Day 118: Learning to Hula-Hoop

According to my self-proclaimed “all-knowing” dad, “everyone knows how to hula hoop. Didn’t you hula hoop as a kid?” No. I didn’t. Thanks for reminding me of my less-than successful childhood.

The truth is, while every other kid my age was swinging a pretty hoop on their hips in a mesmerizing rhythm, I was in my driveway pretending I was having the time of my life with my skip-it, when all I really wanted to do was be hoopin’ with my sisters. The problem was that I just could not get my hips to move right, and the hoop never made it past 2 rotations before falling pitifully around my ankles with a clatter.

When compiling the List (of things to do for my blog), I thought it was about time I learned how to hula-hoop.

My sister, Bec, is a hula-hoop pro and said she could teach me (could teach anyone) how to hoop. I told her I wasn’t sure if we even had a hula-hoop any longer, and that I would have to go buy one. She informed me that she should probably go along, because “it really makes a different if you have a good hoop or not” and she could then try it out in the store “to make sure it’s a good one”.

As it turned out, I ended up having to buy a hoop on my own, and I went home hoping that my new $1 purple ring of plastic wouldn’t fail me.

I practiced some, failed a lot, and desperately prayed that I would be successful after my lesson. If I still couldn’t do it at the end of the day, I wouldn’t have done anything new, and would have had to find something else to do for the blog. That would have been a disaster.

Bec took a turn with the hoop to get the feeling back, so she could better explain to me how to do it, and, of course, made it look super easy.

The next few minutes involved some coaching, coming from Bec, and some very awkward flailing motions, coming from yours truly. I was afraid that Bec would change her mind about it being easy (or even possible) to teach me how to hula-hoop, when she said one little sentence that changed my hula-hoop world.

“Don’t try to move your hips in a circle. Just move them front and back.”

Wait, what? I’m not supposed to move my hips in a circle? All my life I was told (or maybe I just told myself) that you had to move your hips in a circle!!

Part of me was secretly hoping that this trick wouldn’t work so that I wouldn’t feel bad about being cheated out of years of hooping. The other part of me was desperately hoping that this would be the trick that made me a hula-hoop master.

I picked up the hoop, took a deep breath, and let it spin, moving my hips front to back, front to back. IT WORKED! I WAS HULA-HOOPING! OK, so it didn’t last too long. It only took about 10 seconds before the hoop clattered to the ground, but it was 10 seconds longer than I had ever hooped before.

The next 10 minutes consisted of even more successful hoop rounds, and soon I was able to keep the hoop in the air like it was my job! (OK, maybe not that well.)

Gone were the days of my failure. No longer was I going to avert my eyes in the store when passing the bin of hoops in hopes of squelching the bad memories. There would be no skip-it charades for this girl. I am now an official hula-hooper. Thank you, thank you very much.

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One Comment on “Day 118: Learning to Hula-Hoop”

  1. Kitty Says:

    I tried to hula hoop in front of my 6 year old niece and I used to be really good at it- swing it around my neck, down to my thighs, then back up. I couldn’t even do 3 hulas…


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