28 June 2014

What's with #thedailyhoop

my daily challenge: hula hoop for at least a half hour

Since yesterday I completed 75 days of consecutive hooping I think it's safe to say I'm committed to this challenge. However, Instagram is my crutch. I confess that if I hadn't said at the beginning that I'd be posting a photograph as proof every single day I might have quit or skipped a few days..........or, quit.

It began when my therapist suggested spending 30 minutes outside every day alone. I'm working on coping with PTSD and how not to ever discourage Tristan if he wants to become a firefighter; because right now - he doesn't say much, but he's made that dream clear! Also, since my last surgery, I've come to terms that I might suffer from chronic pain the rest of my life...and I don't want that to crush me.

(also because stay at home mamas need alone time, too!)

My endometriosis and ovarian cysts came back two months after I'd recovered from the surgery where I lost an ovary, tube, and a chunk of guts. I knew it wasn't a cure - there is no cure - but I thought surely I'd have more time than that. After my last surgery (10 years ago) I had almost a year pain free! It was like magic. Now it's daily to some degree.

Exercise is supposed to help endometriosis pain though instinctively it feels wrong. It can cause swelling and cyst flares so on those days I take it slow or use my arms to build strength there. It's the only thing I have left to try, though, and if nothing else it improves my mood and I love the time I'm outside alone with my thoughts and my hoop.

I am a lone hooper and a mom so I don't have a lot of time to practice tricks. I was content with waist hooping for several years then integrating some dance into it. I was a figure skater for 11 years and still choreograph routines to music in my head. It's something I can't stop and since I no longer go dance to 80's new wave every week I have to get it out of my system somehow.

This had led me to add a couple new hoops to my collection. The last one I am not totally happy with for a couple reasons so I won't mention where I got it - nor will I be shopping around anymore. I've found two solid shops so if and when I need another that's where I'll go. Since that is one of the top two questions I'm asked I'll get to sharing.

Where can I get a hula hoop?

Teton Hoops is my favorite for beginners. The seller is super sweet and makes one of a kind, uniquely designed hoops for each of her customers. They are beautiful and she sets high standards for herself. Like, because I had to wait while she vended at a festival for her to start making my hoop she included one for my son. SUPER SWEET. It wasn't even a long wait. That's just an example of how she works. You can ask as many questions as you want and she is patient and helpful.

When I started wanting to do tricks and do more dance hooping I wanted a lighter hoop. Weighted ones will leave bruises and during the days where my pain was exceptionally bad it felt like being punched. So I went with a UV polypro at Hoop Mamas. It's GORGEOUS! at first I hated it because it was so light I kept dropping and felt like a beginner all over again, but really whenever you're learning something new that's how it goes. New trick? You're going to look out of water, but that's OK! If you decide to go with them you can enter the code REORDER for 10% off at checkout - all returning customers can share that with friends and family (and who do you think you are?) :)

However, I got the feel for the new weight and size. It is fine (and FAST) for doing what you know but if I'm learning something new I can't have that might lightness. This is where midweight came in - and since a friend had sent me a Mood Hoop as a present I tried using that and it was just right (other than the fact that I was worried I'd smash it up!).

So began my search for a dance hoop, which I found, but then wasn't happy upon arrival when I spent two hours trying to connect it. Then, when my husband came home (his arms are almost 18" now!) he spent another half hour with sweat flying wrestling with this thing. When I kindly let the seller know she said that she guesses she should include a note since another person complained too and all you have to do is hold a hairdryer to one end and put a drop of water on the other and it slides right in. EXCUSE ME, WHAT?! Of course you should have included a note!!! So now the hoop is still bent out of shape but I'm hoping it will go back to a circle.......eventually. So no recommendations for her but I've given you good places to start and even dessert for when the lights go out!

UPDATE: this hoop was made too large so a circle isn't possible. I lack the skills to trim the tubing and again the seller was little help. She has been the worst hoopsmith I've dealt with on my circa 1995 hooping journey. This hoop still hangs out in our house awaiting a day I meet someone who -can- trim it. 

It made for good pictures, though, and we can laugh about it now!

Finally, the other question I get constantly is how, and I can't, and all that other stuff to which I ask, did you pick up a child's hoop at the store and try? Well, yeah...

STOP! it was the hoop, not you. Wrong size, wrong weight and here's where I'll link to a video that explains it all so well and then you can follow this channel on further hooping adventures.

I love the space being a lone hooper gives me but it takes some extra work if you don't have a mentor. We'll figure it out, though!

Now, how to choose your hoop size........then maybe pick a fresh hashtag and maybe challenge yourself! You'll be surprised how far you go and it's fun to look back on your progress.

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