Karrie Blackburn: Our Hooper of the Week Interview
by Philo Hagen
When Karrie Blackburn picked up a hoop for the first time in 2009, little did she know it would change her life. She started a daily hooping practice and two years later she had lost 75 pounds thanks to a plastic circle. Somewhere along the way her fun hooping hobby started spinning into becoming her livelihood too. In fact, she’s gotten the city of Winnipeg hooping. This Canadian’s hooping life is most certainly inspiring and in several different ways too. That’s why we knew we needed to get the full hoop scoop about it. So join us for a very special interview with the lovely Karrie Blackburn, our Hooper of the Week!
Philo: How would you say hooping has changed your life?
Karrie Blackburn: Hooping has changed my life in countless ways! Initially it was all about weight-loss. I lost 75lbs in the first 2 years of my hoop journey. Then it developed into a talent; I didn’t have one of those before the hoop. It was around that time when I began traveling the world and had the opportunity to meet and learn from other hoopers too. Now it is my passion which I have turned into a business, Kurrent Motion Hoops (Website, FB & @kurrentmotion). Hooping is now my full-time job, or as I like to call it, my occu’passion’. This has certainly been the most life changing!
Karrie Blackburn: She Lost 75 Pounds Hooping
Philo: Tell us more about the weight loss that came from hooping? What were you doing hooping wise to lose weight?
Karrie Blackburn: I made myself a rule, I had to hoop for 5 minutes each day. If I felt like going longer, I totally would! I pushed all the furniture in my living room to the wall and put on music. Often those 5 minutes grew into an hour or more. However, if I just wasn’t feeling it, I would put the hoop down, but always in my way so I would remember to pick it up again. I never wanted hooping to feel like a chore. In the beginning I watched a number of YouTube videos to learn new movements and to keep myself interested in hooping. Within the first 2 weeks I lost 10 lbs and by 2 years I’d lost 75 lbs.
[CTV News Interview with Karrie]
Philo: And you were recently on CTV News about that too. Congratulations by the way! Do you have any other weight loss tips that you partnered with your hooping?
Karrie Blackburn: I drank a lot more water because I was exercising more. Also around the time that I picked up the hoop I had broken up with a boyfriend and quit “eating like a boy.” Basically smaller portions and being more considerate of what I was consuming.
Karrie Blackburn: Her Hooping Life
Philo: So what does your hooping life look like these days Karrie?
Karrie Blackburn: I am home in Winnipeg sharing the awesomeness of the hoop. I make hoops, teach, and perform. However, my true passion is in teaching. I’m currently working on introducing more classes around Winnipeg. I have done a lot of teaching outside of the city, but want to focus more on my own community now. I am also going to be starting to produce more tutorials on my YouTube channel, Kurrent Motion.
[Karrie performs with Vincent of Gravity Still Works at the Winnipeg Circus Club 2016 Showcase.]
Philo: What do you do when you’re not hooping?
Karrie Blackburn: I spend a lot of my time hooping! Whether it be for Kurrent Motion or as part of the Winnipeg Circus Club and Prairie Circus Guild. So on the rare occasion that I am not in my hoop I am probably watching a movie or having coffee with friends, unless it is winter – then I am skating ❤
Philo: Do you have a favorite hooping memory or two to share?
Karrie Blackburn: I would have to say it was when I attended the First Annual Irish Hoop Convention in Dublin back in 2012. This is my favourite for a number of reasons. It brought to my attention how many hoopers there are in the world. It also introduced me to hoopers who were making their living sharing their love for the hoop. It was the first time I met Emma Kenna and Gail O’Brien. Many of the movements, such as chest rolls and chicken & cradle arm, that I learned at the 2 day convention have stuck with me and really inspired my flow over the years.
Philo: What quality do you most admire in a hooper?
Karrie Blackburn: I greatly admire the desire to share and connect. I love when you see another person walk by with a hoop and you know they are a friend you simply haven’t met yet!
Philo: Right? Me too! Thanks for the chat and in closing, what advice do you have for someone just picking up a hoop for the very first time today?
Karrie Blackburn: The piece of advice I share often with my new students is the power of the word “Yet”. Often people will find themselves in a spiral of negativity and frustrations. Saying things like “I can’t do it” or “I am not good at hooping”. Simply adding the word “Yet” to the end of most negative statements changes it into a more positive outlook. Our subconscious is listening all the time and when we put ourselves down we believe it. Most importantly, practice makes possible not perfect.
Karrie Blackburn lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
Philo Hagen is the Co-founder and Managing Editor of Hooping.org. He’s been spinning things up online and off since April 2003. Co-Founder of the Bay Area Hoopers and LA Hoopers hoop groups, Philo has performed internationally and has won Hoopie Awards for Male Hooper of the Year and Video of the Year. He lives in Los Angeles, California, USA.