Monday, April 20, 2015

Hoop Dreams

This is an accurate representation of what I thought I would be like at my first hoop class. I'm pretty hot in this picture.

So, I went to my first hula hoop dance/fitness class on Wednesday. It was much less picturesque than the above photo, but that was because we were in the school gym. I was feeling pretty confident walking in there with my hoop on my shoulder. I looked the part with that hoop with me. I was going to kill at this! The first thing that happened was my instructor told me I couldn't use the hoop I had brought. Fail #1. It just wasn't going to work the way that we needed it to, especially for a newbie like myself. Sigh.

I kind of assumed that the rest of my class would be filled with a lot of other women who were as inexperienced with hula hooping as I was. Fail #2. Almost all the women there were returning members from the previous class, and it was just myself and one other person that were the new kids. Luckily I knew the other person that was new, and that made me feel at least a little better because I knew I would be safe to use my best defense, self-deprecating humor, to defray from how horrible I was about to be a this. Of the entire group I only knew 2 of the ladies there, and one of them had been a part of the previous class. She made hooping look like it was the easiest thing in the world. She barely moved her body, yet that hoop just moved around her like it was it's job. It was impressive and intimidating. I figured out immediately that I could not look at her and attempt to hoop at the same time. Where her moves were so fluid that you could hardly tell she was moving to keep the hoop a-spinin' I looked more like a fish being electrocuted. My method didn't seem to be all that effective either. My hope was that full out effort and blind ambition would make me good at this hooping thing. Fail # 3.

For the love of all that is holy!!! A freaking bear can do this!!! Why can't I?!!!

Eventually the instructor brought me one of the biggest hoops available, which I kind of think might have been the hula hoop equivalent to a dunce cap. Apparently the bigger the hoop, the easier it is to spin it. Luckily she was right. I felt silly with this behemoth of a hulu hoop, but it really did make it easier to keep it going. It was pretty incredible just how much effort it took to keep that hoop where it belonged. I could feel everything in my body working to make sure that hoop didn't hit the floor, which of course it did. A lot.
I thought that you needed to spin your hips to keep the hoop spinning, but quickly learned that actually works against you. There are a few rules about hooping that help you get the hang of it.

-First rule about hoop club, you don't talk about hoop club. Wait that's not it. I think that's from another club I am a part of. Anyway...

The things that were the biggest keys to being successful at hooping were making sure you had a nice smooth spin to the hoop as you spun it around you, and to make sure that you moved forward and back, propelling the hoop with either your backside, or your abdominal area as you felt it spin around you. Ultimately after I got that down, I did get better. Not good mind you, but better. We can't all be like that damn bear!

The class runs for 6 weeks so I still have a chance to get better at it. I don't know that I will ever completely master the fluid motions of my classmates, or advance to the dance moves that we are supposed to be getting into in future classes, but I will be happy if I can continuously keep that hoop up for an extended period of time. Heck, a full 5 minutes of hooping without it clanging to the floor would make my day! Even if I never get much better than what I am now, it was a good challenge, and a good workout. My arms, abs, and hips were sore from that first class, so there was no doubt that I was working hard for each and every one of those sweet, sweet rotations.

1 comment:

  1. If you figure out the secret to great hooping, please let me know. One of my students in another section of this course (not online) did a hoop class as her activity to lead. I was hopeless. I'm pretty athletic, I was even a gymnast in my former life...I can juggle, I can stand on my head...nope, I can't hoop. Looks like so much fun if you get it though.