I've been learning to hoop for the last week. Holy Moses is it hard! Today I celebrated my seventh session! At this point in my hooping career, the exercise consists mostly of an attempt, the movement of the hoop somewhere in the vicinity of my waist and then, after 5-8 twirls of the hoop the descent of that hoop onto the ground. I lean over, pick it up, catch my breath and repeat the process. (I got my purple and green waist and arm hoop set from Canyon Hoops http://www.canyonhoops.com/)
However I've had several high-count attempts now.I tracked my high successes today. A high success attempt is when I manage to keep the waist hoop going more than 10 times before it drops. Here are my high successes for tonight.
15 , 15, 30, 28, 21 (arm hoop recess) 12, 27, 22 39, 14
I bet there are people that would learn this skill a lot faster than I am. Over the past week, I had to really work on believing (remember that saintly little engine that could?) that I would manage to keep the hoop up. The first session or two I worked at it for about 10 minutes before stopping all sweaty and wiped out. My goal was to be able to work on hooping for 30 minutes by Thanksgiving. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and today I did work at it for 30 minutes!!!
I can now, mostly, identify when I'm doing it right and getting the desired 'pump' feeling. Over the last two days I've decide that the next important challenge is to learn to recover the hoop. I know that a few times I have managed to recover it and continue. It seems that I have recovered by some variation on a squat (which I saw in the hooping book I checked out of the library) involving more of a forward thrust. It seems though, that sometimes the hoop isn't in the place I need it to be to do this. Sometimes it just seems like it's going to slowly to catch. Also sometimes I think I manage to recover by speeding up my pumping motion but sometimes it seems that I'm not managing to touch the hoop enough despite increasing my speed.
One day this week I managed to keep the hoop rotating for a count of 84. I never came close to that since then! I start out by hooping with a small arm hoop on each arm (one at a time for now) for a few minutes (2 different orientations on each arm). Then I switch to the waist and hoop until I need a break. I then do my arms again with the other 2 arm orientations. After that I go back to hooping at the waist.
My next goal is to get better at recovering.
I'm happy I found a low-impact aerobic exercise I enjoy. I particularly like the feeling after you're done and cooling off, without the knee stress I used to get running. I really felt the results of this activity in the muscles of my back for the first several days but they have pretty much stopped complaining. I now just feel rather aware of them during the day.
I'm not going to stop being a walker, by the way. I still enjoy walking my errands and currently walk 4-5 miles a day.