[Hooping.org columnist Sophie Febrey helps us spin off any negativity.]
Being a hooper means that from time to time we are going to get of attention, which is something that can be expected when you are walking around with a giant sparkly circle, and that’s whether you’re wearing some multi-coloured awesomeness to go with it or not. I imagine the majority of us are okay with this kind of attention, because quite frankly we are amazing, but sometimes the attention we hoopers get can be a a little less positive. Recently I’ve heard stories of hoopers who have received everything from mildly irritating comments from family and friends, down to outright personal attacks – more often than not, from strangers.
When I first started hooping a couple of years ago, at the age of 18, I had the task of dealing with the unimaginative and sometimes cruel comments that teenage girls can come out with. Someone I met recently online told me about a similar situation only the person who was being anything less than supportive of their hooping was their sister. I heard about another hooper in the states whose husband found their hooping so threatening they resolved themselves to hoop only in secret. Hopefully you will never have to experience any of this type of nastiness but, from one hooper to another, here are my six favorite approaches for dealing with the varying stupid, silly and sometimes mean things that people can say.
Hand Them a Hoop: If someone is getting down on you for hooping, what better way to change their attitude than by showing them how awesome hooping can be. Their reaction to seeing you with a hoop may be born out of a complete lack of understanding. People are often afraid of the things they wish they could experience for themselves, so get them spinning and you’ll probably find them smiling and loving it in no time at all.
Dazzle Them With Your Hoop Skills: Someone thinks you look silly with a hoop? They won’t be thinking that once you’ve shown them that super fancy looking shoulder duck out to foot pass transition you’ve been working on. And even better, the dazzling smile on your face when you nail it will likely leave them wishing they could do it too! When people hear the words “hula hoop” they think of a child’s toy and as an adult they don’t get it. Show them that hooping today spins circles around the the hula hooping of yesteryear and nasty thoughts will be miles from their mind.
Play The Fitness Card: There are people who demand that everything in life needs to be practical, which is a sad way to live. But if you encounter someone of this ilk, tell them that the American Council on Exercise study showed that hooping burns 210 calories in half an hour, which is an equivalent to a very stressful bootcamp workout. Tell them that there’s nothing better for building core strength. If you can give them a practical reason for your impractical behavior, they’re apt to be much more accepting and supportive.
Exercise Understanding: We’ve all had a bad day when someone looks at us funny and we just snap. Maybe that spiteful comment or nasty look actually has nothing to do with you or your hoop, but is a result of some other hurt or issue they are dealing with in their life. Sometimes our hoop joy can be threatening to those who aren’t having joy in their lives too. We may meet people that just won’t ever understand our hooping journey, and that’s okay.
Smile and Spin It Out: Sometimes there is no good way to react to someone saying something mean – unless you are naturally quick and witty, something I’m definitely not! At times you just have to ignore it because there is nothing you can do to make that person change their opinion. In that situation my advice to you is smile, pick up your hoop and spin out any negative emotions you have because of that encounter. Use their bad energy to spin up something good for yourself. Bet they didn’t see that coming!
Talk To Your Fellow Hoopers: Our community is an incredible support system, so if someone has made you feel bad because of your hoop connection, then talk to a fellow hooper abou it. Sometimes to deal with things you just need to get it off your chest, and who better to have a good moan to than someone who already understands all things hoopy too.
Hopefully these six methods of dealing with hurtful things people may say about you and your hoop will come in handy, but I hope even more that you will never have to use them! Most importantly, my message is to learn from the experience if you can, then let it go when you are ready. Don’t let someone else’s issues become your own and ruin your hooping happiness. So get out there and keep on hooping, because in the immortal words of Dr Seuss, “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
Hooping.org Columnist Sophie Febrey believes the world would be a better place if we all shared the hoopy love! Sophie performs with Hooping Mad Community Hoop Troupe and teaches under the name HoopPixie in the UK. You can also find her on Facebook. She lives in Bristol, England, UK.