My tripods were a joke. My kick ups were dismal. But hey, my goal was simply to avoid breaking bones, not to actually accomplish anything. I got through them with as little effort as possible. At almost thirty minutes into class, we picked up our hoops and started spinning. Okay, now I was in my element. For about two minutes. Our lesson was to practice a hoop passing drill where we'd line up and swing the hoops side to side and front to back, passing it to the person behind us and then running to the back of the line. This was so not what I wanted to do. For me, hooping was a solo, meditative exercise. I'd come to this class to expand my repertoire of moves, such as hooping on my chest and shoulders, and maybe picking up a few dance moves. I didn't want to have to coordinate my tricks with others. What if I bonked someone's head with a hoop? What if someone bonked mine? What if I wasn't good enough and slowed the line down? What if? What if? What if? But I went along with it. And surprise of surprise, I actually kind of liked it. Just like that guy in Green Eggs and Ham. Hmmm. Something began to nag at me. As I threw my hoop into the air over and over, the nagging became a question:
When had I become so scared of physical movement? It hadn't happened over night. I used to consider myself athletic. I used to like thrills. Yet somehow, my life had become such a routine that I was treating my body with the fragility of a much older person. Yuk. That's when I decided this class would really be about facing my fears, moving my body in ways that it wasn't familiar with. And so I dove in. Trying everything that was asked of me, week after week. The trampoline? Funnier than adult coloring pages? The multi-person hoop passing exercises? The attempts to hoop "off body" with my foot, knee, leg, whatever body part was available? Fun, fun, fun. Admittedly, I never got past the tripod stage of my head stands. But it didn't matter. The important thing was that I got upside down. That I tried. Each night I walked out of the gym with my back straighter, my head higher, my body a little more confident. Sunday, February16th is World Hoop Day. If you have the opportunity to hoop, I hope you give it a try. If you don't, I hope you find something that reminds you that you own your body, not the other way around.