The Hippie Hippie ShakesPosted: June 25, 2012
Last week at the beach I saw something that made me stop and watch for a solid 15 minutes.
No, it wasn’t a woman in a bikini.
I saw plenty of women who’d worked on their figures and their tans. And some who’d picked out really skimpy suits.
Some guys had been working hard in the gym, their sculpted arms clear evidence of time hoisting weights. They attracted their share of attention, too.
The guy who stopped me was soft around the middle. At first I stopped not out of admiration, but maybe freakish curiosity. He had long hair and a vibe that screamed hippie, more in the way he moved than the way he looked.
He twirled two hula hoops around his body with a funky rhythm that was hypnotic, the way a belly dancer entrances her audience. This guy seemed indifferent to his audience. Maybe his audience was only me and a few other people who peeked now and then, but his joy came from mastery of his body’s connection to the hoops.
I waited for them to fall and to my surprise they didn’t.
He spun one hoop around his knees. I was certain he was losing control. Then as if to prove me wrong, he hopped one foot out and spun the hoop around one knee, the other raised high and twisting in the air. The guy had control of his hoop. As long as he wanted it to orbit his body, it was going to obey.
While I was standing there I thought of Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers. For those of you who haven’t read it, he suggests that to truly be a master of something you need to put in 10,000 hours. As I watched trick after trick I was certain this guy had put in his 10,000 hours and was a true master of the hula hoop.
He performed several tricks, but his mastery went beyond the tricks themselves. He performed with flair. You couldn’t help but feel a funky 70’s vibe when you watched. I could almost hear The Beetles singing Strawberry Fields.
A woman, I assumed she was his girlfriend, stood up to join him. She was better than anyone I’d ever seen with a hula hoop, but she didn’t compare to him.
He twirled the hoop on either side of his head, on one elbow, and sometimes he grasped it in his hand and moved it around, not twirling it, but using it as a prop for the melody in his head.
All the people who grabbed my attention that day on the beach had worked to be who they are. The women watched their diet, worked out, chose a sexy suit, and primped their hair for the beach. The muscled guys pumped iron with dedication.
Hula Guy stood out partially because he put so much time into what he loved to do and partially because he took a risk. Twirling a Hula Hoop isn’t the most masculine endeavor and when he started I bet Hula Guy encountered plenty of resistance.
He worked hard to be an artist and he has my utmost admiration for his dedication, creativity, and artistry.
What unique outlet do you pour your creative energy into?