[Hooping.org columnist Abby Schwartz is rekindling her hoop romance.]
I’ve been hooping for a little more than two years now and recently came to the realization that the honeymoon is over. Don’t misunderstand, I still love hooping. How could I not? But what was once the source of endless distraction and preoccupation, the thing that had me head over hoop in love, has embered to a quieter warm. Succumbed to the real-life pull of job, family, and even a bit of complacency that comes with familiarity, it dawned on me that what is true in love and passion must also apply to other areas of life as well, including hooping. When love is new it is the best thing in the world. We can’t get enough of it. When it’s been around for awhile, well, sometimes it requires more thought and effort to reignite the flame and keep the fire burning.
When I first picked up a hoop as an adult two years ago, the novelty of hooping pushed everything else in my life to the background. As crazy as it sounds, it was almost identical to the euphoric feeling of falling in love. I wanted to immerse myself in all things hoop-related. Hoop making, hoop tricks, web forums; I couldn’t get enough! I spent hours playing with my hoop, new bruises be damned. But gradually, over the course of months, then years, we became a part of each other’s lives. I got busy with other things. I wasn’t surprised and delighted to see my hoop, I knew that it would always be there. The truth is, I miss that hoop love. I miss the fire. So this week we’re taking a look at how to reignite that flame again and bring back our hooping passion.
1: Define what makes you happy. While the novelty of hooping can never be replicated, the passion that it inspired absolutely can. It starts with slowing down, getting quiet and thinking about what we originally loved about hooping. Hooping was an activity I enjoyed as a kid. When I rediscovered it as an adult, I was thrilled to learn that it was a legitimate workout. Maybe it is my Capricorn brain, but for me, any activity that has a productive benefit provides the permission I need to indulge without guilt. Hooping actually produced a real shift in my thinking when it came to exercise. It taught me that there are alternatives to running on a treadmill, and that losing myself in this incredibly fun activity could benefit me physically, as well as mentally and spiritually. I loved — and still do — the physical feeling of hooping. I love the feel of the hoop on my body and when we take the time to get together on a regular basis, I always have the same thought: I’ve missed this. Taking time out to actively reflect and remind ourselves why we fell in love is the first step. It strikes the match.
2. Shake up your routine. I admit it: I’m a creature of habit. And in most cases, having a routine I can count on works for me. It keeps me organized (yup, Capricorn) and gives me just enough of a framework to move through my days without feeling overwhelmed. But this also has a downside. When you do the same thing every day, you stop seeing what is around you and you start to take it for granted. So to spark some excitement around hooping, I needed to shake things up a bit and break up my day a little differently. I have the advantage of working from home so I can choose to start my morning with hooping, or break up my day with mini hoop breaks throughout the afternoon. The important thing is to create space to spend time together and to be less predictable about it when we do. That’s why I set a new goal to experiment each day this week with a different approach to hooping and see what grabs me. My hoop and I will be getting together at a new time, changing up our music playlist, spinning it up in a different room, maybe even doing it outside. What’s key is being playful.
3. Set new goals. When I first started hooping, I had a long list of hoop tricks I was going to learn. I remember the excitement of finally mastering shoulder hooping and my elated shouts when I figured out how to grab the hoop from behind my back and lift it off my body into a halo without dislocating my shoulder or marking my ceiling with hoop scuffs! I remember feeling like I had scaled a mountain when I finally got the hoop to climb from my knees to my waist as well (hint: wear shorts and work up a good base coat of sweat for grippy-ness). But in my relationship with my hoop, we’ve been hanging out for quite awhile doing a lot of the same things now. It’s been a long time since I set any hooping goals for myself and there is nothing like challenging ourselves or learning a new skill — whether you are talking hooping, cooking, technology, home improvement, or more — to bring a fresh rush of adrenaline and enthusiasm. Often that new skill will lead to a quest to learn ten more and when we’re going somewhere together there is excitement. Does my hoop need a sparkly, fresh, new tape job? Why yes, I believe it does, and I think I might need a new outfit to wear with it.
4. Seek inspiration. I work in a creative field and every so often I go back to the basics and do what I did in art school to inspire fresh ideas. I fill my brain with words and images from other sources and let it all marinate until I feel inspired to communicate in my own personal way. In the beginning of my relationship with hooping, I was open and soaked up inspiration like a sponge. Happily, submersing oneself in it again is simple. It could not be easier to find sources of hooping awesomeness online and Hooping.org has endless articles, videos, photos and tutorials with more new content rolling in daily. And if you really want to try igniting some passion, why not take some photos or movies of your very own?
5. Just do it. With apologies to Nike, there is merit to this over-used saying when it comes to reigniting your hoop passion as well. Hey, the experts (sexperts?) always suggest this when advising couples on how to reignite their marital passion too, right? Why not apply it to hooping? Get together and do it. Once you start doing it you’ll probably want to do it again. That’s why I’ve committed myself to hooping for at least 20 minutes a day, four days a week to kickstart my hoop romance all over again. From there, who knows, anything can happen!
When it comes to bringing the romance back into our hoop lives remember why we fell in love in the first place. Get together with your hoop in new ways that keep things from becoming routine. Create new goals and adventures for the two of you and seek out inspiration from others to open your mind and your life to all the possibilities the two of you can have together. In the end, when you get away from it all for some quiet hoop time alone, it’s going to be a beautiful thing. If you have ways you’ve found to keep the hoop love alive in your life, I’d love to hear about them in the comments below, and I’m sure others would as well.
Hooping.org Columnist Abby Schwartz has been sharing her hoop journey with readers almost since it first began back in 2010. A freelance writer specializing in health, wellness and fitness, we’re delighted to have her on the Hooping.org team. She lives in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, USA.