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Hoop Dreams

A couple months ago, I decided to give the hula hoop a serious try.  I was trying to come up with an activity that I could do that would contribute to my quest for greater fitness and weight loss, one that wouldn’t necessarily feel like a workout.  I thought I had a better chance at sticking with it if it was just fun.

I bought a hoop online, one of the weighted ones that is for fitness, rather than hoop dancing or tricks.  There were a multitude of warnings online about the pain and bruising that would ensue after the first day of use.  It wasn’t muscle soreness, it’s simply the fact that you have a weighted plastic ring whipping around your mid-section – not the norm – for 20-30 minutes, in my case.  The body isn’t used to that particular punishment, so you’re sore for a day.

 The hoop arrived, I put it together and got to gyrating.  It was a LOT of fun and with my favorite workout playlist blasting, I could easily envision an addiction developing post haste.  On top of that, I didn’t have any bruising on my mid-section the next day at all!  I went at it the second day with a vengeance, reveling in my superiority to the punk ass reviewers who had fallen victim to midriff pain on account of their fragile countenances and delicate sensibilities.  Weaklings!!

Premature hubris. 

Movement, coughing and laughing all proved quite painful and difficult on Day Three as my flesh protested the beating it had taken the days prior.  Humbling, especially when you wrongly assumed it was elite skill that delayed it initially and not happenstance.

As many of us do, I started out with a great deal of enthusiasm about the hoop for a couple of weeks, putting in a half hour or so most days…and then I let travel knock me off my game.  I used it sporadically a few more times and then it got stuck behind the guest room door.

Here’s the deal:  I’m approaching 42 years old and I am struggling with a very uncomfortable weight gain.  We’re approaching the fall, which is my absolute favorite season and I want to be able to wear my jeans, boots, sweaters and football tees (Go Steelers!!!) comfortably and look and feel good in them!  In order to do this, certain changes have to be made that include diet and activity.  I can guarantee I’ll be discussing more on that soon, but for right now, let’s just focus on the fact that…

The hoop is back in my life.

When you look at YouTube and see amazing videos of both seasoned pros and relative novices being able to do really cool tricks and dances to their favorite music, you want a piece of that!  It’s beautiful, sexy and athletic and I have no doubt I can rock the hoop if I keep at it.  I’ve been a swimmer, a gymnast, a gym rat and a runner.  And unfortunately, largely sedentary, the last few years.  The hula hoop is my gateway exercise back into the realm of the active.

My challenges?

{C}·       A house with small rooms that don’t allow for just standing and hooping, let alone practicing tricks

{C}·       It’s f-ing HOT outside!!

{C}·       A self-consciousness about showcasing my lack of skill out in the yard or nearby park


…because of course EVERYONE in the neighborhood is looking at ME trying to hoop, instead of going about their day.  I know it’s ridiculous, but considering that I almost nailed myself in the face 3 times while doing my thing in the driveway yesterday…I don’t want that to be my YouTube hoop video.

Anyway.  What’s more important?  Self-consciousness or health (and shit hot jeans/boots combos in November-what what)?  I know I’ll suck it up and go out to the drive or the beautiful park I live near and just deal because I want to be in shape and this is a step toward that.  And fcuk anyone who laughs at me!!  I also would love, love, LOVE to rock out a badass routine to one of my favorite songs!  You know, just be all blasé in the park, like: “Oh, this?  No big deal, I just come here sometimes and become one with my hoop to “’When I Grow Up’ by the Pussycat Dolls.  It’s just part of my life.”  Once I get to that point, I will probably start missing work. 

Look for me at the next Candler Park festival.