As I age, I'm getting this feeling that everything is connected. Not just the whole hippie dippie "we are one" philosophy (although I, being a long-haired flower-wearing San-Francisco-loving kind of chick, do subscribe to that), but also that every action I take affects all aspects of my life. And that I might learn valuable lessons while learning to hula hoop that could help me in my love life, or my career, or my relationship with my mom.
So I decided a few weeks ago that I would take up hula hooping. There are several reasons why, the main one being that it's one hell of a workout. It requires you to hold your core in tight and move your torso forward and backwards at a pretty quick pace. I get out of breath pretty quickly, but I try to practice at least for a few minutes every day (usually when I get home from the gym while I'm still all revved up). Other reasons why I'm drawn to the hoop: it's a very inexpensive new hobby, it can be very creative since I make my own hoops (learned how to do that from a DIY video on Youtube), and it's something I can do practically anywhere! I plan to take my hoop with me to parties, festivals, concerts, etc. You can get hula hoop tape online in a wide array of colors and designs. My favorites are the glittery ones, the tye-dyed ones (of course lol) and the glow-in-the-dark stuff.
The first hula hoop I got was from Wal-mart. I was there for another reason and happened to walk by a display of hula hoops in the toy section. They were blue and sparkly and only 5 bucks; what's a girl to do? I couldn't resist. So I took it back to work with me (I'd been on my lunch hour) and a couple of my co-workers gave it a few spins around their hips. They were each able to hold it up for three or four go-arounds before it descended to the floor. When I got home and showed the hoop to my boyfriend Cecil, he exclaimed, "Give me that!" and proceeded to start hooping like a boss! LOL. It was awesome. He practiced martial arts for many years in addition to lifting weights and various other work outs, so he has a lot of control over his core muscles and was able to keep that hoop up pretty much indefinitely. I was impressed, and inspired!
So on my first try it was the same as ever other time I'd ever tried in my 31 years, even as a child: I couldn't do it. Not even one little spin around. I'd throw that hoop as hard as I could around my waist and momentum would send it about halfway around and then it was drop lifelessly to the floor. But I refused to be discouraged. So I got on the internet and read some advice for beginners and tried again. The trick is not to move your hips in circles but forward and backward to the rhythm of the hoop.
The rhythm of the hoop--that's where the word 'enlightenment' comes in. At the very moment when I first felt that hoop spin around my waist, the moment when I knew I'd finally done it, I felt a huge door open up in the universe, inviting me in, as if a whole new world was now mine for the taking. It may be a similar feeling to when a surfer catches their first wave. Or when you finally understand what Robert Frost meant in a line of poetry that's kept you stumped for years. It was a moment of pure zen, and I won't forget it.
It is those moments that drive me, and it is why I am so passionate about always trying new things and learning as much as I can. Because with every new insight, I climb higher, and the view is more spectacular.