by Philo Hagen
It’s Memorial Day Weekend in the United States and that means summer has arrived for those of us who live here. Hooping season is officially upon us and when it comes to celebrating the warmer weather and having fun in the sun there are a few essential ingredients you are going to need. First, you’ve got to have your favorite tunes, whatever they may be, so make yourself a happy summer playlist then hit the play button and crank it up! Second, you’re going to be needing more of your favorite liquid libation. Mine is that treat known as the Arnold Palmer – half ice tea and half lemonade – but whatever yours is you’re going to be needing extra fluids to keep your happy hooping self hydrated. And thirdly, you’re going to need your hoop. In fact, you should probably just take your hoop with you everywhere you go this summer. After all, there are a whole lot of really great reasons for doing just that.
For starters you will be seen as a Joymaker. Hooping doesn’t just put a smile on our own face, you’ll be seeing smiles pop up on the faces of many of the people that you pass along the way. Wherever you go, wherever you are, whether you’ll even fully aware of it or not, you’ll actually be spreading joy. Maybe those who see you will reflect back to when they were kids and how much they enjoyed the hula hoop and they’ll send you a smile. Maybe they’ll just love that you love it! Whatever the case may be, you’ll be telling the world that you’re fun and it’s no big secret that the world could use a little more joy and fun this summer. Simply by bringing your hoop with you you’re making it happen. Plus, it’s also a really great for recruiting. You’ll be destined to encounter those with “that look” in their eyes, y’know that look, the ones who will be telepathically telling you and wishing and hoping that they will get to give it a spin for themselves. And if you have the time, by all means let them, then let them know where the next hoopjam or class or event or gathering is too. After all, by turning someone on to the magic of hooping you’re quite likely meeting people you’ll soon be seeing again and again. You might just be meeting your most future favorite treasured friends.
Another thing about taking your hoop with you is that there may be all kinds of people hooping where you live, but how would anyone know or find one another if all of us kept our hooping relegated to private? Taking your hoop with you throughout the day is the single most sure fire way to find the other hoopers living near you. Why? Because whenever we see someone out in public with a hoop, we just have to go talk to them about it! If you’re sending out “The Hoop Signal” with a smile on your face, any other hoopers in your vicinity will answer the call and before you know it you’ll have a new hoop group getting together.
Even though your summer is destined to be wonderful, there are bound to be a few moments here and there that might need a little spirit lifting too. If you’re feeling tired or a little down in the midst of your day this coming season, your hoop will be right there with you – ready and available with some welcome relief. When it comes to hitting that 3:00 pm wall at work a five-minute hoop session can be just as effective as an iced latte in perking us back up, boosting our physical energy and helping us get our shine back. Many out there may have gotten a little stiff over the winter as well, but don’t worry. The hoop is great for getting the kinks out, not to mention that it’s a great tool for stretching too. By having it with you and ready for a quickie, you don’t have to wait all day and let that physical tension pile up in your body this summer. Grab your hoop when your body says it needs a break and your summer will stay in flow.
The hoop is also a powerful meditation tool and is phenomenal for getting us back into the here and now, living in the present moment. How can we enjoy our summer if we’re not even home for it? Many stress counselors who aren’t even hoopers regularly counsel their clients to only worry about what is going on inside of their own personal hula hoop, and we won’t even need to be metaphorical about it! Even a five-minute quiet hooping session with our eyes closed, just feeling the hoop on our body and focusing on our breathing and the rhythm of the hoop can help us chill whenever we need a little cooling down and centering.
Let’s also not forget that hooping is the perfect workout to get us back into summer shape, and maybe even that summer swimsuit. Summer has a tendency to bring even more events and activities to our already busy lives, so when do we have time to exercise? Answer: Whenever some free time finds us if we already have our hoop handy. Can’t find an hour in your hectic schedule to hit the gym? Who cares? A few ten minute exercise breaks throughout the day will give you that half hour of exercise whenever you can find some time to squeeze it in, and when you’re burning 210 calories in half an hour you won’t have to worry about having a little extra frozen yogurt.
If you’re taking your hoop with you everywhere this summer you also never know what can and will happen. When we say no life is pretty predictable. There’s not a lot of alternatives to figure out, but when we say yes the possibilities are limitless! We’ve all had those moments when we show up somewhere and for one reason or another – a band is doing a free afternoon lunchtime concert – that song just comes on the radio that makes us want to spin it up – an idea for a hoop move suddenly pops into our head… and with our hoop by our side we won’t ever have to find ourselves saying, “If only I had my hoop with me right now!” And who knows, your hoop might just accidentally roll over to that cute guy or gal you’ve had an eye on. Hello! You might even get famous! Most of us wouldn’t mind having a little more attention in our lives and total strangers might ask to take our picture. People may walk right up and give you money. Seriously, those who aren’t familiar with hooping may think you’re performing even if you’re not. Someone might even offer you a gig or a job. Show up in the same place often enough and you might even become the topic of your own summer news story. We’re not kidding! All of these things happen and a whole lot more!
Most of all, when it comes to celebrating summer we all can use a little reminder in our lives to take time out to play. All work and no play makes most of us pretty miserable and summer is the perfect time to pocket the procrastination and simply enjoy ourselves. Even hoopers who have been at it for quite awhile can forget to play, spending too much time focusing on perfecting this move or that, rather than simply letting go and having fun. So get out of your head and into the sunshine dear hooper! The world awaits you and carrying your hoop with you out and seeing all the smiling faces, having the conversations, making new friends, all the while finding our space and taking care of ourselves along the way – will help you create enough space in your life to simply welcome more play time and welcome every day of summer with a smile. Take time out for your daily recess and you’ll have a blast with your hoop all summer long. Have a blast this summer hoopers! You deserve it!
Philo Hagen is the Co-founder and Managing Editor of Hooping.org. He’s been spinning things up online and off since April 2003. Co-Founder of the Bay Area Hoopers and LA Hoopers hoop groups, Philo has performed internationally and has won Hoopie Awards for Male Hooper of the Year and Video of the Year. He lives in Los Angeles, California, USA.