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Welcome! I’m so glad you’re here. I thought I was going to be the only one! Pull up a chair (pick the comfortable one, with good back support) and tell me about something new you’ve tried recently. How did you get started? How did it feel once you got going?

I’m asking because I’ve been procrastinating over writing this post for months now. Performance anxiety! Excuses galore!

Starting a new routine can be challenging, especially when you’re worried about not being good at it right from the start (me!), having people laugh at you when you flop (c’est moi!), or wearing the wrong type of gear that causes horrible chaffing (been there! ).

Starting something new can also be exhilarating, belly-laughter inducing, and maybe a little sweaty. Instead of writing about how analgesic creams like A535 work, as originally planned, I thought an infinitely more inspiring jumping off point would be to take you where all the joy (and aforementioned sweatiness) was found in starting this new blog. Exhibit A:

That's Allison Tarr, rockin' her hoop. Ever since I heard friends enthusiastically talking about hoopdancing under the tutelage of the lovely Allison, I’ve been intrigued. And a little bashful. And giddy with excitement. For those who know me well, I am that person who stands politely in the periphery at the free concert, supporting performers enthusiastically with my toe-tapping and head swaying micro-movements. So how did it come to pass that there was no cajoling necessary, for this first-timer, to become a part of the “hoop-happening” at the Withrow Park farmer’s market last Saturday? How did anybody resist the magnetic pull of those hoops?

what flair!

Nicole demonstrates T-Rex hands for the camera.

Hooping never looked so good! Beautifully (and unintentionally) colour coordinated.

What an afternoon. Aside from pretty much smiling from ear to ear for two hours straight, I also got to hang out with some of my favourite people, share some lovely moments with adventurous and curious market-goers, and feel my abdominal muscles for the first time in a very long while. Cardio and core exercises have never been this much fun. Really.

Factors that make these hoops excellent confidence boosters and so much easier to work with than the hoops of our childhood, are their size (larger hoops are much easier to work with and keep up) and the friction tape that they are wrapped with, which help them “stick” to you. And if that isn’t enough incentive, how about aspiring to being able to bust out all these amazing moves (crank the volume, if you please).

And did I mention the amazing live music? We had the pleasure of listening to Laura and Mark of Montague street play acoustic guitar and sax for a better part of the day. The high point was when they covered The Office theme song. I did my little happy dance (actually, more of a jerky shuffle), with a hoop and not a care in the world. I just wanted it to go on forever.

Hooping and blogging. The mojo is back. I can’t believe I waited so long to take the leap! Whether it involves setting aside time for creative pursuits, starting an exercise routine that supports your desire for a healthier lifestyle, or making a conscious decision to put less on your “to do” list, I hope your own fresh start will enjoy some new momentum too! Onwards…

Feel like having your own “hoopiphany”? Allison will be back at the Withrow Park Farmer’s Market at 11 am on Saturday Aug 29 and September 12. She also teaches classes in Toronto. For more info:

Allison’s website Positive Spin Hoops

Withrow Park Farmer’s Market website

Michelle Yee, aka "The Soft Mechanic", is a Registered Massage Therapist in Leslieville
. To find out more about me, please click here.
You can also find more information at:
my website
my other blog:

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Comment by Soft Mechanic - Michelle Yee RMT on August 13, 2009 at 11:56am
Thanks Nolin! Looking forward to getting into the groove of my new blogging routine. Hoops always make it more fun!
Comment by Nolin (Admin) on August 13, 2009 at 11:39am
Love this! It's like Cirque du Soleil. :) Thanks for posting, Michelle!

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