Monthly Archives: November 2011

Hoop Practice Videos 11/15/11


Good News, Hoop Injuries, and Bobcats? Oh My!

Tomorrow is my trip to Texas, and I’m incredibly excited!  I’ve been staying so busy all week getting everything in order.  I finished making a huge batch of eye pillows for the yoga studio (a task I had been procrastinating on, since I volunteered LAST Thursday), and dropped them off this morning.  I stayed for the hatha class, and it was just what I needed to help me slow down & be here now.  Things are coming together, and tomorrow morning, come 9:10, I’ll be in the air & on my way to hug my dad for the first time in a year!  There are a few things worth mentioning, but please forgive me for the lack of order in this post.  My thoughts are kind of everywhere!

First, I owe you all a Riley update.  Riley is ALIVE! I’m spinning in my mind and just so happy to type that Riley is doing fine. He had to have an emergency surgery on his leg to repair some torn tendons, but his bone wasn’t fractured.  He stayed over night at the emergency clinic, and then went to a specialist Wednesday morning and stayed there last night.  My step dad says he’s going home today, so I’m feeling a lot better.  I’m so thankful that it wasn’t more serious.  I still can’t believe that the person didn’t stop to help him or attempt to let us know.  I could never do that.  Once, on a first date with a boy I didn’t know, I hit a raccoon. We  had only been in the car with one another for 10 minutes, MAYBE. It’s the only time I’ve ever hit an animal, and it destroyed me.  I instantly burst into tears (we’re talking snot face tears), and turned around to see if I could help it, but it was gone.  The guy said “Seriously? It’s just an animal.” and that was the end of our date. Seriously. There are two kinds of people in this world: the ones with HEART, who realize no life is less important than another, and the heartless, who have a lot to learn.  I feel so lucky that Riley survived this horrible incident.  Like any car VS. dog situation, the chances weren’t in his favor, but somehow he made it.  Please consider what an awful experience being struck by a vehicle is for any creature & pay attention when you’re driving.  Accidents happen to everyone, but just please be aware and drive accordingly for their sakes.

My step dad took this picture on their way from the ER to the other vet, poor bald boy! We’re so lucky!

On a lighter(?) note, have you ever hurt yourself hooping? When I started, I never would have imagined that my practices would become so intense that injuries would become a possibility.  I mean, it’s so child like and fun loving, hardly a contact sport! Well, on Tuesday, I suffered my first ‘serious’ injury.  Of course, I have bruised myself up pretty badly, but I’ve never had an injury that followed me into the week.  I had been outside going nuts for a while, so my game was a little off, but I was feeling the flow & going hard during ”   ” by ______.  (i’ll fill in the blanks after i watch my practice video and figure out exactly what happened. it should be easy to find, because i stopped and screamed.) I was rocking out in my own world, with super speed, when I decided to go for a _______.  My timing was off, because I missed the trick & ended up smashing my ear flat against my head. The hoop made contact with the back of my ear with so much force it busted the cartilage in the “bowl” of my ear.  It is a little swollen and discolored, but no cauliflower ear yet. (whew!)  The worst is when I forget about it & try to lay down on that side – SO painful.  I’ve read online that cartilage takes a lot longer to heal than muscle, so I’m trying to be mindful of it & just let it get better.  I also try to remember, it could be worse! One of my hoopy heroes, Brecken Rivara, actually knocked her tooth out with a hoop.  She asked for donations on youtube & people actually came together for her and paid her medical bill.  I think it’s awesome that the hoop community is so down for one another.  Check it out:

In other critter related news, I saw a bobcat on my property this morning!  It was much darker than any I’ve previously seen and looked to be about 40 pounds.  This was the best look I’ve ever had at one in the wild, and it was pretty awesome.  I love living in the woods & having such wild neighbors!

Again, sorry that this post is scattered.  I could take the time to make it ‘flow’, but I think it’s more important to work on de-scattering myself first!  My plane leaves in less than 24 hours! Woo hoo!

