Last night during zhan zhuang, I had quite a difficult time releasing the tension from my calves. I tried to use quite a bit of mental imagery of melting down, sinking to bubbling well and into the earth, etc etc, but it was difficult.
Then I remembered a story I read about TT Liang encountering a taoist recluse in the mountatins. I believe the story goes that Liang was showing him the form and when he got to the ‘rooster stands on one leg posture’ the taoist said, ‘no good, no good’. The taoist then approached Liang, touched his calf and said ‘wood’. The taoist then did the posture himself and asked Liang to touch his calf and to Liang’s amazement, it was soft as cotton.
At this point, I would say my calves are like decomposing wood, still slighty soft, but brittle. Softer than metal, but not as soft as wood. Someday, perhaps I can achieve cotton.