As I’ve mentioned before, I aim for incorporating fun exercise into my life as much as possible. If I enjoy doing something, I’m much more likely to keep doing it, both for fun, and for my health. This has lead my workout schedule to veer further away from time logged in the gym to more time outside, riding bikes, running, and more time doing yoga. It also includes more hula hooping! A few weeks ago, I dragged my old hula hoop out of storage, and took it for a spin. It brought back so many memories that I haven’t stopped thinking about hooping since.
My history with hooping started about 4 years ago. A good friend of mine told me that she had picked up the activity recently, and that she was planning on making her own hoops. I was intrigued, I didn’t know anyone over the age of 7 actually did this….and I certainly wasn’t sure it was something that interested me. Soon after, we went out one night and she brought her hoops…which she made me try…outside…in front of strangers. At the time, I was highly annoyed, because I felt like an idiot, but as the hoop just kept falling to the ground, I became more and more determined to make it work. About a week later, she gave me my very own hula hoop that she had made. I set to decorating it, making it my own, and teaching myself how to master this skill. It certainly looked so fluid and natural for her to do, so I kept at it, and eventually, the hoop started falling to the ground less often. And you know what? It was fun! So fun. I completely loved it. We would stay outside for hours at a time, listening to music, and just hooping the summer away. We learned some tricks, and caught the attention of plenty of onlookers. She started an online group for hooping and we began having weekly practice sessions, and even held a workshop at one point. It was a great little community, lots of support and fun. I even got up the guts to try spinning the fire hoop of hers a few times, what an adrenaline rush!!
Unfortunately, when I moved into the city, there weren’t any spots at our house where I felt like I could hoop. Near our house, there is our parking lot, but that’s it. The only thing preventing that from working is that I’d rather be in grass, because the tape gets all scratched up if you continually drop it on pavement. Also, a slight concern about all of our neighbors staring at me…but that’s my own problem to get over. We also have a park reasonably close, and I could easily go there, but for some reason (even more anxiety about strangers watching me, a lot more strangers?) I don’t ever feel up to doing that. So the wonderful hoop went into our storage unit and sat sad, lonely, and not fulfilling it’s twirling destiny. Until now! I felt inspired to pick it up last time we were there, and as soon as I used it, it all came rushing back. Feelings of fun, freedom and summer. There are some sad feelings as well, as that friend of mine has since passed away, but it feels good to remember her in this way. I think a big part of me misses my partner in crime, and would love to have someone to hang out with at the park, to practice with and make a fool of myself with.
Another thing I love about hooping is that it’s a great core workout, but it does not feel like it, at all, because it’s so much fun. I’ve heard many people tell me how many calories it burns, and blah blah blah, but I let all that go. It’s really just about having fun. It’s powerful too, in a quiet way, like a moving meditation. I have seen several local yoga studios holding hooping workshops recently, and it’s so exciting, to be able to share in this awesome thing with a community that I’m already a part of! These two things really go quite well together. A lot of awareness that is built through yoga is transferable to tuning into and twirling an energetic circle around your person.
Since dusting the old gal off, I went and bought my own hoop supplies. I made them all, with help from some assistants, and was even able to share them with friends of ours. We spent a lovely day, testing them out, and sitting in the shade decorating them. I have a few left, undecorated, and I ordered some really fantastic tapes from Identi-tape. I can’t wait to see what I can do with them. I plan on keeping a couple, and maybe trying to sell the last few. If I end up finding a way to sell a couple and it makes sense, I’ll keep going, and selling more.
When I used to tell people about hooping, they would laugh it off and make jokes about the circus, but it has become much more popular lately. “Fitness hoops” are being sold all over the place, and performers are using them more and more as well. It doesn’t even phase me anymore to see people at concerts, festivals, or on TV using their hoops. My next challenges are to get over it, and just use my beat up hoop in our parking lot, neighbors judgment be damned; try to sell a few; get Michael to join me in the hooping revolution. Get it? Revolution?! HA!
Have you tried hula hooping since you were a kid? Do you love it?? If not, I highly recommend that you go try it, post-haste. And not the little kid kind, they are way too light and small for an adult, you need the big kid kind, which you can find all over the internet, at some sporting goods stores or you can make your own [maybe I’ll even take some pictures of the whole process next time I do it, but I’m sure you can find those online as well, already!]. You can come hoop with me at the park, it will be worlds of fun. Worlds.