Paddles, Breaks and Breakthroughs

Many of you who know me also know that I have been super obsessed with this video for the past year:



It started with casual amusement, and then exceptional disbelief: “I can’t do that”. 

Such an amazing video, which illustrates the point at which nothing else matters. Its just you and the hoop; a kind of zen I longed for, but felt completely intimidated by.

I started by practicing chest and shoulder hooping diligently; forwards and reverse. I found that when I used a larger, heavier hoop, I could tap into the kind of experience that I had when I was first learning; challenging, yet attainable. I ran through the instruction I know so well, guiding the hoop through the power points. Hooping in the reverse is so stinking humiliating, man…

I found a pattern that, just before admitting defeat, I would reverse direction. Hooping in my natural direction felt comfortable, yet stronger. Then I would reverse.

Over and over this happened until I felt frustrated by the “lack of speed”. I wanted to hoop like Rachel Lust. Period.

Pamela (@Pamelahoops) stopped by the office one day, and I asked her for some advice. She told me something that would change the way I approach my practice. She said, “Gab, your style can be amazing, but different from Rachel’s. You can move slow; and where you take it from there is all you”.

I realized that Rachel’s style was fast; it wasn’t that I couldn’t do it, it was that I needed to find my own way of paddling and breaking and reversals tha made sense to me.

I have practiced a little every day, but didn’t feel comfortable with the motion until now; nearly 3 weeks later. All my friends had gone home. I had a great evening with friends; food, and a little fireside vino. Earlier in the evening Ashton had shown me what she was working on; experimenting with different sized hoops, so the hoops were sill out. Everyone had left.

I put that video on my laptop; the one I have seen a million times, and listened to in my head more than that…. and practiced solo. No one to judge me, watch me, critique me. I closed my eyes, and began to hear a beat in the way my hoop kept hitting my body. Ka-clunk,-bim-bam. Ka-clunk,-bim-bam. Ka-clunk,-bim-bam…

I had crossed over. I got it now.

(Now I am really obsessed)

- Gabbi

2 Responses


January 16, 2023

i cannot get chest and shoulder hooping.


August 25, 2014

Woah! Amazing. I’m working on shoulder and chest moves at present. Learning through Hoopnotica & Deanne Love & lots more. I can get one shoulder in through the hoop when stationary and when turning but seriously lose it when I try to put in my other shoulder. The moves look so liberating. I really want to get it. I have days when I feel like it’s not going to happen and hide away from my hoop. I’ve been reading the Hoopnotica blog for the last few days and there is such a lot that I relate to regarding body image, practice, etc. It is helping me enormously. The honesty is refreshing and motivational. Thanks! X

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