Hockern – Extreme Sitting!

I came across this video late last week, and wanted to share it here on the blog.  It depicts the sport/activity of Hockern, which apparently comes from Germany.  The hocker is basically a tube with a round plastic seat on each end.  You use it by flipping it around, throwing it in the air, etc, and most of the tricks seem to finish with sitting back down on one end of the hocker.  It’s sort of like a more static version of skateboarding – you can do flips and whatnot, but you don’t need to worry about the wheels or actually landing/balancing on the hocker most of the time. (Email subscribers can see the video by clicking on the title of this post).

I’m a bit conflicted about this.  On the one hand, I’ve always found these sorts of random tricks pretty cool – I did after all spend 10+ years as a professional juggler (I was actually invited to literally run away and join a circus during my MSc… there are days when that seems like a pretty good option!).  If I was a teenager I’d almost certainly have a hocker myself.  And while it looks easier than skateboarding, that’s not entirely a bad thing – it’s good to have options for people with different abilities, and to have a stepping stone that might entice someone who isn’t quite ready to jump into more intense activities head-first.

But on the other hand, it’s still odd that there is a new sport that is built around sitting.  Take this quote from the video:

…you can do a lot of tricks with it and sit down comfortably.

We do enough sitting in developed nations, so much in fact that it is having a substantial negative health impact.  The last thing that we need to do is come up with ways to make sitting more ubiquitous.  If anything, we need to have less chairs in our lives, so that sitting can be optional, rather than the default.  I realize I’m going a bit over the top, but when people (especially young people) think sitting is an extreme sport it suggests we need to re-evaluate things.

So am I being a cranky old fart (“back in my day we had to stand up whenever we wanted to do entertaining party tricks!”) or is Hockern the end of life as we know it?  I look forward to the comments :)

Hock ‘n Roll!


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