Saturday, August 16, 2008

Crusty Old Lady vs. Matthew McConaughey

Oh Geez... My desk is such a mess. Oh well, there are worse things in life.

I had a great meeting with Keaton the other day, and we were discussing "the bigger picture" of Hoopnotica. I started this company on a feeling; the "feeling" that hoop dance gave me when I did it on a regular basis was holistic and powerfully transformative. It wasn't just one thing- it was so very many things, that changed in my body, in my soul... the way I looked at life just- shifted. Including hoop dance practice into my daily routine made me a better person all around- and that felt good.

It kinda snuck up on me. One day I realized that ever since I started this crazy "hula hooping thing", my life had mysteriously gotten better.

I have gone through good chunks of time the past four years when I didn't really hoop as often. Maybe once a week there, for a while. Sometimes weeks would go by, and my hoop would sit untouched. It would just stare at me. Until I moved it to the garage. 

I had really lost touch with the "big picture" benefits that hooping brings to my life. I had a million excuses why I didn't do it (HoopMamma is really good at selling people on her ideas...even better when it is herself that she am trying to convince... ) And I am not talking just about weight loss. I hate talking about hooping and weight loss.

Weight loss is just a side effect of what hooping really brings into my life. My attitudes about diet, exercise and the act of eating all work together harmoniously. Truthfully, I eat more like I am a food critic, than an "on the go" workin' mom. Maybe it is because my stress level has totally diminished, and the way I handle new stresses is dramatically different. I eat less and exercise more; but I have not changed what I eat or cook for my family. It is almost as if I am another person.  

I find myself more tolerant of everything and everybody around me. Like yesterday when this crusty old lady at the Farmer's Market made my girl cry. My sweet, loving, 4 year old little chunk of cuteness..... versus the OLD LADY. Old Lady selling what seems to be her personal "collection" of over-priced house plants out of the back of her honda civic. My girl steps up to smell a flower, and the lady tells her that she "can't smell 'em unless she's gonna buy them". And she wasn't nice about it. And then came the tears. 


Now, part of me still considered smackin OLD LADY up 'side the head. But the HoopMamma inside reminded me to relax. 

                                                                 (  )

I explained to Illi that she is a crusty old lady who is angry about something else in her life, and it has nothing to do with her. We then walked away, conspiring about what kind of things could have gone wrong in her life to cause her to behave so inappropriately.

I look in the mirror and see mostly the good things- this is new for me. It happens with photos, too. Whereas before I began the HoopMamma blog, all I could see was the cottage cheese above my knees, and the bulkiness around my waist, I see them with less charge now. They still exist, but matter less to me. Its nice.

(My body is getting smaller; its nice, too)

I realize something new about hooping every time I pick up my hoop. And this is the fuel of my blog. Sometimes I really don't have the time to blog about it. I do my best to remember so I can share it with you lovely Mammas when I can. Sometimes the whole day will go by, and I haven't hooped. I am tired, and have to really work to convince myself to hoop. I have to hoop, no matter what- it's the "big picture" that I am after, and for that I must stay true to my word. I very seldomly get in a solid half hour.

Tonight, HoopHubby is outta town with "the boys", and both the kids are asleep. I cherish this time "alone". Just me and my "blah blah blog".  And a growing collective of women whom I have never met, but seem to get me. Its weird, and its a blessing- I love it.

You wanna know the trick to hooping everyday (ready?): Bring your hoop with you. Its really much harder than you think. I mean, if you have a big, beautiful Limited Edition (or other handmade) hoop, then I can see where practicality is an issue. But if you have a Travel Hoop and HoopStrap or HoopTote, then you can bring it with you everywhere. I even leave mine in the car. The really difficult part is giving myself permission to bring it along. The conversation in my head usually goes something like this:

HOOPMAMMA: "Should I bring my hoop with me?" 
GABRIELLA: "Umm... to watch old horror movies in the cemetery? I am not so sure you are gonna need it."
HOOPMAMMA: "But what if I do? There is gonna be a DJ before and after the flick... might be cool...?"
GABRIELLA: "It is not gonna look all that great with your outfit. Besides, you're wearing _____. You can't hoop in _____, can you?"
HOOPMAMMA: "Sure I can!"
GABRIELLA: "Sure, you could. But are you sure you want to?"

