Tuesday, September 4, 2012

3 Years of hooping..a reflection on life & my one true love

It dawned on me today that this month marks the 3 year anniversary that I began hula hooping.

It all started when I attended one of my first music festivals. I saw these girls twirling and dancing effortlessly with these massive, beautifully decorated hoops. I thought, there is no way I could do that. But I had this burning desire to try and learn.

And then in late September I attended the Common Ground Fair in Unity, Maine with my roommate Kelly. It was here that I picked up my first hoop and was pleasantly surprised to find that I could actually do it! I wanted to buy one that day so badly, but was limited on funds. They were about $45 dollars, so I had to pass.

It wasn't until a few weeks later that I was at Harry's Harvest Ball in Starks, Maine. This is one of my favorite places to be in the fall in Maine. Everyone is sharing their harvest, great musicians come to play, and everyone comes together like one big family on this hill surrounded by hills and trees that are changing to hues of red, yellow, orange...

Lizzyoos had her botique set up on the hill with all kinds of stuff, and most importantly HOOPS! It was the last day of the festival and I had a mere $12 left to spare. She showed me a few hoops to choose from in my price range and I was the proud owner of my OWN hoop!

I took that thing home and practiced all the time. First I was just hooping around my waist, seeing how many times I could get it to spin around without dropping. Pretty soon I was working on tricks, such as the Lasso. It wasn't long until everywhere that Christina went, the hoop came too...

Hula hooping transformed my life. It became my one true love. People don't really understand the hoop phenomenon. "Isn't that for kids?" I would get strange looks when I would lug my hoops around to different events or parties. But hula hooping gave me a purpose, it gave me an escape. I realized it made me happy, no matter what was going on in my life inside or outside of my hoop. It became more than a hobby, it became a way for me to connect with other hoopers, and it gave me something to work toward. Nothing was more rewarding than seeing my personal progression. Practice was paying off and I was learning to find my own flow.

I've had many great experiences because of my hoops. At the 2011 KahBang music festival, my sister and her boyfriend literally tossed me on stage and threw me my hoop during the LazerDisk Party Sex set, and I will never forget the epic feeling of the crowd cheering me on as I ducked in and out of my hoop and twirled it all around.

Another great moment was getting all of the servers at my old waitress job to hoop in the bar, while we were all still working! Talk about team bonding experience.

I love to watch other hoopers and learn from their flow. Working together cohesively and sharing hoop knowledge brings you to a whole new level of personal growth. I've been given endless compliments, and men have even tried to tip me while hooping. I've also been told that so & so is better than me. But I try not to let any of it go to my head, positive or negative feedback. To me, hooping is not a business, it is not a competition. It is all about how it makes me feel when I'm inside the circle. I know how far I've come and I know how much I truly love this quirky little activity.

& Now, several years of hooping in photos:

Hooping at the Common Ground Fair with my roommate from Junior year

The day I turned 21 and my first hoop in the back

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Learning how to hoop

Practicing the lasso

practice makes progression

Hooping during Keller Williams

Nateva Festival

Hooping during STS9 at Nateva Festival

Hooping in some of the smallest spaces- be aware of your surroundings!

Hooping in Hermon, Maine

My first hoop making session

Halloween 2010 when I went as a Super Hooper

Jammin with friends - Guys like to hoop too!


My dog skylar with my Hoops a few months before she passed

Hooping on Cadillac Mountain

Hooping on the beach

Professional hoop performers at Shpongle

Some of the first hoops I made on my own

Introducing my family to the hoop

This woman came up to me at KahBang 2011 and said, 'Okay the cancer lady wants to try!' And she mastered it.

The DJ set that I hooped on stage for

Portland, Maine

Hoop instructor Jen Bailey practicing Minis at Maine Hoop Day

Maine Hoop Day

LED Hoops

Fire Hoops

Me, in my Subaru Outback with the hoops in the back. We just arrived back to Maine from my 11,000 mile cross country road trip. The hoops came everywhere with me on my journey, some stayed out there with new/old friends.

Eugene, Oregon - hoopers in training with the hoops I gave them. They were so happy.

Me, today, with my very own LED hoop, jamming at the KahBang music festival 2012.
I certainly look forward to the years to come. Peace, Love, and Happy Hooping!

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