Sad News

I had just finished taking a much needed shower, after having an awesome hoop practice in the dirt, when I got a terrible text message.  My plan was to share a video or two with you, and showcase my newest moves, but I just found out that my step-dad, Chris’ (& my family’s) dog, Riley, was hit by a car.  It happened right in front of my parent’s house.  The person stopped for a moment a few houses down, then saw my mom and drove away.  A red pickup truck. How can people be so heartless?  My mom is with Chris & Riley at the emergency vet. She told me they have just started trying to stabilize him.  He has visible injuries to his head & back right leg. The vet says from what she’s seen, she doesn’t think he’ll walk with it ever again (whatever that means).

I hate living in another city right now.  With all my heart, I just want to be there to comfort my dog & tell him what a good boy he is.

I’m sorry for the total bummer post, but I’m home alone & feeling helpless.

Please, please, please let Riley be okay. Please, universe, please.

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted

I’ve been staying super busy as the count down until my trip to Texas continues.  My flight is in less than a week, and my to do list  keeps growing!

Friday was World Hoop Day!  I spent it hooping at Curtis Hixon Park in downtown Tampa and making some awesome new friends.  I was inches away from staying at home because I had nobody to go with, but thankfully I decided to check my ego and just go for it.  I’m so happy that I decided to be brave, because I had a ton of fun and even did some networking.  The event was put together by Hoola for Happiness, an awesome non profit that travels all over the world spreading a message of love through hoops.  I was so happy to meet the founder, Carissa, who is way friendly and has an awesome energy.  She tried to teach me the anti-spin, but I still don’t have it like she has got it – flawless! We discussed teaming up in the future to do some great things together.  The whole day was extremely inspiring and it felt good to show my face in the community.

There were lots of people taking pictures and videos.  A few radio stations and a magazine too! I’ll post more pictures as they start to turn up, but here is one of my favorites so far.  I stuck out like a sore thumb because I was rocking red, white, and blue in honor of veterans day.

I had a blast over the weekend, but starting tomorrow it’s time to buckle down.  I just have to get everything in order over the next four days and come Friday, I can relax (for 2 weeks!). I love going home for the holidays.  I’m looking forward to making myself an awesome new playlist and snuggling in on the plane with my brand new copy of Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris Carr. I’ve been saving it especially for the trip, haven’t even cracked it open once!

Not yet, though.  I’m not there yet!  Must keep going. Must be productive.  The rest of this post is going to be me babbling about the things I’m worrying about finishing before the trip.  (Typing it out here helps me get it out of my brain, so I can relax.)

Luckily for me, the majority of the tasks I need to handle are creative.  I have a pile of hoops to finish for myself and a bunch of eye pillows to make for Sun & Moon.  I’ve also been working on a few ideas for a new blog design, so I’d love to make some progress there before I leave too.

I’m practically finished packing already, but I’m still working on a solution for traveling with my hoop.  I’m taking a 39′ quattro troo hoop, but it doesn’t fit into my bag.  I’ve read that people have had success carrying them on, but on rare occasions they have been confiscated.  One forum suggests having the hoop in a bag to be “taken more seriously”.  I don’t want to lose my hoop, but I never want to be taken more seriously.

Probably the most important things I need to finish are getting everything in order for Odie’s boarding reservation and figuring out a plan for whoever will be taking care of my squirrels.  Oh, and getting my eating habits back in line and making a travel fitness plan.

Anybody out there going places for turkey day? Travel tips? Packing tips? Throw ’em my way.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend and are feeling refreshed and ready for a brand new week.  At times I’m feeling a little chaotic getting this close to my trip, but I’m still taking a cue from my girl, Gabrielle Bernstein, and trying to just ‘let the universe do her thing’.

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My Hoop Practice Videos 11/9/11

Balance is not one of my strengths. lol   Wobbly now, but I’m working on it!

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Riverhawk 2011

I spent the weekend at the Sertoma Youth Ranch in Brookesville at the 10th annual Riverhawk Bluegrass Festival.  It was amazing!