Okay- this is where my behavior has had to change. The answer at this point is, "Go get your f*ck!ng hoop, lazy a$$! Just bring it with you- no one is going to force you to use it." If you don't like the cussing at yourself, then modify your own commentary. The basic idea is this: My days are always packed; I need to bring my hoop with me wherever I go in order to squeeze in 5 minutes here, and five minutes there. If I were you, I would walk away from the computer RIGHT NOW and put your hoop by the door. RIGHT NOW.

I read an article about how Matthew McConaughey stays in shape. I was surprised by how interesting the read was. He does one activity for a limited time, like surfing every day for an hour, or 250 push-ups a day. My favorite part was that he says to himself, "McConnaughey, get off your a$$", or "Listen, McConnaughey....". I love that he refers to himself openly in the third person. HoopMamma doesn't know anyone else like that. 
So sometimes I say to myself, "Listen, McConaughey... take your damn hoop with you and shake your booty when you can." I like calling myself McConaughey. I make a good McConaughey (to shamelessly go where no Mamma has gone before...!)

I hoop in the parking lot in front of the preschool while I am waiting for my daughter. I hoop at my parents house while they entertain the kids, I hoop while they hit the park playground together. I am always within eye/ear shot of them, don't worry- but I like to hang out in the shade of a tree, instead of on the sand, and hoop. Sometimes I will bring my hoop to a party and dance. Or to the "Hollywood Forever" cemetery.


Hooping like this becomes a lifestyle. I have begun to identify myself, and others as "hoopers". I even tried to trademark the word "hooper" (didn't quite work- how the HELL did Paris get away with TMing the "that's hot" thing?). Hoopers hoop all over the place, and people LOVE it. I really should be bringing more hoops with me around town, but HoopMamma is too lazy. 

I love to do little impromptu "performances" in front of people who know me, but have never seen me hoop before. Its really fun to watch their expressions. Its hot; I know it. This is one of the pleasures of hooping that I didn't really "get" until I had been doing it enough that my moves shocked people. Remember the way you felt when you first saw someone hoop? Well, you can offer that feeling back to the world every time you share it with others. Its the easiest way to become the sexiest woman in the room (even if its just for 30 seconds). I have watched "Plain Jane" types become "the hot girl next door" so quickly... I have never experienced anything like it before.

Hoopdance keeps my life in order, smackin me into shape from the inside- out. It drives my hubby nuts (in a good way)when I hoop. Hooping does wonders for my love life. And that's all HoopMamma will say (on the World Wide Web) about that right now. 

It is SO good that my husband never touches the computer, let alone reads my blog.... HoopMamma reads to him only what she wants him to hear.

So anyways, where was I? Oh yea- the secret to hooping every day. Bring your hoop with you wherever you go. Remember that, if you have a full-size hoop or any collapsible hoop other than the Hoopnotic Travel Hoop, don't try leaving it in the car. The summertime heat will warp it in a heartbeat. The travel hoop we designed at Hoopnotica won't warp because it is in segments; I really do prefer it to other hoops. I find that I can hoop more slowly (the special grip tape), and that the knees and thighs are easier overall. I like my Limited Editions (I have a nice collection) for my home use; I love them all equally for different reasons.

Bring it. Use it. Live by it.



E-Lo said...

This is how good you are at selling your ideas - you just convinced me to buy the travel hoop. Seriously, I'm ordering it right now - LOL! But I was at an event Saturday night - and there were a bunch of people there hooping, and I thought to myself "I could show them up," but guess what? I didn't have my hoop. So there you go!

We may not "know" each other - but I think we know where each other is in the grand scheme of things. :) Thanks for the positive words - you're very inspirational, you always make me want to grab my hoop and go!

~ g said...

you are an inspiration to me, girlfriend!

(can u tell I am playing catch-up on reading your blog today??)

~ g said...

OMG!!! I hope you are watching the rhythmic gymnastics on NBC...they are using hoops!!! competition started's beautiful!! I didn't even know they used them...tomorrow will be groups using hoops, as well, is individuals...