Sunny Winter Hooping


hoops & feet

Tokyo has the best winter weather. The skies are blue, the sun warms the day just enough to let me peel off my coat and layers to expose shoulders and feet. January has perfect afternoons for hooping, though the legwarmers, shirts and woolly knits go back on as soon as the sun slips behind the rooftops.

I was out in the park with my hoops for two hours yesterday and for another two today. It was almost too beautiful to stop and I am scraped and bruised and ever so slightly achy all over, just the way I like it. I have 15 days to get myself back into decent hooping form to avoid embarrassment when I meet my friends and make new friends at the Sydney Juggling Convention and CircusFest.

However, I'm not going to be embarrassed even though I am soft from too many Christmas cookies and rusty from taking nearly two months off from hooping after Spin Matsuri. I am who I am and I can do what I do. I try to accept myself and my hooping as it is. There's no comfort in comparing myself to others. There are much better hoopers than me in every genre. They are young, fast, flexible, professional, creative and generally amazing. They are great inspiration but I do not strive to be them.

Which isn't to say I'm not trying to improve, explore, or make progress in my hooping. I am and I do, but it's a challenge that's internally motivated: Be strong! Be engaged! Figure this out! Be joyful!

Yesterday I decided that one of my weak points in hooping is using vertical space - namely getting down low. I tend to topple or lose my footing when I bend my knees in dynamic motion. So I worked on that and on some floorwork. I think I have "tossing a hoop from your foot in a random direction" perfected. I wish I could do the foot-to-foot pass as consistently. I played with some circus-y tricks and just danced for a while. It was fun. I smiled a lot.

Today I brought out my smaller hoops because they will be lighter to travel with and I want to get used to them again. These are 85 cm, rather than the 95 cm hoops I've been playing with lately, so they are enough smaller to make me work faster. I did a lot of core hooping to let my muscle memory recall the pace. Then I did floorwork again and some leaping. I puzzled through transitions on some poi-based moves and played with four hoops at once. I hit myself in the head frequently. It was fun. I swore a lot.

The weather reports for the rest of the week says partly sunny with highs between 7 and 12. Looks like I will be out in the park again!


The beach is fantastic, but it's been windy down here and I've only managed a few blocks of 10 or 20 min hooping on occasional days... But I'm not beating myself up over that either.

Hi Kristen,
I just listened an audio book recited by you, I wondered the owner of such an impressive voice and tone, and the link brought me here.
By the way are you really living in Tokyo? What a coincidence so am I. I really think you have a great voice.

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