Thursday, November 19, 2009

Doing it all!

No matter the ups and downs my trusty hoops have been there for me! A lasting passion through every storm. It's so important to have a passion in life, that way, no matter what is thrown at you there is a place where solace can be found.

For me, it's always inside the hoop. It's amazing when something really seems to stick. Everyone has phases - a show they can't miss, a song on repeat 50 times a day, a dish they crave... but they usually fade in and out. With hooping it's different. I have been trying to pinpoint why it brings growing numbers so much joy. Maybe it's because you can lose yourself. Maybe because you feel connected to something, though I can't place my finger on what exactly that is -

Or maybe that something is yourself. Passions, hobbies, adventures - they all include variables apart from you. Money (of course), but also they so often include things others made or did that you are now taking part in. The movie was made by others, the song, the dish - so often fun is had by doing things that make you feel connected to others. Which, is wonderful - and, can certainly be true of a big group hoop jam. But, with hooping all you really need to get that peaceful yet exhilarated glow is you. You and your hoop create something singular each time.

It's a peaceful place.

The body, the mind, and the hoop.

I'm so glad that this one stuck

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Healing Hoop

... Tissues, Coffee...

and hoops.

That's been my existence these past few days. I have succumb to the cold and flu season early on, despite my best, Purell laden, intentions...

Now, here's the thing. Even with my sore throat, runny nose, achy EVERYTHING... I still couldn't resist my hoop. I would look at it and think... "now, come on - you know that's not a good plan. You are already dizzy. Just lay and rest. Rest! No... no don't do it... "

but - alas - before I knew it I had picked up my sparkly little hoop, headed out back and spun my heart out.

And. It felt AMAZING.

Seriously, when I was hooping I was thinking - man! this is great! I feel wondrful! Maybe I am not sick afterall. But then I'd stop... grab some tissues, the pressure in my sinuses and head would swell again and, as my ears started throbbing, I would get undeniable confirmation that yes, yes... I was definitely sick.

But, I continued to hoop all weekend.

I certainly couldn't go as long as I normally can and I wasn't quite as coordinated as usual (though that's hard to tell with ol' klutzy mcgee over here...) - but it really just felt GREAT!

Whether or not hooping when you are ill is something a doctor would prescribe is a mystery. All I know is that it felt good! Small spurts of intense energy to get the heart, body and laughter pumping when you are cooped up in a sick den all weekend -

I'll take it!

The funny thing is - when I tried to do some regular activity - even just a walk up the street to buy cold medicine - it felt horrible. I guess there really was more to hooping's healing powers than just getting the body going.

I guess doing something you love can always make you feel better.

Now I know... hooping can cure it all - from saddness to sniffles.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Business of Hooping

One of the inevitabilities of becoming an avid hooper is learning how to contruct your own hoops. New tricks seem like they would work better with a smaller, bigger, heavier, or lighter hoop - you watched a video and were in awe of the mini's with which someone was rocking out. You must have them. ALL!

At this stage it seems impractical to purchase a hoop from one of the online resources - especially since the majority of online hoops are of the 'beginniners' variety. You learn how to constuct and tape and your collection slowly (or rapidly) builds - then, one day you realize - hey - I could probably sell a few of these!

You are now not just a hooper. But, an entrepreneur. A hooperpreneur. hahaah....

I have been in the throws of this more business mentality for a while now and the changes that it brings are suprising.

The joy of sharing hooping with others doesn't seem to fade - but the impact on my personal time is defitely sizable!

The thing is, now that I've started teaching and selling - I don't know that I can stop! I don't have a back-up sub for my classes, nor a staff to help with hoop orders. When I started I highly doubted the need for these things!

This is my learning period. From this time, I would definitely encourage any hoopers considering selling or teaching to think about back up plans in case of illness or exhaustion for classes, and to create hoop order forms with long enough wait times to allow for a few distruptions in orders to happen.

Invite friends to help you out, and have a reliable person as your 'partner' to help with orders and possibly sub classes. Working out payment, how to split up duties and all the other business jazz that merits discussion is something I haven't figured out - as I am flying solo in my hoop journey! I have great folks with whom to hoop, and friends have offered to help with hoop construction - but having a definite hoop making partner would certainly be a help when classes begin and the order crunch is upon us!

Teaching, sharing and creating has been a great experience overall, and I am so excited to continue - and expand - my hoop ventures. Just need to work out the kinks.

