You spin me right round baby right round… Imagine my delight when I discovered that people are now playing with hula hoops and calling it a workout. Seriously! I mean, I thought my dead simple ultra-vibe machine was kind of pushing the fitness boundaries, but this takes the cake. With a name like Well Rounded Hoops, though, they just sounded so gosh darned down-to-earth and full of life, well, how could I possibly resist?
The first thing I noticed on their website was a short video interview with their founder, Sadie Yancey, who has a masters in Medical Biophysics, and who was demonstrating a few ‘easy’ moves with some hula hoops that simply boggled my mind – I think we’ve left the playground way behind, already:
But, there’s no point in being fearful about learning something new, so I eagerly made my way over to the session, with a sense of playful anticipation. Once I managed to find the upstairs classroom by using the metal fire escape stairs on the side of the building, I completed the waiver, and then gleefully accepted the large, shiny hula hoop being offered by our awesome instructor, Elena. I was atingle with excitement! It was as though I was back in elementary school, and the recess bell had just rung. Wheeeeee!
We began the workout with an unusual warm-up routine, where we were blindfolded, and encouraged to freely sway our hips, open our hearts, and generally loosen up. Next, we put on our smiley faces, and got right into the swing of things, so to speak. A few glossary terms were clarified, and then we were ready to move onto our first ‘tricks’. We learned to: walk and wave our arms around while the hula hoop encircled our waist; overlap with another hooper; and swiftly and saucily change direction. We also tried to do a sassy butt bump kind of move, but it was clear that we needed to give that one loads more practice.
Surprisingly, towards the end of class, I found that I was perspiring rather profusely. It actually is a proper workout after all, while at the same time, it remains fun, dynamic, creative, and oddly addictive. It brings you right back to childhood, with a strong urge to single-mindedly keep plodding away until you master something completely kick ass!
Purportedly, over the next six weeks, I’m only going to improve and learn plenty of fancy dancy moves in the process, including lifting, lowering, angling and dancing with my hoop. Oh yeah! And how will that be accomplished? Well, with my brand new shiny adult-sized hula hoop, that’s how! Best purchase of the month so far, hands down! Those playful purple plastic circles from 15 or so years ago can stay in retirement amongst the junk carefully hidden beneath the stairs, as far as I’m concerned. This new hoop is collapsible! This fact alone significantly helps to lower my freak factor on the streetcar, as I will be able to handily disguise it in a yoga mat bag. Already looking forward to practicing it for next week! You’re never too young to have fun.
PS. In completely unrelated news, do you remember the other day when I talked about the crazy groups you can find in MeetUp? Well, here are some of my faves that I stumbled upon in the last day or two: Depressed But Enthusiastic!, Landscape and Cityscape in Golden Ratio (WTF?), One Night Stand Workshop Series, Moving Sanctuary… the list is truly endless! Which, in a weird way I find inspiring. There really is somebody, and even an entire support crew, out there for everybody. Excellent news!