Last winter I wrote an investigative piece for a local paper. It involved going deep undercover. It involved taking a hula hooping class.
I know! The things I do for work!
It was a blast. I learned to spin it around my hand and up over my head. By the end of the night I could spin it over my head and then drop it down around my waist without knocking myself unconscious. Also by the end of the night I had sent it spinning out of control into groups of other students, nearly knocking them unconscious several dozen times. There is a reason they don't put spikes or razor wire around the outside of beginner hoops.
The next morning, I knew I had taken a hooping class. I am here to say that pilates is for pansies and if you really want a core workout, take up hooping. Especially at the beginning, when every muscle in your body is tensed in fear. Good stuff.
Fast forward to this summer, when those same women announced a schedule of kids hooping classes. I may have asked the kids in their sleep if they wanted to take the class. And then they said "mmmm..um..mmmm....yawn" and I said "great! I'll sign you up!"
Studley stood like a frozen rope for most of the class. Sugarplum finally nailed it (she has tried to hula hoop for years). And I? Could not resist the lure of joining them.
It was one of those classes where the moms sit on the sidelines and chat amongst themselves. I didn't really know any of the moms and since I was sitting all by myself I ended up chasing hoops for Sugarplum and spinning them around Studley's belly. It wasn't long before I thought it would be helpful if I participated - you know, for moral support. And there I was, hooping in front of a bunch of chatting moms, surrounded by short people. Have I no shame?
I tell myself it's like Suzuki music lessons, where the parents are encouraged to learn and practice alongside the child. I tell myself that those other moms secretly practiced hooping in their garages after the kids were in bed. I tell myself that none of them thought it the least bit strange, me jumping into the fray.
I don't hog the swings at the playground. I am delighted to sit quietly and watch their activities, lessons and sports. But sometimes? A girl's gotta play.