Of course, a life sans day job would certainly free up more hoop time - but business isn't THAT booming. That's the difficulty with hooping - it is fun, and when there is a financial gain as well - that's great! But, turning it INTO a day job is a tough prospect.

For now, I am enjoying the stability of a day job and excitment and bliss of my HoopLife.

But... a sick day off from both now and then wouldn't hurt!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A break from the Hoop

Things have been crazy.

Usually when things get crazy I amp up my hoop time to clear my mind and laugh through the stress. But sheesh.. recently I have barely had time to think - let alone hoop!

It's been almost 2 weeks! I think that is probably the longest I have gone sans hoop for all of 2009. It's strange what being without the hoop can do. For the first few days it actually felt refreshing in a way - kind of the "eureka moment" effect. Distancing yourself from something can give you new insight and ideas. I was daydreaming about tricks, sequences, flow... I was happy to get a break from the routine I almost habitually was doing. So, at first... it was nice.

But now I am feeling kind of glum.

I miss my hoops...

I am a total cheese head for saying so... but I feel like a part of me is missing.

Hooping is not like anything else. It is a time when I can forget the lists, should's, to-do's, what's next... and just, be. in. the. moment.

I love being busy. Going out. Getting things done. Challenging myself and all that jazz - but, hooping is something just for me. I miss that. Another odd part about all this is that hoops are still taking up a lot of my time. But it's time that is not truly for me - I am teaching, making and selling hoops - which, I love - but, it is not the same as clearing a space for yourself to let loose and get lost.

Thankfully, as this week zooms along and the next one comes to a close things shooould be getting back to normal.

Soon I will have a big yard. A vast collection of hoops. and... most importantly, the time to enjoy them.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Letting Things Go & New Connections

Becoming "a hooper" has changed my whole identity - or, rather, completed it.

Sure, I had a decent idea of who I was before the hoop - but it was a work in progress at best. Describing myself awyas consisted of those horribly bland adjectives that everyone uses - "smart, funny..." and of course under hobbies, the ubiquitous, "likes to read." Ugh.

Man! I wanted an exciting hobby. Windsurfing. Mountain Climbing. Cave Diving. But, those things took a LOT of time, money, training... and ...well, did I say money?

Then of course, I found the hoop. For relatively cheap I had something intriguing to say about myself. This lead to a personality shift - or, really, discovery. Suddenly, I was outgoing, adventurous, garrulous, free-spirited, open-minded ... more and more! I became a teacher. I met new people everywhere I went. And the best part was, having this new passion did not feel foreign - it brought out the person I always felt I was.


I could finally let a LOT of stuff [finally, finally, finally] GO.

Bad relationships were in the past, and I could finally KEEP them there. I didn't spend time thinking about what this person or that person were doing now. Pfft - why dwell, when I can go hoop?

My Body was MY body - my one and only body I would ever have - it allowed me to embrace this new art - so I may as well stop hating it so much.

Hooping pushed me out of the stagnant "smart, funny... like to read" rut I had been in, for longer than I had realized. Or, rather, me becoming a hooper, helped me to become so much more!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Other Hoopers!

I think the biggest things missing in my hoop repetoire is ... well, other hoopers! My move from my home state to my current residence is still somewhat fresh, and I am just now getting on my feet with the whole house and job thing. I've made friends - but, it still feels like something is missing without more hoopers readily available.

The problem with classes offered in the area is that 1) they are scarce, and 2) I teach one of the few options! It's GREAT to see new people discover the wonderous-ness of the hoop, but its difficult to connect fully when they are just starting and I am more experienced. I remember when I was first learning everything, it was difficult to be around better hoopers for a full out jam session. On the one hand, it was fantastic to learn from their moves, but it got a bit frustrating to stand there waist hooping while they are flipping the hoop on and off, up and down and all over the place. And at a hoop jam, it's nice to be able to just get lost in the flow without having to break things down for curious students. Do I love teaching? ABSOLUTELY! I just think it can get boring on both ends to be in such different places for a non-class environment.

Balance is needed.

I am always looking for greater and greater hoop opportunites. I am heading to a festival this weekend, hoops - of course - in tow. Who knows what I shall discover there? Perhaps a hoop colleague is in the midst :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Hooping and Body Acceptance

Ah, Hooping... is there anything you can't fix?

