The Joy of Hooping

HooperThere are few greater joys in life than finding that one physical activity that you love. For me, I’ve never been a major gym rat or fitness nut. I’ve been blessed with naturally thin physique, so that coupled with a severe dislike of lifting weights for the sake of lifting weight has kept me looking alternative forms of exercise.

neck hoopingThankfully, I got involved with martial arts early in life and developed a love for exercise that engages both the body and the mind. Later on in high school I discovered dance which opened up a whole new world for me in terms of isometric conditioning and mind-body interaction.

Then in college came hooping.

hoopingOh yes, you read that right. Hooping. As in ‘hula hoop'(ing).

I adore hooping. Be it simply moving with the hula hoop around my waist or eliciting oos and aas from an audience with some crazy off-body movement. It’s fun, it’s energizing, it’s calming, it’s refreshing, it’s simple, it’s hard, it’s all of these things. There’s so many different things that one can do with a hula hoop. So many different things that can be brought inside that circle (pun intended). It can be a soulful dance, full of slow explorations of what your body can do or a fast-paced frenzy of wild energy. I never get tired of picking up my hoop and learning a new trick (or better yet, sharing the simple joy of hooping with others). There’s nothing quite like it.

hooping joyI had hoped to take my hooping further to become an instructor and spread this joy to others (or even to choreograph my own hoop routines and do geek-themed videos ala Lindsey Stirling). But alas, those dreams got put on the backburner when my accident happened.

hula hoop portraitBut my dreams didn’t die in the car accident. They just took on a different form. Hooping became a small part of my recovery, with hooping with my arms, then eventually my waist was used as an unofficial part of my physical therapy. Now, I’m back to the level I was hooping at before the accident (with the exception of not quite being able to dance fully just yet. My left leg isn’t quite up to strength. But soon!).

HoopingRight before these pictures were taking by my friend James, I had been invited to a cosplay dance-off at Atlanta’s anime convention Momocon. I’ll confess I was quite nervous as I hadn’t hooped in public since before the accident. But as you’ll see in the video below, I had nothing to fear.

Dress: Double slit maxi dress from Bebe
Photographer: James “Frameshot” Garner (photos used by permission from Anime Geek Gaming Nation)
Video: The Aficionados


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