Where the Mind goes ... the Body will follow Tai Chi for Busy People

Greta Reidy,
a Tai Chi Treasure

  Caring and Sharing

By Denise Soric (ST), Mike Soric (MT Select) and Maree Lamb (MT)

The Tai Chi for Health Institute is very lucky to have talented people guiding the vision that we all share: Making Tai Chi for Health accessible to everyone for health and wellness.

We read about and see firsthand the dedication and hard work of Dr Lam and the TCHI committee members, Master Trainers, Senior Trainers and administrative staff who volunteer a lot of their time bringing the programs to all of us and encourage everyone along the way.

And sometimes, closer to home, there is someone who works just as hard to promote Tai Chi and ensure that students and teachers alike feel supported and empowered to grow. We don’t often read about them and they do not seek attention or recognition. These people are true Tai Chi Treasures, and we would like to tell you about ours. It is with great honour, that we can call Greta Reidy our Tai Chi Treasure. Greta embodies the true essence of the principles and philosophies of Tai Chi.

Greta Reidy started Tai Chi with the late MT Suzanne McLauchlan. She had a long career in teaching and as her Tai Chi improved, she was always keen to help anyone in the class.

We began our Tai Chi journey on the same day at the same class, run by Suzanne. Right away we realised that Greta was the important corner person, the encouraging advanced student and the administration assistant that Suzanne needed to help her run a large class. She was always there, respecting her teacher, never encroaching on the lesson plan or trying to show something different, but leading by example.

Her smile said "You are doing well, I’m so glad you are here". We all immediately knew we had a friend in this strange new Tai Chi world. Our teacher was remarkable and very approachable, kind and patient. But here was something different. Greta was one of us, a fellow student and we did not feel silly asking her anything.

Greta’s experience is huge. She has attended 10 Annual Sydney Workshops and 4 in the USA. She became a certified instructor in several Tai Chi for Health Programs over the years, and assisted Dr Lam as a group leader in his TCA Depth Workshops several times in Australia and New Zealand.

Importantly, she still attends regular classes to practice and connect with other students.

It would be very easy for someone with such huge experience and knowledge to not bother sharing it, but as we soon found out, this is not the Tai Chi for Health way. And Greta embodies what the TCH community is all about. Caring and sharing.

As we advanced towards becoming Senior Trainers and Master Trainer, Greta was just as important in helping us achieve our goals. For example, she has:

  • Facilitated a series of country weekend workshops to bring Tai Chi to outback Queensland, volunteering time and travelling hundreds of kilometres to assist with teaching and administration, support and suggestions.
  • Supported us as new instructors when we started classes, with constructive feedback and practical assistance, as well as suggestions for modification of movements. Greta is a lady of mature years who has worked out the best way to achieve certain movements herself whilst maintaining safety and Tai Chi principles, and is keen to help others using her experience.
  • Proof read proposals for business and government grant applications. She still has a school teacher’s eye for correct spelling and clear language and likes to make sure we present our documents correctly.
  • Run practice groups prior to the Sydney Workshops to help everyone to be fully prepared, and watches out for those attending their first workshop to help them to settle in.
  • Assisted instructors to prepare for reaccreditation prior to update workshops.
  • Always been a wise sounding board for bouncing our ideas about new classes and workshops.
  • A wonderful sense of humour that helps everyone to relax and get the most from any class.

Greta really is a Tai Chi Treasure in our community, and we know her fondly as Greta the Greeter. Hopefully there are more TCH role models just like her in other places. If you have someone who has helped you along the way, is generous with time and knowledge, empowers you to improve and supports you in all things Tai Chi then tell them that you treasure them. Learn from them.

And like us, try to follow in those very big footsteps and nurture others, so that more people can know someone like Greta Reidy. Thank you Greta, from your friends Denise, Mike & Maree. And from everyone who has experienced your caring and sharing approach to Tai Chi. We are all richer for knowing you and we treasure you.