I've followed Sarah Janssen's blogging at Walk Slowly Live Wildly for a long time now. Including her blogging about hooping. Yes, hula hooping has gone to the grown ups. Before seeing it on her blog, I honestly had no idea. And hoop dancing...wow! So beautiful.
This past July, I finally purchased a basic "naked" hoop from etsy. It'sade out of irrigation tubing, and isn't exactly perfectly round, something I'm trying to figure out how to fix. I covered the hoop in duct tape rather than pretty colorful gaffers tape that is commonly used, as I knew it would be getting scraped up from falls, drops, and runaway spins. All of those things have happened and there are holes in the duct tape now.
I couldn't hoop for most of August. It was just too hot to work up a sweat outside in the humidity! Finally, nights are cooling down. After the kids are asleep, once the baby has nursed, I find myself heading outside most nights. The only plus side to hubby's nasty smoking habit is that even on nights I don't feel like hooping, I wind up outside to tell him something. If I waited until he was done smoking, I would forget. Motherhood has left me with a swiss cheese brain. When I go out there to talk to Kelton, I wind up grabbing the hoop to keep my hands busy.
When I started with that 38" hoop, I could waist hoop for maybe minute at most before it started it's twirling drop to the ground. Though the hoop has a way of crashing into my ankle or shin on the way down. A painful reminder to keep practicing! I quickly became a fan of hooping with my hand, my arm above my head.
Now I have waist hooping down, and am trying to learn to waist hoop in the opposite direction. Learning new moves is the ultimate lesson in humility. The second I start thinking maybe I don't look completely spastic, that hoop gies flying off my body, leaving me running after it and laughing at myself. The fact that nobody can see me is another benefit to night hooping.
A week or so ago, I started praying while hooping. I don't own an mp3 player, and have no ear buds for my phone, so I've been hooping silently from the start. Prayer definitely helped that, and I find my prayers while hooping feel more natural ans less forced. It has been an unexpected blessing to find a new way to connect with God.
Tonight I took the phone out and laid it in a chair with Pandora on while I hooped. Suddenly, I was trying tricks I'd been afraid to try before. I was moving more when hooping with my arms over my head. It might have even been able to be mistaken for dancing! Which is amazing, because I have no skills on the dance floor! For the first time it clicked in my head that I could, with a LOT more practicing, dance with my hoop like the women in all the amazing videosy daughters and I have poured over on YouTube.
Speaking of the girls, my dad bought them hoops from the toy store. They love them. The seven year old loves using my hoop, too. A testament to how short I am, I can share a hoop with a 7 year old! I am looking forward to family hooping trips to the park.
Since beginning to hoop, I feel more comfortable in my skin. I feel more connected to my body, I can feel muscles working that haven't worked in a long time! I'm happier and find hooping really helpful when I'm feeling anxious or have had a crazy hard day patenting. I'm so grateful I found hooping! I think I may ask for hooping lessons for Christmas this year, since I pick things up a lot quicker when somebody is right next to me showing me what to do.
Have you ever found yourself loving something you never thought you'd like doing?