Monthly Archives: January 2004

Heavy Hoops, Bad Business

When the news about Heavy Hoops and their fab fitness claims hit the news in October, I found it amusing that the obvious became obvious. Hooping is great exercise. We all knew that already.
Nevertheless quite a few comments started appearing on that post about the wonders of the Heavy Hoop. I think we all started wondering if we were missing out, at least until we realized most of the comments all had the same Internet Service Provider address, one that traced back to the Heavy Hoops people themselves. While I thought that was tacky, I had yet to learn how disreputable the company really was. Cristabel ordered a Heavy Hoop and her failed attempts to obtain her hoop, a refund or any response certainly raised eyebrows.
After she posted her full complaint on, she miraculously received a refund. It still was hard to believe though that Heavy Hoops could treat people so poorly – at least until I heard another story, one that is basically a carbon copy of Cristabel’s problems.

Greebo brought the strings, the audience brought the hoops

Greebo In Chico, California, bluegrass music has found a niche at Woodstock’s Pizza with the quartet Greebo, who put a lot of joy into the plucking of strings on Thursday nights. As the night goes on, the clapping gets louder. During an instrumental, two women got up and started to hula-hoop. The name Greebo comes from an English slang word that means dirtbag. Greebo is made up of vocalist and guitarist Bruce MacMillan, bassist and vocalist Nate LeFranchi, fiddler and guitarist Britt Smith and Michael Ansolabehere, who provides vocals and plays the mandolin. Orion Online (large photo)


We knew it would happen eventually — but not THIS fast! Unfortunately, we’ve reached full capacity at in terms of our server space. This means we’re having to go through and cut out some of the photos in the gallery. We’re trying to ensure that everyone is still represented, but perhaps a little bit less…if you notice a photo missing, please don’t take it personally! We simply don’t have the room, and we want to make sure that the photos in the gallery stay current.
We may also have to do some archiving in the forums, but not sure about that yet.

Hooping in Canada

A few weeks ago I received an email from a Canadian web surfer who had stumbled across one of my posts about the Seattle Group Hoop.
According to this Canadian reader, hooping has a very different meaning in Canada. A significantly more dirty meaning.
I’m not sure what to say the moral of this story is, other than to be aware of conversations about hooping when you’re in Canada.

Committal at last

Throughout my adolescence I have participated in a number of activities, otherwise known as hobbies. All of them were short-lived. I tried swimming and gymnastics. I played handball for about a day. I played the flute and the piano. Every time I started a new activity, the weekly commitment soon became a burden more than anything else, and I quit so that I could spend more time doing the things I really wanted to do, such as hanging out with friends telling dirty jokes.
By the time I was about 16 I knew better than to start anything new that was only going to be discarded soon thereafter. I was obviously suffering from an incorrigible fear of commitment when it comes to hobbies. For about ten years the only hobbies I had were those that can’t even really be considered hobbies, such as hanging out, listening to music, eating, sleeping, drinking, and shopping.
This all changed when I started hooping. When I started feeling the hoop going around my waist, I knew that this was the beginning of a more serious relationship. Without hesitation I agreed to start a “hooping club” with Philo after having hooped for only about two hours. Close to a year later, Bay Area Hoopers are going stronger than ever! I have only missed hooping twice so far – once because I had to work on a Sunday and once because I was in Germany. The weekly commitment has not been the least bit of a burden; instead it is something I look forward to every week. And that’s exactly what a hobby should be.

Hoop poi

Several of us at the Bay Area Hoopers gathering today practiced hoop poi. I had only seen Seth do it so far, but several others made some progress today. If you have done poi, it tends to be much easier to do a similar movement with two hoops. I had never done poi before, so it was harder for me, but I am finally getting the hang of it.
You can do hoop poi two different ways. You can either have one hoop in front of you and one in back of you, or one on hoop your left and one on your right. Either way you have two hoops, one in each hand. While you rotate the hoops on each hand, you make them switch sides with each rotation. When done well, the result is a very fluid motion that looks beautiful.
They keys to “getting it” are the following:

  • The hoops have to rotate in opposite directions.
  • The hoops have to rotate inward and towards each other.
  • The orientation of your hand to the hoop has to change with each switch of sides. You can achieve this by either twisting your wrist back and forth or by alternating between the palm of your hand and your thumb.

The challenges are keeping both hoops on the same plane, and preventing them from knocking into each other or into your face!

Exercise advice includes hooping

In today’s USA Today there’s a health column offering “10 ways to make it a habit to eat less, eat better and exercise more” – and guess what number three says?

“3. Think of the TV as an activity box. When it’s on, do something – stretching exercises, weight training, sit-ups, marching in place, jump rope. Keep a hula-hoop on hand and give it a whirl during commercials.”

Little do they know I quite often stand and hoop through one hour dramas.