Feeling Iso-lated (heh)


I’ve kind of slowed down my hooping this month. You know, sometimes life & stuff just happens…nothing particularly interesting, really. I just got out of my routine a little bit, and I would LOVE to blame THE RAIN. If you are in Texas, you know what I mean. This weather is seriously bumming me out! But, this week I am determined to get back on track, crappy weather be damned.

Since I have been stuck indoors a lot, I have been working on my isolations.

Getting better at these one-handed isos! #hooper #hooping #hoopernewbie #hoopingintexas #hoopersofig @aroundjoy

A video posted by aprildesigns (@aprildesigns) on May 24, 2015 at 5:17pm PDT


Not bad, not bad.

Last week I also successfully wiggled the hoop up from my legs to my waist. I have been using the big hoop for the leg hooping. My smaller hoop is great for the mandalas and weaves and what-not, but I still can’t quite keep up with it when it is around my waist. It moves FAST! One of my goals for the upcoming weeks is to get used to my smaller hoop, because I want to take it with me when we go Up Nort’, as we say in the North Country (aka Wisconsin/Minnesota.)

Check back later! I’m going to try and post once a week or so to keep me on the ball! Your comments here and on Instagram keep me motivated!


Lesson Recap.


My hoop goddess Geri says my chest hooping looks GREAT but I don’t believe her! I think I doubt her because I can’t do it for very long. I get tired. It’s really exhausting. Like, REALLY exhausting. If you are out of shape. Like I am.

She’s the expert so I will take her word for it. She has challenged me to turn while I am doing it, which I don’t feel coordinated enough to do, but I’ll do it…and she wants me to try to put an arm in. And then the other arm. And I’m thinking, lady, you are cray if you think I am good enough to do that…but I just do what she says. I am actually not as negative about it as I seem. I like hooping because it is a challenge, and therefore I don’t think about anything else except what I am doing. Feeling the hoop go around me, adjusting my body here and there to try to make it work better. I don’t listen to music very often because I work in short bursts, and it is too much to get the right hoop music going for such a small amount of time. So it is a very focused exercise each time.  Anyway. I digress.

Other things we went over:

  • Isolations. Love how these look, so I want to get good at them. Also, they hurt my arms so I am expecting to acquire some SICK MUSCLES.
  • Turning while spinning the hoop. I don’t know what to call this. Moving my hand from inside the hoop to outside and back again.
  • Mandalas behind the back. These are fun too, but a little tricky.
  • Leg hooping. We briefly touched on this. This is another area that I fully expect to be tricky for me (like the chest hooping is). I haven’t really tried it yet.



Oh! And I almost forgot! I bought a new hoop. She’s a beauty, in my favorite colors (pink and black). She’s a lot smaller and lighter and I have quite a crush on her. I haven’t tried waist/hip/leg hooping with her yet because I have not been feeling so hot this week, but as soon as I am feeling better I will take her out for more of a spin.

Chest Hooping For Nerds.


Oh, so ill-equipped for the chest hooping. Geri was teaching me how to chest hoop with my hands in the air like I just don’t care. She even had me try it while sitting down. Guys, that is shit is no joke. Holy crap! I cannot believe what a workout it is to get a circular tube to roll around your chest. Or even just your body. But especially your chest. Dang. I’ve got some work to do.

She has challenged me to be good at it in time for our next session (which I sneakily have not scheduled yet) so we can build on it by throwing an arm in. Or two. Or I don’t know. We’ll see how good I can get before then. I’m anticipating the appearance of some bulging back muscles within the next few weeks….

I’ll throw some videos up over the course of the next few weeks so you can see how it goes.

Progress Report


Today I had another lesson with Geri over at The Hoop Shack. I think she was happy with my progression since last time. I haven’t been putting in hours of practice every night…really, I just practice whenever I let the dogs outside or want to take a break from the computer. It helps that I work from home, but you could easily take your hoop to work and accomplish the same thing in the parking lot or a conference room. In fact, I’ve done that before too! So I end up working in a few 10-15 minute bursts of hooping throughout the day. It adds up! It’s enough for a song or two, or just skip the music and enjoy the fresh air.

I walked away with some homework. A lot. Sometimes I worry I am going to forget something that we talked about, so I make a few notes when I get home. Two big things I will be working on the next couple weeks:

1. Hip Hooping – Geri explained that this is a good foundation to build on for leg hooping. Plus, it works your abs! A lot!

2. Working on the motions for eventual chest hooping. Chest hooping frightens me a little, because right now I do not feel loose enough or graceful enough to get there. Some of our dances in Zumba involve some chest rolls, and I feel like such a nerdy girl trying to be hip. I can’t do it. Hopefully, with some practice, I’ll get there in Zumba AND in hooping.

We also did some vertical work. I was a flag in junior high through high school, so I feel like some of the motions here are similar and familiar. Still, circle vs stick. A little different.

Here’s a little flag throwback. Ah, parades….


The Beginning.


leggings by tiffhoops | hoop by aroundjoy | shoes…duh

Since this is a place to document my hooping “journey,” (does that sound weird and new age-y? oh well.) I thought I would take a minute to catch you up to how I started and where I am currently.

I knew a lovely, lovely lady, who incidentally was my boss. I had taken to describing her to my stepdaughter like this: “You remember Heather…she hula hoops with FIRE??” Cuz she did.

She made me my first hula hoop. At the time, it was just a curiosity, this hula hooping thing. I soon filed it into my “ain’t nobody got time for that” list of things I wanted to try but didn’t deem important enough.

Eventually, maybe a year or 2 later, I started poking around on the internets for some hula hooping fitness classes. Enter Geri from Around Joy. I took a lesson on a Saturday with a stranger (where did you go, hula hoop stranger? where are you in your own hoop journey??) and learned some stretches and some basic skills. I brought the hoop my boss made me months earlier. I was pretty crappy at hula hooping then. But Geri was friendly, enthusiastic, and a great teacher. I left that day encouraged, but ended up practicing…not that much. More at first, and then less and less. That happens.

Then, last year, I switched jobs to something much less stressful, and it opened up my mind (and my schedule, frankly) to getting more fit. A friend and I started doing Zumba towards the end of the year, and we found the MOST AMAZING ZUMBA CLASS the world will ever know. I love to dance, so I knew that Zumba might be a good fit for me, but in this case I really do think the teacher is my main motivation for continuing on. (I’ll talk about that another time in more detail.) And, of course it helps to have a friend to keep you motivated.

Now, I am looking to bring even more activity into my routine. Oh, hello there, lonely hoop. Let’s take you out for a SPIN again (I like puns. Deal with it.) I got a hold of Geri again, and here we are. You are up to date.

I cannot say enough what a great teacher Geri is. If you are in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, she is so much fun and so motivating and encouraging! Looking forward to our next session!

Next time, I will talk about my first lesson and give an update on the skills I am working on. For now, keep practicing!