Tuesday, August 08, 2006

THE ZEN OF HULA HOOPING


New hat and a hula hoop, originally uploaded by fd.

Okay, I wrote a book that I'm pretty proud of and I make it a point to brag about my kids at least once a day. But my real claim to fame is that when I was ten, I was the hula hoop champion of Brockton, Massachusetts. Or at least, the East Side of the city. All right, maybe it was just my street (a dead end with three houses on it). But it's not the title that matters, right? It's how I felt when I got that baby spinning around my hips: like a master.

And who says you can't learn about life from standing in your back yard painting circles through the air with the motion of your hips? One thing I discovered is that as soon as you start worrying about who's watching or how silly you look or who's doing it better, it's all over.

I have a post up on the Killer Year Blog on the subject. It deals with writing, but the message applies to any kind of hula hoop you're trying to keep in the air.

24 comments:

Nova said...

Hula hoop champion! That is so awesome!

I suppose my claim to fame would be that I won an ice-cream eating contest when I was 12 and it was televised on the local television news. I have never felt more like a star!

Here's to hula hoops and ice cream!

MB said...

What a great piece, Patry, thank you. (Both of them, really!) Wise words well said.

floots said...

well said
i'm keeping my wordhips swaying :)

paris parfait said...

As a child I loved hula-hoops! So much fun. I left a comment on your piece - really well-written, as I would expect. Bravo! Can't wait to read the book.

rdl said...

I love hula hooping. I'm gonna have to challenge you when I finally get down there. Nice post, headin over to read the other.

Amishlaw said...

Now I understand why I never could hula hoop and why I probably will never write a book. I'm too self-conscious! I hope you don't drop your hoop if we tell you we're watching and you're pretty damned good.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Patry Francis said...

nova: If there's anything more fun than a hula hoop contest, it's got to be an ice-cream eating challenge!

mb: Thank you!

floots: And fine wordhips they are!

paris: Thanks for being my first commenter over there and for your kind words about the book. When I come to Paris, we'll have to get a couple of hula hoops, find a park and relive our childhoods.

r: I've got a couple of them on the deck waiting for the challenge.

amishlaw: That sound you just heard was my hoop clattering to the floor.
But seriously, thank you for your most generous words. (Love the new photo by the way.)

Lorna said...

I am totally hoopless,hula speaking. I used to be pretty good with jacks though and skipping was really my thing. especially double dutch. I wish my kids could have seen me when I was at my top form.

colleen said...

Did you miss my recent post on the hula hoop contest? Can you believe at Floyd Fest there was a woman who makes a living at hula hooping?

I never liked the twist but loved the hula hoop and still do!

zhoen said...

My hula hoop was found on the front lawn, partially crushed, but trimmed and taped, and just the right size for my then narrow hips. Joy.

O

"You know, for kids"

-Hudsucker Proxy.

Sky said...

lol - i had forgotten all about the hula hoop! remember how we would let it get down around our knees and then wiggle it back up to our waist?! wowowow - fun memories of the ridiculous!

the post at Killer Year Blog is great commentary - so true, Patry!

Cliff said...

I've realised now (maybe a bit slow) the strength in your prose is that you are able to draw out such remarkable meaning from everyday objects and events. Your posts, like MB said, are wise, and perfectly crafted. Thank you for sharing.

Brenda said...

:) I was the hula hoop champion of Lusaka in Zambia when I was 7! A few years ago I bought one for my daughter, and, oh my, it was fun! Naturally, I loved this post! - the baby spinning around the hips, oh yeah!

Sunday Scribblings said...

Now THAT is a lesson to be learned!! I need to go back and read that again... thank you!!

megg said...

Oop! That was me in the comment above, I forgot I'm signed into Sun Scrib. Sorry!

Myfanwy Collins said...

I'm impressed! I have never been able to hula hoop.

chuck said...

What Chipmunk said, "Me, I want the hula hoop..."? Was it Alvin?

Am I "on topic"...or straying rather off-course?

ainelivia said...

Oh yeah, me too I was once the best in our road. Funny cos I tried this recently and the hoop fell immediately to the ground. And yes if we stop to think...

Oh yes and another use, two hula hoops tied toggether with string made a wonderful crinolene support for a play I was in :-)

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