PANDEMIC PASTIMES: Lacy finds balance through Kung Fu

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By ANTHONY FLORES

Balancing the duties of being a mother, maintaining a sense of normalcy for her son, and working from home, Liberty Hill resident Megan Lacy is turning to the Chinese martial art of Kung Fu to survive the COVID-19 pandemic and quarantine.

When the pandemic first reached the area, Lacy was admittedly worried about what this meant for her and her family.

“I would say I was concerned; I mean, we’re living through an unprecedented situation in our lifetime, and certainly it was disconcerting,” she said. “I was concerned and worried — worried I was making the wrong decisions for my family. I was just trying to gather the best information possible on what to do and what not to do and protect my family.”

With a demanding career as an account director for food and marketing agency, Wild Hive, maintaining normalcy for her son while working from home at the same time was the priority for Lacy.

“I think as a parent, I felt that it was really important to keep as much normalcy as possible,” she said. “When the pandemic hit and the schools shut down, my son was at home, and they transferred all of the Kung Fu to a zoom class. They were doing it on the computer, and it was great because it was the one constant that we had. It was that, and chess. My son did chess, and they switched to an online format.”

It was watching her five-year-old son Jack take Kung Fu lessons at home that served as the first spark of interest, but before diving in headfirst, Lacy had her doubts.

“I was watching him do his thing, and I thought gosh it looked like fun,” Lacy said. “At first, I thought I was too old to learn a new skill. I grew up riding horses. I thought I’m a mom, and I’m an old lady, and I was sure they didn’t even want me.”

With her interest peaked, Lacy knew she wanted to give it a shot. Her first move was to reach out to the Seven Start Martial Arts Dojo, run by Sifu Jeff Remster.

“I reached out to see if they did adult beginners’ classes, and they said, of course,” she said. “They let me try it out, and I fell in love with it immediately. It’s a great workout. With all the chaos of the pandemic, it made me both exercise myself physically, but also focus on myself for 30 minutes to an hour.”

For Lacy, the physical adjustment to the martial art is demanding, along with the added challenge of giving herself the time necessary for her to give in to each session.

“Getting your body to do what it’s supposed to do when you’re out of shape and also learning a whole new way of moving is very challenging,” she said. “There is the initial fitness level of overcoming that barrier, which I’m still working on. It’s also the moves and the focus and making myself disconnect from work and being a mom and saying I’m just going to focus on this right now.”

Even if the execution isn’t perfect, Lacy believes the experience of trying repeatedly to perfect moves provides a sense of satisfaction.

“The moves themselves, getting them down takes so much repetition, and I’m not even close to being great at any of them, but it’s fun to just work on them,” she said. “The pursuit of getting it right is really rewarding, even when you know you’re still getting it wrong. Adding this has given me more energy to do all the other things that I need to do.”

Finding the time to take her classes two times a week is helped by her husband John, who puts their son to bed on nights when she has classes.

“My husband has been so supportive and amazing. We usually alternate, putting my son to bed, so we coordinate around Kung Fu now,” she said. “He’s behind me 100 percent.”

Throughout the pandemic, Lacy’s Kung Fu lessons have allowed for social interaction and given her a sense of control in a time where many things are out of people’s control.

“The people in the class together are all connected doing the same moves and connected in the moment of time that we’re all focused on what we’re doing,” said Lacy. “It’s been both physically and mentally uplifting for me during a time when there’s a lot of uncertainty and very few things we can control. It’s one thing I can do and feel good about every day.”

Lacy believes Kung Fu can be a great escape for those needing something to focus on during COVID.

“For me, this was the right thing at the right time, and I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there needing something,” she said. “This has been a very positive thing amidst a challenging situation. If somebody is in a position looking for something uplifting or to be positively focused, then I think this could be the right fit for them.”

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