[Hooping.org columnist Lara Eastburn is out to beat the heat.]
Put on your best little orphan Annie wig and sing it with me. Bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow…. there’ll be sun… ! Brutal, blistering, unrelenting sun is the forecast for most of these United States, for many, many weeks to come. It’s been my go-to excuse not to hoop for days now. And it’s not unwarranted. On top of the heat index, our larger cities are dealing with daily heat advisories – meaning high ozone and air pollution – the kind we’re warned to protect small children, pets and the elderly from by keeping them indoors. I feel like I’m packing for a trip just to venture out into my back yard to sling a hoop around for a half hour. Apply sunscreen. Twice, just to be safe. Fill monster water bottle. Put hair up. Find that one hoop-friendly swimsuit or anything that wicks sweat. Towel to wipe myself down when I’m too slippery to keep the hoop up. I’m tired already and I haven’t even started. “I’ll think about it tomorrow,” I tell myself in my best Scarlett O’Hara.
Those who have an indoor hooping option are happy to have it right now, I suspect. But those of us who don’t have access to an indoor hooping space, and those who host regular public hoopjams, will likely find themselves in a quandry that’s routinely topping 100 degrees on the heat index. What’s a hot hooper to do?
For an individual solution, there’s an episode of Morgan Spurlock’s 30 Days that comes to mind. On a Navajo reservation, Spurlock participates in a morning ritual in which one begins the day by walking or running east, barefoot across the grass, toward the sun. Immediately upon waking, one rushes to greet the day. It is also intended to have an effect similar to my excessive, yet modern morning ritual – 4 cups of coffee. That is, it’s meant to invigorate the body, waking it more naturally, if not more gently. It’s a beautiful idea and one I’ll be applying to my Summer hoop practice first thing tomorrow. The thought of jumping into my hoop to greet the big, hot, yellow circle in the sky – before scrambling to hide from it for the rest of the day – charms me to no end. A sort of hooping sun salutation. And I’ll imagine that some of you are joining me at the same time, which enamors me even more.
Those who don’t count themselves amongst us “morning people,” and those hosting Saturday afternoon hoop jams, though, may opt to wait until the sun has had its way. But perhaps you step into your hoop for a few minutes at dusk in a similar ritual, shaking off the worries of a long day. Or why not shake up your regular hoop jam with a nighttime gathering? Gather the tiki torches and local drummers under a full moon – or the glow-gear and thumping tracks, if that’s more your speed. The impromptu wine & cheese hooping cocktail hour is my personal favorite. If day-hooping is all that fits your schedule, check with local churches and school gyms who would be willing to lend their space to a considerate group that cleans up after themselves. My five year old daughter solved the sun dilemma more quickly and cleverly than I though. She simply turned on all the yard sprinklers so we could hoop “in the rainbows!”
The moral of this story, of course, is that there’s always an excuse not to hoop when you’re looking for one. And though this heat is a doozy of an excuse, there’s no reason to go all Scarlett O’Hara on your favorite way to move. We are constantly faced with changing seasons and obstacles of all kinds, but when we’re called to shake up our dependable, but tired routines – and answer that call – we open ourselves and our lives up to new and potentially exciting possibilities. Which is, after all, why we spend so much time in the hoop in the first place.
Lara Eastburn has been dancing in meadows and singing with the moon while spinning in circles for eons at Superhooper.org. Beyond commenting here, you can also discuss this and other topics related to the Hooposophy for living in Hooping.org’s Hooposophy Group and Forum. Lara is also the planting and gardening force behind discovering our hooping community roots at The Hooping Family Tree Project.