Every winter sees a shift in hula hooper's living arrangements, as furniture is moved to the sides of the room and breakables put away, as we are forced indoors to hula hoop for much of the season. For hoopers with low ceilings and small rooms hula hooping in small spaces presents a new set of challenges on our hoop journey.
This year, unfortunately priced out of practising at my local gym at the weekend, and not having a good outdoor hoopspace (I would happily wrap up warm to hoop in the cold!), I was feeling particularly low, but refused to be beaten and miss out on hooping practice time. To non-hoopers, what I say now may seem excessive, but I removed a dangling ceiling light fitting, a seldom used armchair, a lot of outgrown toys of my son and had a big declutter. All in the name of creating a hoop space!
Still cursed with a low ceiling, small living room and the odd breakable that I wasn't able to relocate, I found hooping indoors frustrating and constricting. I usually didn't bother, being tired after work and feeling so constrained put me off.
Over the weeks however, I have begun to appreciate the difference that these new, restricted practice sessions have made to my hula hooping.
They have forced me to analyse and adapt how I hula hoop - I have become aware of my propensity for big, sweeping moves and my tendency to get overexcited and let the hoop go flying.
I have noticed that I use more force than is really necessary – using less force has helped me get a handle on some moves that have eluded me for a long time!
I have been drilling moves instead of dancing around – which will make dancing around all that much more satisfying with my new honed moves in the Summer.
Fear of breaking the TV, child, cats or items around the house has meant I am focused much more on maintaining clean planes, precise, controlled movements and not dropping the hoop! These are things I don’t normally think of, but would love to master.
Slowing down my movements, and exploring new moves have helped me to discover variations and adaptations of tricks, as the hand positioning and momentum of the hoop reveal new possibilities in slower motion.
So now I'm making time to practice in my living room every night. I want to use this time to its maximum potential to drill, explore, and hone my skills ready for summertime hooping outdoors.