Sunday, September 13, 2009


I've discovered a new activity . . . and I like it. It's healthy, creative, ab-toning (woohoo!), and just plain fun. If you follow me on Twitter, you'll have seen my tweets on the topic. It's . . . hula hooping!

Hula hooping?

I heard that. And you're right. It's a little . . . random. But bear with me.

Let's rewind a few months. Toward the end of the last school year, I saw that the YMCA was offering a hoop dancing class. I was intrigued, but unable to attend due to my schedule. No matter, I thought. I planned to start attending during the summer vacation. Unfortunately, the class disappeared with the dwindling school year.

But my interest was still piqued. Ever the resourceful blogger, I got to Googling. I discovered that apparently hula hooping as an art and a sport (a.k.a. hoop dancing) is more widespread than I expected. Even better, there are instructional DVDs. With the blessings of Netflix, I was soon watching Hoopnotica's Level One DVD in the comfort of my living room, $5 Target toy hoop in hand (or on waist, as the case may be).

It was . . . frustrating. This is truly an instructional video, not a dance or aerobics workout. It provides you with the building blocks to create your own dance. At the time, I just wanted to sweat. The DVD went back to Netflix, and I stashed my hoop in a corner for the rest of the summer.

Until now. As you know, I recently completed my first triathlon (yeehaw!). I also set my running shoes working toward a new goal, the hefty half-marathon. Somewhere during the process of training for both, I upset my left hip. It could be the IT band, it could be something else. For now, though, I'm keeping my activity low-impact. Reenter the frustration. I love being active, feeling strong, and pushing myself hard. When I can't, I feel . . . bleah.

But then I remembered my hoop. Hoop dancing is low-impact, great for the core, and a heart-rate booster as well. Perfect for my unhappy hip. I looked up some more hooping resources (check out Hoop City -- SaFire, the site owner and hooping guru, pretty much rocks) and found myself sold. I downloaded as many tutorials as I could get my paws on, and then just rocked out to my favorite music while hooping. I think I spent at least 2.5 hours hooping this weekend.

You might not call what I do hoop dancing, exactly. Not yet, anyway. But, as clumsy as I look and silly as I feel when I see myself attempting to hoop (as in the video below), I like it. A lot.


  1. Hi! I found you when I searched "hooping" on twitter.Welcome to hoop dance! SaFire is great isn't she? You are already developing a beautiful flow. I really highly suggest buying an "adult" hoop, especially one that's "sticky" (lots of grip tape). Hoopnotica, Hoopgirl, and Philthy Hoops are all good, and there are also many folks selling on etsy. Hooping is such a great activity and I think its very cool that you shared your photos and video.

  2. You are incredible! I am constantly impressed and inspired by your sense of adventure and ability to take on new challenges. My fear (of everything) keeps me from trying new things and taking on challenges. I am so impressed and perhaps envious of your willingness to go for it. I need to find that in myself. Reading about your many triumphs is helping.

  3. It's great fun, isn't it? :-) I'll second what Kris said - you'll be amazed by the difference a larger hoop with grippy tape can make. The adult hoops are wider and a bit heavier, so it's easier to do tricks with them. Happy hooping!


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