Monday, 16 February 2015

Hoop hate.

What hoop move do you hate most?

For me, it's angled waist hooping. It's awkward and ugly and uncomfortable, and the hoop keeps twisting me around. You have to stick your bum out to do it. It just feels silly.

But I practise angled waist hooping every day, even if only for 30 seconds.

I know from past experiences that hating a move means it has something to teach me.

I used to hate isolations. Isolations require such precise and controlled movements to look good, and I couldn't be bothered with that. I'd rather go do something messy, like a pizza toss. But I kept practising isolations, and I learned that persistence pays off. Now I love isolations! I can do them well, and I use them a lot.

I used to hate knee hooping, because I couldn't do it. I would practise for hours on end but that hoop kept sliding to my ankles, no matter what I did. I watched tutorials and asked people to help me. Nothing worked. I decided I had to let knee hooping go - my body would decide when it was ready. So I practised each day for just a minute or so, then moved onto something else.

And it was one day when I was least expecting it that I realised - wow! - I could knee hoop.

So from these two moves I learned that sometimes you need to be persistent with a move. Sometimes you need to let a move go. And the wisdom comes from distinguishing between the two!

I don't yet know what angled waist hooping has to teach me. Right now, it feels like it has nothing to teach me other than how to be really awkward!! But I'm sure the lesson will come eventually.

Next on my list of hated moves? Wedgies. Ugh... let's not go there yet.

Happy hooping,
Anne-Marie x

Sunday, 15 February 2015

The Luxury Pooch.

Two years ago today we brought home from the animal shelter a scared, skinny, lethargic, flea-infested dog. We were full of hope but not sure what we were getting ourselves into.

That was the day Monty entered our lives, our sweet little west highland terrier, who has become the light of our lives.

Monty's arrival was the realisation of a long-held dream for me; I had wanted my own dog the whole of my adult life. I never hoped to be able to have my own west highland terrier as a puppy costs around NZ$1200. We bought Monty for NZ$30.

He became part of the family almost immediately, and it didn't take much longer before the wounds from his old life had disappeared. Now Monty {also known as Moo} is almost unrecognisable from the dog he once was. He's happy, healthy, confident, friendly, a good guard dog, and he has the most comical little personality.

Everyone who meets Monty loves him. Even children who are scared of dogs will bring themselves to pat him because he's so calm. My mother - who has never been interested in animals - fell head over heels for Monty and now has her own dog who she dotes on!

Like any self-respecting westie, Moo thinks he's the boss of the house. His daddy has nicknamed him The Luxury Pooch because he's developed quite a taste for luxury. The couch is his, the bed is his, our laps are most certainly his! He loves his dinner, loves his daily walk, loves snuggles, and really loves wrestling with his soft toys.

I knew I'd love having a dog, but I hadn't realised just how satisfying it could be.

Saturday, 7 February 2015

On the other side of a hoop slump.

Time to get this somewhat neglected blog up and running again. I haven't written for a while, but that doesn't mean I've forgotten about my blog - definitely not. I've done a lot of thinking about the future direction of this blog, and I've decided to widen its scope. I love hooping as much as ever, and I still want to write about hooping... but there are other things I want to write about too. We shall see how things unfold this year.

Another reason I haven't written for a while is that my computer has had some issues, but fortunately they've been sorted out now.

I'm pleased to tell you that the hoop slump I went through late last year is over. It was an interesting experience and, although I'd be happy if I never had a hoop slump again, I don't regret going through it because I learned from it.

I asked my online hoop communities for advice and everyone was so generous with their help. It's a common problem, of course, in any discipline, to go through times of plateauing, of feeling flat and uninspired. So there were plenty of hoopers who had been there, done there, and come out the other side.

I'm grateful for my hoop sisters and brothers' advice but I actually disagreed with nearly all of it. The consensus seemed to be that in times like these, I should put the hoop down. Take a break. Go do something else that inspires you, and come back to the hoop later.

I have hooped every single day for nearly three years, and taking a break sounded sensible. But I knew that if I took a break I would most likely never hoop again. I don't know why - but I could feel that truth in my bones.

So I kept hooping. I experimented with different hoop sizes, different hoop tubing, different music different locations - everything external that I could change, I did. Nothing worked. I still felt like crap every time I hooped. And then one day I realised the problem was with me and the way I was hooping.

Back in October I discovered through a hoop injury that I prefer on-body hooping {hooping propelled by the core: waist, hips, shoulder, chest, legs or head} to off-body hooping {hooping driven mostly by the hands and arms, and incorporating jumps, throws, tosses, hand-spins, etc}. On-body {or bodyrocking} feels so gooooood to me. But it's also very energetic, and I had become lazy and gone back to my off-body ways.

I needed more bodyrocking in my life!

After that, I decided one of my goals for this year was to become a bodyrocking ninja queen. {Or something like that.} Obviously, I do incorporate off-body moves into my flow as well to keep my flow well-rounded. But my focus is on bodyrocking and how wonderful it feels to have that hoop spinning around my shoulders or my waist.