My good friend, Loren, invited me to go and camp with her family & friends and do a little hooping.  We had a blast.  Loren’s mom, Debbie, is learning the fiddle & her boyfriend, Joe, plays a mean banjo. In between the bands on stage we were lucky enough to enjoy their ‘pickin’.  There are few things in life that feel better than sitting around a fire while people make music together.  I have been to lots of festivals before, but this one was different.  I loved how small it was.  Everyone was super friendly and there were lots of good neighborly vibes.

We brought hoops out and had fun playing with people of all ages.  One little girl, named Sadie, hardly came past my knee but was hooping her little heart.  I loved it!  The funniest thing was probably watching the grown men try.  I give everybody an A for effort and a gold star for sharing the laughter with us.  A couple of determined dudes were even vortexing before the weekend was over.  It was a ton of fun.  My heart almost jumped out of my chest when one guy wanted his picture taken with “the best hula hooper in the world”.  Somewhere out there is a very sweaty picture of me with a thumbs up. lol   I can’t wait to see what pictures and videos pop up in the next couple of days.

The music at this festival was so much fun.  My favorites were a group out of Orlando, Jubal’s Kin, and a trio of sisters from Ontario called Searson.  I never knew how much I love the fiddle until I watched the vocalist of Jubal’s Kin and one of the searson sisters ROCKING OUT.  Searson also did some “step dancing” together.  It wasn’t like the step dancing I had seen, which is more of a hip hop style.  This was like a drum solo with tap shoes.  They’d be together in unison, and then one would pop forward for a solo, and then they’d be back in perfect time.  Those girls were incredible.  It was also great to see a band out of Austin, Carolyn Wonderland, I felt closer to home during their blues set.

Loren and I shared the coziest and COOLEST place I’ve ever had the pleasure of snoozing in, camping style – the bed of Joe’s 1949 Ford Pick up truck.  He built an awesome wooden topper on it, and it became the perfect place to pass out after a long day of pickin’ and hoopin’.  Hopefully I can find some pictures of it to share soon.

I met some really cool people and did a little networking.  I’m looking forward to spending more time with new friends, and exchanging ideas with other folks in the hoop community.  Next year, I plan on staying for the whole week, and possibly trying to arrange a hoop booth or a daily group hoop.

I am so grateful to Loren, Debbie, Joe, and Joe’s family for being so incredibly hospitable and introducing me to a new favorite festival.  I’m starting off the week with a Riverhawk buzz.



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Feeling good, feeling great.

It was an awesome day at Sun & Moon Yoga.  I felt great after the hour and a half long hatha class this morning, and stayed after to do some one-on-one practice with my teacher, Nancy.  We talked about alignment in the warrior poses, as well as how to correct people in their posture.  She told me that as a teacher, I will never go into the full extension during class.  Not only because I will be walking around guiding the students, but also because I’m too intimidating! lol  I actually heard Nancy speaking to a woman after hatha (& before our one-on-one) about me teaching a few classes next year.  The woman said, “HER? She makes me feel bad about myself.  She is so flexible.”  The last thing I want is for my students to feel to discouraged.  I want everyone to see yoga as accessible, the same way I did, so I really took Nancy’s advice to heart.  Note to self: Don’t go Gumby in class as a teacher.

My homework for the week is to work on perfecting each of my warriors and to think about ‘locks’.  Warrior 3 always gets me, because balance is something I’m still working on.  Maybe if the woman who felt intimidated by my flexibility would see me falling every which way in balance poses, she’d realize I’m human too! ha After our session, she and I discussed some really positive ideas about what the future holds for the studio.

