Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hooping

No, this is not some new literary term like "foreshadowing", neither does it refer to a cough. Yes, I am currently at a writing workshop in the US, but I want to talk today about something else: hula hoops. First, drop the "hula". Apparently this is a trade name. Second, I bought a hoop in England a few weeks ago, a serious hoop that comes apart into 6 sections for eash travel, a hoop that comes with a DVD. I bought it because I fully believed the hype that it can banish the spare tyres accumulating around my waist. It took me a while to master, but I can now do about 5 minutes of straight hooping.

I thought I was doing well.

Then tonight, at the post-author-reading drinks, I meet a serious hooper (as they are known), and she clues me in to the big world of hooping and the people who hoop as if their life depends on it. She sends me to Hooping.org and here I read about Jonathan Livingston Baxter who "hoops for 90 minutes to two hours daily.". Ok, now I feel a little inadequate. Why does he do this? He says:

"about four and a half years ago, I broke my collarbone, and in an effort to heal from this injury I began a daily hoop practice. It has changed my life in so many ways, I still cannot grasp its full impact on me. But I do know that one of the first and most profound aspects of my life that hooping has changed is the way I handle depression. Before hooping, I used to allow depression to pull me down and keep me down for months. These days, through my daily practice, I'm able to limit bouts of depression to days or even hours. It's as if I have built up my emotional white-blood-cell count; I have both more immunity to the disease of depression, and more strength to fight the disease if it does creep in. Ultimately, my entire view of life has changed from feeling cursed to feeling blessed."

It is pretty well accepted that exercise boost positivity and combats depression. But I have to say, I think there is something more than that with a hoop. It is a reminder of childhood, and reminder of the time when we were unfettered with bills and jobs and anxieities about relationships and futures. When you're hooping you have to concentrate only on keeping that damn hoop up.... you can't start wandering off into thoughts about what you need to buy or who you need to phone, or the hoop just drops. The hoop keeps you in the moment, it's - I think - a form of meditation. And it's portable, you can do it alone or in groups, and it doesn't cost a thing - once you have the hoop (which you can make yourself: see Hoopmaking).

I didn't bring my hoop-which-comes-in-six-pieces with me to the workshop, silly me I thought I'd be discussing literature. But there are hoops here, newly made hoops, and I am looking forward to tomorrow morning's whirl. I need to work upwards from 5 mins, those spare tyres are still rather inflated. But I am really excited about this. Now that I know it's not just me... maybe I'll find a Hoop group. Join me! Together we can change the world!

9 comments:

James said...

I thought i was your own personal 'portable thrill-generator' ......
excellent news about the hooping! I may even have a little hoop surprize for you back in NY......
jimmy

tafka PP said...

Blimey- and I've even seen you in "action"!

Sorry, I'm a water sign. I'm staying in the pool with all the warring Jerusalemite minority groups.

Linera Lucas said...

I have tagged you for a meme. See my blog posting for July 18 for details.

ghettomama said...

my gym has a class 'hulaerobics' - I've even been to it. imagine hooping and trying to squat - very good workout for the waist mainly from the strecthing as you bend down to pick up your hoop - again

mazeltov on book, very very exciting and shows me that i must read your blog more often

Jaq

Sara said...

I just bought a hoop.

It's all your fault!

TitaniaWrites said...

Sara, so great, well done! Tell me how it goes! And Linera, will check out the meme when I'm back home with regular Internet next week. Keep hooping! I'm off to a hoop class in Manhattan this week, will report back.

Sara Crowley said...

Oh...sad face...having now looked it up on-line I see that I have erroneously purchased a child's toy hoop, too light, clearly the hoops fault and not mine that I can't do it at all!

TitaniaWrites said...

Aw, Sara, never mind. I can't hoop with the kids ones either - I got a snazzy one that comes apart so you can travel with it... and has a DVD which I haven't watched yet. Look out for one of those.

TitaniaWrites said...

Jaq - thanks for the comment, I just saw it for some reason...! And thanks re: the book, it is exciting, still can't quite believe it.