[Hooping.org columnist Abby Schwartz fell in love with hooping.]
Falling in love is life changing. At times it is all-consuming. You catch yourself daydreaming about your time together, counting the minutes until you are reunited. Your senses come alive and songs start to take on new meaning. That’s the way it is with my hoop and me. Yes, my hoop habit has blossomed into full blown hoopfatuation. I’m not sure of the exact moment when the shift occurred, but I believe we are now in a committed relationship. Are you now or have you ever been in hoop love? If any of these five tell-tale signs sound familiar, there may be no rotating back.
1. You make space in your home for your new love: When I got my first hoop, I used to keep it in the unfinished storage area of my basement when I wasn’t using it. That lasted about a week. I work long hours from a home office and over time I wanted to be able to take hooping breaks when the moment grabbed me, like when a great song shuffled onto my iTunes playlist. Soon I began propping my hoop against a filing cabinet a few feet from my desk, so it was within arm’s reach at all times. Once my hoop and I were officially cohabitating, I did a bit of redecorating to make it even more at home. I moved a coffee table into storage and repositioned a few key pieces of furniture to widen our space.
As with most new relationships, some compromises were necessary. Sharing space with my hoop was one thing, but accommodating it’s armloads of grafting and electrical tapes and a 50-foot roll of polyethylene tubing was another. Much like my husband’s torn up La-Z-Boy recliner, these too were quickly relegated to life downstairs behind closed doors. My hoop and I have been living happily together ever since; the only signs of discord being a telltale collection of purple and pink scuff marks on the ceiling and the slightly banged up computer printer on my desk.
2. Your new relationship factors into your daily decisions: Before I became a hooper, getting dressed went something like this: Am I seeing a client today? No? Okay, throw on a pair of jeans and a sweater and we are good to go. These days, I am thinking for two. Getting dressed now revolves around hooping ease; if I want to take frequent hooping breaks, I have to dress the part. Jeans are grippy, but hooping with a belt on pinches my skin. Yoga pants are good, but the ones made of synthetic, wicking fabric are too slippery for leg hooping. I want bare arms, but it’s thirty degrees outside, so a tank top layered with a zippered hoodie will allow me to stay warm between hooping sessions and quickly peel down when I need to. Happily, all this effort isn’t one-sided. My hoop pays me back by making my clothes fit a wee bit better.
3. Suddenly the world is one big love fest: As hooping began to take a stronger hold on my life, everything started getting filtered through my new hoop-colored glasses. I’d see a photo of a hooper in a magazine and triumphantly thrust it in front of my husband’s face. “See?! It’s not just me!” A great song on the radio no longer enticed me to sing out loud or drum along on the dashboard of my car as usual. Instead, I’d instantly lapse into a hooping daydream, picturing myself moving to the song inside my hoop. “What are you doing?” my horrified teenage daughter now asks whenever she catches me rotating my shoulders inside an invisible hoop to the music. Love can make you act like a fool.
4. You can’t wait to introduce your new love to your friends and family: The day my first hoop arrived last August, I was on the phone with my sister Sue, breathless with excitement from our first encounter. “When you fly here in October, you can try my hoop, and if you like it, I’ll buy you one for your birthday in November,” I said. “I know I’ll love it. Get it for me now!” she said. Basically the equivalent of: He sounds great. Does he have a brother? My parents came over that week and I invited my mom to give it a whirl. She kept it moving for roughly 30 seconds and finished with a huge grin on her face. “Could you get me one for my birthday?” she asked. My mom now hoops for 30 minutes at a time while watching Dr. Oz.
I’ve since gifted hoops to three other friends, talked about it with countless others and changed my Facebook profile to the photo of me smiling and holding my hoop. That’s the great thing about hoop love. You can spread it around and the only thing you’ll catch is joy.
5. You start making plans for your future together: One of the things I love about hooping is that there is always more to learn and new ways to enjoy your hoopventures with one another. What does the future hold for us? I’d like to take my hoop to a jam in the park this weekend, and I have a list of new moves I’d like for us to work on together. I’m thinking we could even benefit from taking a class or a workshop together too, maybe even get away for a long and intense weekend retreat, where we can learn from the pros and meet some of my friends from the Hooping.org community. That’s the thing about a strong relationship. It enables its participants to continue to grow.
Are you head over hoop in love? I am. A few days ago I ran into a woman that I hadn’t seen in two months. “Wow, you look great,” she said. “Your skin is glowing and your waist looks thinner. Have you been working out?”
“Actually, it’s funny that you asked,” I laughed. “Let me tell what you what I’ve been up to…”