by Beth Boswell Jacks
ready for a new Hula Hoop era.”
~ Barry Shapiro
Hmmph! I don’t think so. Tell me another toy that’s quite as mesmerizing while affording terrific exercise to the shimmy-shaker? A bike is exhilarating but not mesmerizing. A pogo stick is jerky. Jump ropes jar your innards. Most other sports require a partner or partners. The Hula Hoop wins, hands down.
My grandsons, Wayne (10) and Jacks (6), are pros. Wayne is older and more expert – he can spin the hoop around his knees and neck as well as his torso; Jacks is learning fast. He can whirl the thing forever around his waist. Those two are the Tiger Woods of Hula Hooping, no doubt about it, and will cash in on their expertise one of these days.
You laugh, but I’m (half) serious. Hula Hoops may be reaching middle-age, but they’re coming back with a vengeance. Their devotees are legion. I read where one guy said that every time he watches Hoopies he has “renewed hope for the human race.”
How profound is that?
For several years, hoop popularity soared, and the early duration record was achieved by three 11-year olds in August, 1960. Paulette Robinson, Charles Beard and Patsy Jo Grigby actually spun the hoops around their bodies for 11 hours and 34 minutes before the contest was called.
Surely these three were a team working in tandem. I mean, there had to be food and bathroom breaks, but you know if you read it on the Internet it’s bound to be true, right?
The current duration record, according to Wikipedia.com, is held by a gal named Roxann Rose. She hooped 90 hours over a period of 4 days in April, 1987. Another guy currently holds the record for spinning the most hoops at the same time – 105. And then there’s the fellow named Roman Schedler; he recently spun a 53 pound tractor tire for 71 seconds around his middle during an Austrian festival.
Obviously, in the last 20 years things are looking up for the hooping crowd. Just 7 years ago in Taiwan, almost 2,300 folks met in a (very) large town square to hoop in unison. Don’t you know that was a joyous occasion? And there are now World Championship festivals where competitors shake their stuff with moves ranging from “Knee Knockers” to “Wrap the Mummy.” I get excited thinking about the energy of it all – not since the “Twist” has there been a more revolutionary movement!
And that’s it – all the advice you’ll ever need to conquer everything from the “Hula Hop” to the “Alley Oop.”
Happy Birthday, Hula Hoops! Here’s hoping you wiggle, waggle and wobble another 50 years. I’ll watch.
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For stories at USADS by columnist Beth Boswell Jacks, click here: SNIPPETS
And find even more here: MORE SNIPPETS
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