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Recently, I bought a hula hoop. A midweight, 1.5kg (3.3lb) hula hoop. It looks something like this:

The hoop as art

The hoop as art

In theory, a hoop of that weight would be the second stage in the evolution of a sport hooper.

In theory, I’m working on my research right now.

I chose the heavier hoop based on a couple of reviewers’ (I love people who leave really helpful reviews) comments that they quickly moved on to heavier hoops. I decided to get the medium hoop, and just make sure to start off slowly. No point acquiring multiples (hula hoops, small frying pans, husbands) if you’re only going to use one. (Unless one is on sale, or likely to wear out, or you have family who might want to try it out who actually live in the same country…).

I was so good.

Day 1:

3 minutes.

Turns out there is room in my living room, as long as I am the only person in it. Hooping not too difficult, although the movements when I twirl it “backward” (if left to my own devices, I will always push forward with my right hand) are exaggerated and not smooth. Minimal movements seem to work best, but only once you have the knack of them. Tempted to do more than the 3 minutes prescribed by the manual, but I’ll see what my body has to say about it tonight.

Abdomen immediately below ribs sore, right where the hoop hits most often. Reviewers mentioned this, but also that it was worth it. Wisdom of starting with 3 minutes a day becoming clearer.

I think I’m standing up straighter. Maybe. This is totally going to work.

I’m not feeling that bad, actually. I wonder if I should try it again when I get home. (This is clearly a bad plan. But am I going to let that stop me?)

Yes. Yes, I am. I want to still have some interest in doing this in the future.

o O o

I stuck to the recommended 3 minutes for at least three days. Maybe 3 minutes twice a day. Sometimes. A week and a half later, I’m up to seven minutes at a time. Seven is sort of like 5. Besides, I don’t take orders from manuals that badly written (translated?). (Which is probably why my tiny food processor started to sell of burning the second time I used it. Apparently you’re not supposed to run it for more than a minute without letting it cool down. But I will not be oppressed by paper! Degrees don’t count.)

So far, I hoop every morning (every one!), usually while watching Avatar. For a sever-minute session, it’s good to have a plot you can pick up on quickly. Like, say, a children’s half-hour TV program.

I don’t know if I would call hooping entertaining, exactly, once you’ve got the hang of it. It’s certainly not a hardship to do it, though, while watching television. For someone who prefers to have something to do while watching a show, this provides an active alternative to knitting without requiring extra brain power. It’s rather zen.

o O o

Happy birthday to my wonderful other half, who gave up his comfortable life to follow me to the other side of the world. I’m so very glad he did.