Why hula hooping is not just for kids
Almost three years ago, I bought my very first hula hoop. When I was a kid, I could not figure out how to make a hula hoop work. It was like I was doing something wrong or it was broken! So many times I tried to spin that circle around my waist only to have it fall to the ground. For years I gave up on ever hula hooping.
It was a cold March when I decided to try it again. I was very sick for a month, my computer was broken, and the winter was so snowy and cold that I was confined to my bedroom. I needed to get my health and strength back, but going to the gym was out of the question. Thankfully I had my iPad and I remember watching a few hooping videos. My friends would rave about hula hooping so I figured I would see what this was all about.
I did my research and found my first hoop
I named her Big Bertha (along with many other people so feel free to call yours that too). She was a 38 inch wide in diameter, ¾ inch PE tubing with blue, silver, and black tape wrapped around. It was gorgeous. Science will tell us that the bigger and heavier an object is, the slower it will move and the less force is needed to keep it in motion. That is why most adult beginner hoops are big and heavy!
I watched tutorial after tutorial. Since I was still fairly weak, I would practice only a few minutes a day until I got winded. The more I practiced, the easier it became and the stronger I was getting. Yes, I ended up with some nasty bruises but that was all a part of learning. The more I tried, the better I became until I was hooping like a boss!
I would dedicate hours to watching videos and trying out new moves to the point where I needed to find a local community.
I located one woman who was a well know local hooper and spent time practicing with her and learning a few tricks. She invited me to Wildfire which is a retreat for flow arts that focuses on the Fire Arts. It took me the weekend to be comfortable with fire hooping, but I was able to do my first “burn”. It was exhilarating! I was very safe and took a few classes on how to prepare myself so I had the confidence.
Time passed and friendships came and went in the hooping community. I still continue my hoop journey by studying tutorials and just taking time every day to hoop. I am working on going to a few more retreats in the future and moving closer to areas that have more meetups for hula hooping.
What does hula hooping have to do with self-confidence?
Everything! When I began to hula hoop, besides being sick and isolated due to the winter, I was also getting over a breakup. It was well overdue and we parted mutually, but it still hurt. I needed to get my confidence back and begin to truly love the body I was given.
Hula hooping is great to build muscles and define a body. The more I practiced, the more I could see these lovely muscles developing. Once I step back for the rigorous practicing do I see my tone go away so I need to keep at it. It has the potential to burn 600 calories per hour. How is that for a confidence booster!
It also taught me that I can do anything I set my mind to
Not only can I now keep this circle around my waist, but I can do it when it has fire. I am able to do a lot of cool tricks both on my body and off my body. I am connected to a global community for the love of this plastic circle. It shows me how strong I am in my mind, body, and spirit. It also taught me a new skill of how to make a hula hoop as many hoopers are also crafters.
When you find yourself in a place that seems bleak, know that there is always a healthy solution that can bring you to new horizons. So pick up a hoop today and join the hooper revolution!