Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My (funny) Hoop Life

Its dark, desert dark

And, I am bumping across it

in a VW bus with 40 plus hula hoops

crammed inside.

A string of Christmas lights (its May)

swinging merrily

from side to side,

a broken sink, chirps
like an insane mockingbird
and somewhere...

in between all the hoops and lights

three kids are laughing...
while their mom, the driver
tells them NOT to put glow stick
juice on their faces
but I can already see the glow
radiating off their mischievous smiles
through the multi colored taped tubing.
Too late, deed done!

And all I can think is,
how did this
become my life? very funny life?

Surrounded suddenly by kids under ten and
hoops everything and desert nights,
where friends are spinning fire and poi?
Did someone forget to tell me
I joined the circus?
Maybe adopted by a young
Cirque du Soleil wanna-be-family,
or in training for Burning Man?

I am asked often, why hoops
and how did I get involved?

It began last summer with
a Walmart hula hoop,
some Facebook pictures
And an old HS classmate living in Texas
who hoops with her best friend,
she excitedly led me to
Hoopnotica's travel hoops
and I immediately ordered one for myself
and most of my friends!
If I was going to try so were they!

Hula Hooping!
Everyone either, remembers
they couldn't do it as a kid
and never figured out the secret,
or they were really good at it
and didn't know why!
I think I was one of the "couldn't" ones
and too shy to try beyond initial failure,
but the one thing everyone seems
to be clear on... is how much
they USED to cost!

These are not your 1950's
1.50 hoops, folks!
Oh, you can still find that variety
but you'll still feel unsuccessfully, ten
and unable to keep it waist level.
With a professional hoop, failure, is greatly
reduced to instant success!
Weighted and easy to use
the balance perfect,
the first spin quickly reveals
(for those of us, who couldn't)
it was never "us" to begin with...
it was the hoop!!!

So I began to hoop to music,
at barbecues and before paddling...
it had a meditative calming effect initially
everything metaphorically spiritual,
spinning, spirals, cycles, rotations,
revolutions, balance, circles, centeredness...!

Then? I got bored!

Had to be more to this!
Oh, my yes, there is!
It's called Hoop dancing
and it is beautiful in a way
I can only describe as a playful ballet,
circus style!
Or as the circus's more cool
and artistic sister,
a backyard Cirque du Soleil.

First there was the
purchase of a DVD,
then the discovery of Safire
from Hoopcity on youtube
and then came Amanda
and Peri, (my local hoop sisters.)

Its the last hour of a long week end
at a local art show
a beautiful white smiled
blond woman
approaches me,
with a armful of hula hoops
and a three year old,
(also super blond) in tow,
demonstrating the best
and biggest hooping I'd ever seen.
Someone had sent her down
the street to me...
cause they knew I was
a hoop maniac
(or as I now know
only in the beginning stages
of becoming that.)
I was so excited...
to know there was someone else in town
hooping it up,
Maybe too excited ?
Cause she looked terrified
as she walked away from me!

Life went on and I learned moves
modest ones but
to "my waist hooping only counterparts"
a dot inspiring,
a dot impressive
Didn't matter,
I was in love, purely and simply in love
with the opportunity,
do something really cool
and really fun
and great for the spirit and body!
I practiced and spun in
my back yard
(where my pool used to be)
over and over...
when I got to neck hooping
the portable version I favored
(and had shipping access to,)
kept getting caught in my hair,
cutting my lips with
it's put together parts
What I needed was, a REAL hoop!
But how to find that
in our strange small town?
What about that woman I had met
and scared off at the Artfest
crum, what was her name again?

Leaving the park after paddling
one afternoon, the sun glinted
on some distant sparkling circles
in the grass and trees and...well,
Look, my male hooping friend said, HOOPS!
(Yes, its for men as well!)

There it was, a VW bus
with a 100 plus hoops
on the front bike rack!
And that white smiled
crunchie Portland hooping mom
and friend to be, Amanda!
She had started a hoop jam in the park.
We greeted each other
enthusiastically embracing...
while bubbles floated around us!
Yes, there were bubble machines
and bubble wands all over!
Could this be this
my long lost twin soul sister?
...pretty sure!

I bought her signature hoop 'Sunburst'
a one pieced beautiful sparkling
orange sphere.
That was the first
of ten plus hoops to come!

Side note...
on heaven made connections?
Seems that Amanda and her mom
were big fans of mine,
buying my work for years
(Amanda's last birthday card
from her mom, was one of mine)
Although we had never met!
She invited me (and Oprah)
to her mom's celebration of life ceremony.
in 2006.
Neither of us attended!
Thus, the strange reaction
when we met years later over a hoop!

So we became good friends,
because of hooping?
I'd rather think,
it was because the two women
we loved and lost to cancer
had arranged it.
A grateful thank you,
to Jennifer and Nancy!

Then came Peri.
My hopes and dreams
of becoming a hoop certified instructor
dashed intially
by the revealtion,
"there already was someone in town!"

As I got to know this delightful wisp of a girl,
that can make a hoop move
like it is a natural part of her.
I realized teaching hooping,
wasn't really my calling,
(hell, I am lucky if I can learn half of what
she TRIES to teach me)

Clearly, Peri's passion is hooping!
She IS hooping!
Eating, breathing and making them,
committed to every level of performing
and promoting the art!
She has collarborted with her,
very adorable, husband
to create Havasu's newest
sensation "Hava Fire"
Together they spin fire, Ben with poi
and Peri with hoops!
It is so breathtaking
and fortunately
for me (and my friends)
they love to join us for desert outings
and practice their moves!

Ambition, is Peri's middle name!
I have watched her go from
a few classes at Studio Seven,
to being a significant board member
and in bigger demand than she ever dreamed of
(or did)
Earning her the name "Hoop Girl."

Together, these amazing women
recently, joined forces and talents
WOWED, an audiance of 180
at the Cancer breakfast,
speaking and performing!
Proving (I hope) "hula hoops" have grown up.
And have far more wonderful implications than
just a "backyard kid" activity.

I am extremely honored to be,
one side of this hooping triangle!
(If there can be a hooping triangle!)
although a small and in the back ground side
Seems, we each have our thing...
Amanda is about the kids
and Hooping birthday parties,
Peri teaching and fire and performing.
Me? I get the average person to try it,
and direct hoop purchasers
to these young entepreneur mothers!
But, I love it best on the water!
So far, the only one to paddle board and hoop.
But, probably not for long!
My contribution to the hoop revolution?

The center of this triangle
is the hoop love,
being committed to the mutual support
of getting Havasu hooping.
I doubt I will ever have more than ten hoops
as opposed to Peri and Amanda's one hundred
And our clearest agreement?
I will NOT be making hoops.
None, nata... a gal can only do so much!

Live in Havasu?
Join us at 6 tuesday nights in Rotary.
There is music, hoops to try
and smiles everywhere
on all shaped bodies and ages!

And if you don't... find one
in your town and expect
to be surprised and hoopdelighted!

Pam Piper Rain

Hoop, hoop, hoop away,
We love to do it,
in the morning and all day
can't wait, can't wait to spin
you round and round
We love to play with you
because we're loosing pounds
spin, spin your beautiful light
we love to watch you in the night.

By Christine Hodge
Official Hoop Nut

Find Peri at

Amanda at

Safire at

Me? (well you know, on the lake)