Why I Hoop (Hula, That Is)


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  65 comments   :  16,996 Views

Normally, I’m not athletically-inclined. I took marching band to get out of gym. For me, to like something that resembles a sport is nothing short of a Christmas Miracle. Hooping is my sport and I'm not joking when I say I love it. Maybe it’s more an art form than a sport. Not that I'm graceful at it, but it's expressive and joyful. As hippy or cheesy as that sounds, it's true. I chug along on my elliptical, do strength training and lots of other things. And that’s all good. But hooping brings me joy; it makes me laugh. Belly laugh. While exercising. That’s new territory for me.

YouTube sucked me in. I saw a hooper doing things we never dreamed of doing with our hula hoops in the 70's. All I could think was, "That looks like fun and is there any way in the world I can do it?" I did enough research to learn that I had to have an adult-sized hoop. The little kiddie ones from the toy store wouldn't cut it. So, I ordered a moderately heavy hoop and started waist hooping. For TWO years. Try as I might, I could never do any tricks. I didn't know that my hoop was too heavy for that stuff. I didn't know anybody who hooped, and had no idea who to ask.

Finally, I broke down and ordered a lighter, dance hoop. I didn't think I'd actually be able to use it, but decided to try anyway. Then, I found the Hula Hoop All Stars SparkTeam with links to websites, tutorials and hoopers--lots of hoopers. Turns out, there's a whole subculture of "flow artists"-- hoopers, poi spinners, jugglers, fire artists. Who knew? I found a tutorial that explained a basic lift and promised my SparkBuddies I'd post a vlog when I learned how to do it. I learned. I posted. And everything went hoop crazy.

I couldn’t get enough of it; still can’t. I’d find myself hooping in the backyard for over an hour, sweat dripping off my hair, stopping only because I had to do laundry or cook dinner. It’s crazy. And the workout is no joke. When you’re really doing this stuff, it’s a full-body, cardio/toning workout. And your core—oh, how you work your core! When you first start, it feels like you’ve been doing crunches for days.
Now I’m in a hoop class, so I actually have someone to teach me cool stuff! There’s always another trick to learn, a new hoop to try. Better yet, hooping is something I share with my daughter. And boy, how I love to spread the hoop love. When friends come to the house, they try the hoops. Cookout in the backyard? Break out the hoops. And you know what? It always leads to smiles and laughter. And that, my friends, is why I hoop.

Check out MOSTMOM1's SparkPage for more hooping inspiration (and awesome video blogs!)

Have you tried hula hoooping?

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  • 15
    I was in band too and I loved getting out of PE because of it.

    And oh how you make me want to pick up hooping! - 3/20/2012   9:01:27 PM
    So Great. I wish I could Hoop. - 3/20/2012   8:53:33 PM
  • 13
    Wow! Looks like SO much fun!!! And yes, you DO rock!!!! Love your blog. - 3/20/2012   8:50:56 PM
  • 12
    You totally rock!!! - 3/20/2012   8:40:07 PM
    Shelli is the light of sunshine here on Spark. I'm waiting for her to be asked to become a Sparkpeople employee and hopefully she will conduct hula hoop workout videos and then I will definitely buy a hoop. Great inspiring article but I wouldn't expect anything else from the author. O.K., I'm a fan! - 3/20/2012   8:38:57 PM
  • 123ELAINE456
    I tried it and never could do anything with it. You are amazing. Exercising and having fun at the same time is the best of two worlds. Your videos are out of sight. Thet are so much fun and enjoyable to watch. I watch them over and over at times. I like them so much. WAY TO GO. God Bless You and Have a Wonderful Week. - 3/20/2012   8:21:34 PM
  • 9
    So cool and fun!! - 3/20/2012   7:57:40 PM
  • 8
    I have always wanted to hula hoop. I don't know why I can't do it, even as a kid I couldn't keep the hoop going. It goes around once or twice and then heads for the ground. - 3/20/2012   7:54:17 PM
  • 7
    This is the coolest thing I've heard about in awhile! I want to try it! - 3/20/2012   7:54:09 PM
  • 6
    I used to win medals for hula-hooping every year at the "beach Olympics" our town did. Once I learned how to "bump" the hoop, I never dropped it. This makes me want to try it again! - 3/20/2012   7:48:16 PM
  • 5
    I need to try this again---you've inspired me! You make it look like so much fun! I used to be the hula hoop champion of my neighborhood, but that was a looonngg time ago. I'll have to check out the tutorials again. Any favorites? - 3/20/2012   7:33:44 PM
  • 4
    I just might have to try this at home. In private. LOL - 3/20/2012   7:17:11 PM
  • 3
    Glad you found something that helps you exercise as well as have a lot of fun doing it. I have not tried this since I was a kid many years ago. - 3/20/2012   6:35:59 PM
  • 2
    Your blogs are the most fun to read. Thanks for sharing! - 3/20/2012   6:33:41 PM
  • 1
    Amazing, I think I will try it. Yeah! - 3/20/2012   6:09:12 PM

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