Veronica Harris from Houston, Texas isn’t your average fitness fanatic.
That’s because this 54-year-old roller skating superstar can skate and hula hoop at the very same time.
Even more impressive is that she can do it all backwards, holding the record title for the longest duration roller skating backwards while hula hooping, with 33 minutes 1 second.
Veronica smashed two records in one day and also holds the record for the longest duration roller skating backwards while spinning three hula hoops, with 5 minutes 4 seconds.
“I love skating, but I am passionate about hula hooping,” said Veronica.
“I love the challenge of trying to make the hula hoop do what is in my brain. It takes months to learn a trick and that’s OK. Life is a journey, not a marathon.”
Veronica says that like most people, she learned to skate alongside her friends as a child.
She never had any formal lessons and was able to just “figure it out.”
She also hula hooped a few times as a child but later re-learned and perfected her technique.
Veronica wanted to find a way to strengthen her core without doing sit-ups, which she found boring and painful.
“One day the idea of hula hooping came to me, and a quick internet search confirmed that hula hooping was an excellent core workout,” she said.
“So, I bought a weighted hula hoop and quickly got a reality check since hula hooping was not like getting on a bike.”
With time, Veronica became a bit more courageous and decided to attempt her tricks simultaneously while moving backwards.
“It is not natural for us to move backwards, so in order to learn how to skate backwards I did it slowly,” said Veronica.
“I took my time and was not hard on myself. I kept at it until one day it clicked, and I was skating backwards.”
Veronica believes that sticking to an intense training regime helped her significantly.
She would wake up at 4 a.m. and go to an outdoor hockey rink to practise.
“It was dark but quiet and the stillness of the darkness allowed me that ability to focus without the distractions of a busy world,” said Veronica.
“I am an airline pilot and on the days that I was not flying I would get up at 4 a.m. and practise and then practise again in the evening.
“On the days I was flying, I would bring my hula hoop with me on my trips.”
Veronica says being able to hula hoop while skating backwards takes a ton of concentration.
She believes if her mind is not engaged in what she is doing, the hoops won’t be engaged either.
“The hoops should move around your body effortlessly,” said Veronica.
“They should feel like a part of you.”
Although it took plenty of time and effort, Veronica says she was eventually able to get the hoops to spin around her body as if they had always been there.
Although Veronica says there are risks of getting hurt while performing her tricks, she doesn’t allow them to intimidate her.
“In my mind, I only fall if I don’t get up,” said Veronica.
“Fortunately, I was a clumsy child and fell all the time, so I am an ACE at knowing how to fall without hurting myself.”
Veronica is amazed by her Guinness World Records title and believes that practise pays off and that you are never too old to chase your dreams.
And she says anyone wanting to attempt to break similar records needs to practise as much as possible.
“You have to get to know your hoops,” said Veronica.
“You must also master your mind.”
And she’s not stopping there. Veronica next hopes to earn the record title for the longest duration roller skating while hula hooping around the neck.
“Many people have asked me why I decided to go for a Guinness World Records title,” said Veronica.
“I wanted to show people that it is never too late to go for it.”
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