The first time I ever picked up a hula hoop was May 31, 2009. I never hula hooped as a kid, never rolled the hoop along the ground, or used it like a jump rope. Unlike many hoopers who immediately fall head over heels for hooping, my love was a slow burn that didn't ignite until September of 2011. It may have taken a while, but once my love for hooping had been set aflame an unbelievable transformation began.
I started documenting my journey in the hoop last September through a series of webcam videos, some of which I have shared on sites like YouTube, but most of which I have never even watched myself. The habitual act of hitting record on my laptop each time I picked up the hoop at home drew a loving sort of teasing from some of my fellow hoopers and certainly from my partner and son who have had to endure the flashing red light everyday for over a year.
Using some of the footage from the 1,451 files I've amassed, I recently put together a video of my first year really IN the hoop. I realized I had documented possibly the most transformative year of my life... my first year as a mother... the first year of living in our current home... the end of one career and the beginning of another... and of course my first year of really connecting and really falling hopelessly in love with the little plastic circle we call a 'hula hoop.'
Reviewing these videos transported me back to that time and place... I remembered what my son had done that day, sometimes what I'd cooked for dinner that night, but always I remembered what had driven me into the hoop that day... Stress reliever, to meditate, trying to finally "get" that one trick, fear I was losing who I was within motherhood, love, heartache, peace. Each day and reason different... but each was working towards getting me to the place I am today.
The video begins about 4 weeks postpartum and certainly shows a physical transformation, like weight loss of 65 pounds and increased coordination, but it also exposes some of the less tangible aspects of my transformation, like an increased self confidence and self expression. When I stepped into the hoop last September, hoping for a little help with the postpartum baby weight, I also took my first step on a journey through self discovery. Hooping has unexpectedly changed my life in every imaginable way. The woman who steps into the hoop today is a different person. Physically, emotionally, and mentally stronger and ready to keep transforming in the circle.
If someone told me that the past twelve months had actually been twelve years, I really could honestly believe them. So much has happened in my life. So many doors have opened, so many footsteps have been taken on so many newly forged paths. I never would have expected my job title would be "Professional Hula Hooper," that I would hoop a 6K race, or be able to share my passion with others the way I have this year. This year has been amazing, important, and incredibly special.
I hope to never stop transforming.
I want to help you transform.
Transformation begins with one step... a commitment to yourself, a realization that you want Change... and once you've taken that step everything else will fall into place.
If you'd like to start your own transformation through hooping our local community has made it easier than ever before! I am still teaching classes in Napa and St. Helena, including a monthly Mommy and Me class (our next one is Nov 3!). You can find me tomorrow (Saturday, 10/27) at Napa's Local Food Day event at the Oxbow and hooping with Zombies this Wednesday, 10/31 at Napa County's Halloween Health Fair.
I also continue to help organize free, family friendly events with the Napa Hoopers including our weekly community hoop jams in Veterans Park, our monthly LED hoop jams, and even participation in a 5K event for Girls on the Run Napa Valley in November!