Thursday, June 2, 2011

Moving Beyond Physical Exploration in (my) Hoop Practice

I thought of a new word for my three words to describe my hooping: emotional. 

I am a very emotional person. Ugh. Oh how I have fought that fact forever. I always wanted to be one of the 'cool' girls - hardened, jaded, and good at things like pool and changing a tire. Well. I can't change a tire, am an embarrassment to myself and others when playing pool and have found that being jaded is only a thin veil for what usually turns out to be a very emotional person after all - so I may as well embrace reality, yes? 

This past week away was wonderful - but, as travel can be - it was also stressful and exhaustive. My body was very ready to release the tension of the week with an intense practice, but I knew that after so much time of only periodic hooping my body was also not ready for a physically strenuous practice.

Inspired by Shannon's blog about the difference between a hooper and a hoop dancer, I set an intention to think of the hoop as a partner during my practice session. I danced to Regina Spektor's (yes, I am on a real kick with her) Chemo Limo about a mother who is dying of cancer and has a dream that it magically goes away and she is able to take care of her four young children instead of dying due to an inability - and mocking unwillingness - to pay for treatment. 

As I listened to the song I envisioned being the mother and thinking of her reactions as she rides along in the limo she rents as a last hurrah of a stylish lifestyle that she will never have. She angrily thinks about how she would rather pay for the limo than stupid chemotherapy, which is failing to save her, costing an exorbitant fee and making her unable to care for her children. On the aimless ride in the car she watches her four children. The song makes the emotional connection easy. The vivid descriptions of the children's nuanced behaviors throughout the ride hint at the mother's attempt to cling to what is happening now because she realizes that there may not be much more. It was an intense practice, indeed.

I found a wonderful outlet for my enjoyment of emotional exploration by incorporating it into my hoop practice. So much easier than learning to change a tire.

As I progress I am trying to move beyond physical progress and delve more deeply into emotional and mental exploration. I am trying to fully embrace what I can bring to my practice that is specific to me instead of an imitation of someone else.

So...that whole...not being an emotional person thing? Not really working out. But that whole stress release thing? Totally got it.


claudiahays said...

^ love this ^

some of my favorite moments I've experienced while hooping is being able to connect to an emotion and playing that emotion out during my flow. It's totally difficult to attain, though, and I must say I'm impressed in the way you are able to simply turn that on. Fucking beautiful.

Shannon said...

Are you emotional to the point that if you watch a really compelling commericial, say the ASCPCA commericails or even hear about the death of a mother who sacrificed her life, that you start to cry? Cause that's how bad I am. :( I tried to be hardened and I think it made me an awful person to be around.

KymSpins said...

No, not to that extent. It's more that I am easily able to put myself into the emotional mindset of someone else - empathetic (at times, yes - to a fault.)

I just gave up trying to be something I am not. Ya know? If you aren't hardened - pffhht - what of it? :)