Yet another of the benefits I have discovered is it's ability to bring me to a calm place about my body. Certainly I still wake up some days just feeling awful - nothing looks right, I'm CONVINCED that things have expanded while I slept, etc. etc. The difference now is that instead of those thoughts ruining my day or mood, they just fade out. It doesn't stop me from being happy.

Hooping has not changed my body - just my perception of it. I see it as something that allows me to experience one of my passions - if I didn't embrace my body - didn't allow myself to become in tune with it, my hooping progress would stall. I WANT to video tape myself in tight clothes spinning around wildly -- how else will I realize if I have mastered the new trick I have been trying to perfect? But that's the thing, I am perfecting my hoop dance, not myself.

When it comes down to it, I think hooping has simply given me something else to think about.

I am no longer a stagnant object to be chiseled and molded. I am an active being. There is beauty in how I move with the hoop; I feel pride in and gratitude towards my body.

and who would have imagined that it is All from a sparkly round piece of plastic.

Thanks again, hoop -

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Joy of Teaching

One of the biggest suprises to me in my hooping journey, was what a true pleasure it is to teach hooping to others.

I knew that if I introduced the hoop to people that surely some would fall in love, as I had, and that most would at least find fun in the silliness of it all - but the actual act of explaining everything? I had no idea that it was half the fun!

Seeing the pride on student's faces as they progress from step-by-step understanding to flowing through moves and then explaining things to others is so rewarding. I am stunned by what a difference it can make in people's lives.

People just OPEN themselves once they feel the hoop.

One of my students had a severe back pain problem, caused from a childhood injury, which limited her mobility. As she tried hooping, however, it became clear that much of the issue was a mental and NOT a physical block. She stayed after one day to tell me how good it felt to move her body after years of letting fear stop her. Hooping not only improved her physical functioning, but her entire mental conceptualization of herself! It was a beautiful and unexpected transformation.

Hooping in and of itself has taught me so much, but now I can not wait for my next round of students, and all that they will teach ME.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In a Funk

Sometimes, no matter what is happening in my life - I will wake up in a funk.

One thing that seems to be true for these times, however, is that I haven't hooped in a few days. Usually 4 is the right spot to create the gloom. There are a lot of changes taking place right now; I have to move (again), tonight is my last hoop class of the summer session, and I have been sick on-and-off for about 2 weeks. Not to mention, that with my day job and hooping gigs I am working about a 55 hour week.

Now, all of this is not to complain. I am VERY excited to move! Loved teaching my hoop class! and being able to pursue my passions in my free time is amazing! (okay, the sick thing just all around sucks....) but I think I am lacking consistency in my life. Being a creature of habit, not having things I can count on week to week really throws me off.

I'd love to have a hoop group in the area where it wasn't about teaching professionally - it was just about experiencing the hoop with other people who were similarly impassioned by hoop dance.


.... all this talk of hooping has made me want to put on some tunes and spin my worries away. I'll let you know how it goes ;P

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Hello, Hoop

Hello, Hoop.

I love my hoop. I love using it, sharing it, dancing with it and learning from it.

Almost 2 years ago, I picked up a bright & shiny, big & heavy hula hoop with my only intention being a quick and hilarious revival of my 3rd grade glory.

Instead, I was captured. The bump, bump, bump as it spun fluidly around my waist was intoxicating. Suddenly, the 50 zillion things I just HAD to get done didn't matter. How silly I looked, - nope -didn't matter. Was I an instant hoop queen? Absolutely not. But, I knew I needed a hoop.

Since that time, my life has changed drastically, mostly due to my hoop. Well, I should say hooping, as I at this point have 14 hoops (and counting...)
I went from a gal who was a body obsessed, anxiety ridden, and a social phobe - I mean I was mortified to sing karaoke in front of my friends (no matter how much alcohol was involved) to someone who danced in a tank top and short shorts in front of complete strangers.

All because of a simple shiny piece of plastic.

Hooping gave me the confidence to move to a new city, get a new job, and - of course - pursue hooping professionally. I now teach classes, do paid performances and gigs, am happy to meet new people and generally a happy hooper.

This little slice of the internet is where I am going to reflect how hooping has changed and continues to change and teach me. I want to document my journey from moonlighting as a hooper to taking that aspect to center stage (which, yes, is a long way from here.)

It seems that people rediscover an aspect of themselves that was long in hiding when they pick up a hoop. I certainly did.

So, hello hoop. thank-you hoop.