one.  Billie chose red and neutral. 

This kind of shows the differences in the plaiting.  (how many strands are used in the braid)  The top is a 4 plaited, 6 foot, cowhide bullwhip.  Second is my 16 plaited, shot loaded, 6 foot, kangaroo bullwhip.  Last is Billie's  12 plaited, 5 foot, kangaroo bullwhip that Peter made adjustments just for her height and age.   All of them different and beautiful!

These are the worst of my war wounds.   The one on the back actually blistered!  The good thing is you learn really quickly because you HAVE to.  There is no wondering if you did it right or not.  I recommend waring sunglasses and a long sleeve shirt!  Peter says that the whip will always remind  you when you do something wrong and how big of a reminder is up to you.    errrrmmm.....  I guess we know a little about my learning curve now....?

I named my whip Neeth the bringer of light and some of the things I have learned from her are:

1. stay in  your body.
2. focus on the moment (not the big bang at the end)
3. strength = beauty
4. be flexible and fluid
5. know what you are going to do and commit fully
6. keep trying
7. sometimes slowing it down is best
8. stay calm even when you are afraid.... soon all you will feel is the stillness
9. It is ok to be seen.  Some people are really attracted by what I do and others are totally repelled by it.  both of those reactions are fine.
10. It is ok to try/learn something new no matter what age you are.
11. Have fun and share the joy

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