11 April 2015

#thedailyhoop Reaches 365 Days in a Row...

12 months of hooping without missing a single day.


...with no sign of stopping. I never set out with an end goal in mind. The rules were:
  • spend at least 30 minutes alone outside every day
  • hula hoop during that time
  • no excuses
  • write five positive things about my day down
The therapist I was seeing for PTSD told me it had been scientifically proven that people who spend 30 minutes or more outside every day in conjunction with keeping a gratitude list are happier people.

What would I do outside? I don't meditate nor do I meander; I walk with purpose.

Many hoopers celebrate a hoopiversary. I guess this is mine but only in the sense that I made a commitment to myself on 13 April of last year and used daily Instagram photos to hold myself accountable.

My hoop journey started many years ago with no definitive date. I hooped as a child. In college I went to the Children's Museum on Friday evenings for their $2 college kid night or whatever it was and used the hoops there. When I moved out on my own I bought a kids hoop (silly me right?) and hooped on my rooftop overlooking Central Sq in Cambridge. Then I saw a hooper perform to The Eurythmics "Love is a Stranger" at Sister Spit. This was a real hooper. I had no idea you could do those things before that.

When I moved to Virginia I was going to start something similar and do spoken word while on my rollerskates and hula hooping all at the same time. But my real job kept me very busy.

Next I moved to Portland where, older and wiser, I knew to get a Real Hoop...and so I did. It was pink and blue and sparkle just like cotton candy made by a woman down by the river. I literally ran over the bridge to pick it up while on my lunch break. I was content waist hooping though I did try with rollerskates, too. It was going to take more practice.

This hoop was the one that traveled with me and then melted behind my TV stand in our housefire. I had also hooped on the rooftop in Philly.

I lost motivation for everything after the fire. That story has been written.

It took two years before I ordered another hoop.

Now I have...many...
Like a dozen. Including Tristan's. He has two.
One even lights up.


I'm sponsored by Galaxy Hoop! URBAN10 for 10% www.galaxyhoop.com 


They all have a purpose. The others are Rose (my large, weighted hoop), Selkie the polypro, Molly who I turned into a giant dreamcatcher because she is lopsided, Alfie who was a gift from Sarah (TeachKidstoHoop.com), I have the twins as I start multiples, and then...then I met Rachel from Galaxy Hoop and became her first sponsored hooper! Now I collect beauties from her. URBAN10 for 10% your order. Yay!

Hooping makes people happy. I believe that with all of my heart which is why I was looking for a sponsor. I wanted to find a kind hoopsmith with imaginative style and listened to what her customers need. I found that in Rachel - and she found me. Quirky and quiet with a hooping agenda.

My therapist was right. I haven't seen her in a while to tell her. I remember thinking ehh, I'll humor her. I shall go out daily and write my lists because I can't say I've tried everything unless I do - then we'll see what other suggestions are up her sleeve.

...except it worked. No matter how hard a day I've had I always feel calm when I go outside to hoop. I have been sick - I had the flu. It snowed, it poured and the winds blew.

I hooped.

I use hooping to keep myself from curling into a lazy ball of pain.


Every day I'm in some level of pain from endometriosis and ovarian cysts. Exercise is said to help. My hooping was as much for that aspect as the others. I can't say it's helped with pain but it's helped me manage it better because I'm a happier person. On days when it's really bad I take my lightest hoop outside and do off-body moves; gently.

One of my thoughts going into this was that I had gotten soft. I used to ride my bike to work every day no matter the weather. Why wasn't I applying that to something else? Something fun?

There were days I didn't want to go out. I'm sure there are more to come.

My goal wasn't a year. It's just another milestone like 100, 200 and 300 days were. I will continue counting. The only thing I can see interrupting this ritual is surgery. I've already asked Rachel for a little wrist hoop...or I will twirl a bracelet around my finger...as long as I'm spinning, right?

There is another thing that makes this all harder: I have to hoop on my city porch. If I go into the front 'yard' I am too close to the sidewalk and risk hitting people. If I go to the park I am sexually harassed. I'm harassed on the porch, too, but I feel safer because I can just turn around and zip inside.

I have a gigantic audience of commuters and city life.

I remember the days where I'd dance at Manray every week up on the stage (or the cage as it was called) - an elevated platform at the front of the dance floor. There was more space up there. I had some sort of illusion that I was less visible. Invisible. It was my bubble and if I didn't acknowledge people they weren't there. I can't totally do that here. I know which angle I can see all directions from and figure my hoop is also my weapon. I swing a fast weave. 

There are also plenty of things I can practice inside because I've gotten into tricks! It was about a month before I was like OK what else can I do? and so it went. I don't think matching a year with my skill level is accurate because I'm also a wife, mother, and small business owner/artist. I have a lot on my plate; hooping isn't my life. It's part of my life.

I've always believed in balance and tried never to become too absorbed in one thing.

Besides, I just have to take a few steps forward and that will turn me into a street performer. I'm more like a sideshow now.

Hooping is good for your soul. If it can lift me up from the darkness it can help anyone. I encourage you to try it if you've been considering it. I was happy for years waist hooping. There are no expectations only personal goals.

My rewards for making it a year include:

I don't get them until the day I reach 365. I'm writing this on the eve of 364.

Portrait done as a surprise by my husband who is also an artist.


There aren't words to express how thankful I am to Brandon for supporting and encouraging me. He takes this daily routine of mine seriously and no matter what day it is he allows me time to myself (as I have with him and weightlifting). I'm proud of Tristan for taking an interest in it, too (which has been very recent).

Super duper thanks to everyone who has encouraged me along this journey. I appreciate it and hope to return the gesture - whatever your goal may be.


...and the beat goes on.

Monday will be 366 days in a row...or 1 year, 1 day. I'm not sure how I will write it down.

Resolution of happiness
Things have been dark for too long

Don't change for you
Don't change a thing, for me.
-INXS

...and for the record it hasn't felt like a year. It's just felt like joy.

3 comments :

  1. This makes me all kinds of happy! I'm happy for you, but I'm happy we "met" on IG because your story is such an inspiration to me. You introduced me to adult hooping via your daily photos, but more inspiring is your perseverance despite physical and emotional pain. If you can do it, so can I. Congratulations and many thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Lori! Your support has meant to much including your cheers for Tristan ^_^ Ironically (?) even though I didn't have a year as a goal it's a major milestone BUT yesterday and today have been the worst for me physically. I look forward to cheering you on through your journey <3

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