I’m still glowing with excitement about getting certified with Hoopnotica.  The training will be over the weekend of March 3rd and 4th, and I can hardly wait!   Nancy seems thrilled about me starting to teach hoop classes and had some really great suggestions.  We talked about filming a short interview, where I can discuss all the benefits of hooping and give an idea of how my class with go, for the website.  She also came up with the idea to invite local PE teachers to come in for a free class, so I can get them on board.  How wild would it be to teach an entire PE class how to hoop.  The students would love it!  All the more reason, for me to plan on getting the Bodyhoops kids fitness certification next!  I will be busy in 2012!  Not to sound like a broken record, but first it’s the Hoopnotica certification, then my yoga certification, and then I’d like to be certified as a personal trainer for insurance reasons.  I’m adding the kids program through Bodyhoops to my list, right next to Abby Albaum’s upcoming hoop certification program.  I’m going to have credentials out the wazoo!

I think the best idea to come from our little brainstorm was the birthday party idea.  Nancy told me I should start offering private lessons & parties on the Sun & Moon facebook page, and that really got me thinking.  It could be a great way to sell hoops!  I’d love to offer a package deal to parents.  I could come out and spend an hour or two with a group of kids and bring hoops for them all to take home.  The package will probably be for 10 kids and I will just charge for each additional hoop.  I will probably wait until after I have taken the Bodyhoops course, so I will have more material and a better idea of how to get kids loving the hoop!

I’d really like to help Nancy to promote Sun & Moon, so I’m thinking about designing some flyers for her & passing them out around town.  If the studio gets big enough, she is going to lease out another area of the building for more classroom space.  That could prove pretty handy when the yoga school starts up next year.  I need to come up with something that will appeal to the small town mentality.  The locals might find yoga as a strange idea, but they don’t know what they’re missing!  What could be wrong with a practice that brings health and happiness?

I don’t know how yet, but I’m going to light the way!

PS: I got a hoop in the mail today from KaylaJoHoops… Ain’t she a beauty?!


A Full Day of Hoops with No Hooping

I woke up this morning just itching to continue on with my hoop project.

I was unable to return my wonky tubing to the irrigation supply store where I bought it. bummer! Thankfully though, today at Lowes, I was able to speak with someone who KNEW what I was looking for. I bought a second hundred feet of the tubing I was actually after & got started.

First and foremost, let me say – I was so happy to have a pvc pipe cutter on hand. I can’t imagine how difficult (& time consuming) it must be without one. Inserting the connectors took some muscle this time around too. The newer tubing was much stiffer than what I had bought yesterday.  I used my hair dryer to heat up the ends before pushing in the inserts, but it was still tough. After I finished a few, I started to pick up speed & before I knew it I had ten naked hoops.

The taping is what takes time. I thought it would be simple, but it’s surprisingly challenging to lay it down evenly.  It’s definitely something I will need to get better at. ha!  Hats off to the ladies and gents who can lay it down with ease.  I salute you.

So far, I’ve successfully completed one hoop.  I would probably have a couple more, but I kept taking breaks to enjoy my new audiobook – “Spirit Junkie” by Gabrielle Bernstein! By the way, I LOVE it.

For the hoop I finished, I decided to use strips of green floral fabric to add grip in place of gaffer tape.  I’m really happy with how it turned out! I got the idea from a video on youtube, you can check it out HERE.  She suggests using painters tape to hold the strips in place as you work, but I actually sprayed my strips with Aleene’s Crystal Clear Acid Free Tacky Spray.  It comes in an aerosol can & is extremely easy to use.   I used orange & green electrical tape to spiral around with the fabric & the effect is adorable!  I know this hoop is going to make somebody very happy!

I also heard back from Hoopnotica again, I’m on cloud 9!  They confirmed that they will be holding a certification training at my home-away-from-home yoga studio, early next year!  The training will be in March & I will be getting certified in levels 1 & 2.  I am absolutely ecstatic! I can’t wait to teach!  I have so much fun sharing my passion for hooping.  This training will help me learn how to break down moves and explain in it ways everyone can understand.  I really am bursting with excitement to join the Hoopnotica family & get licensed!

All day long it has been hoops, hoops, hoops, but the sad part is I haven’t hooped at all!  That being said, I’m going to run outside and twirl with the little sunlight I have left.