Mama has always said, “Snow is a four-letter word!” I kinda agree. Well, I mean, yes clearly it is a four-letter word… but she is more so obviously suggesting that it is a foul word. Winter certainly has its extensive list of inconveniences, and it’s no secret that we hoopers of the north, who are exposed to such chilly climates of the tundra’s treachery, have a few more obstacles in our permafrosted paths, which can sometimes hinder our cherished hoopy times. While hips in California and the Carolinas are swaying in sunshine, those of us up north are doing what we can to shake off the snow from our boots, cars, and eyebrows. It can be difficult to maintain the (m)O-tivation and manage to stay in the groove in the dead of winter. I’ve certainly struggled with it myself. I miss the grass between my toes. I miss sleeveless shirts and sunshine. I miss picking up and walking carefree to the park without the need to layer strategically. I miss the outdoor noises and activity of my neighbors. But I’ve come to recognize that one thing I don’t ever have to miss is (you guessed it:) hooping! As a matter of fact, hooping is a strong combatant of winter blahs, and no matter the cold, we must fight the good fight, take up our hoop, and seek to repel those good-for-nothing lethargic blues! Upon warming up from head to toe, and infusing ourselves with endorphins, our bodies will certainly thank us.
As with many things in life, there is a sweeter side to sets of circumstances. Consider using your time indoors to challenge yourself to slow down. Winter always seems to be a pretty introspective time of year, so take time to yourself from within the circle. Push back your furniture, and foster a slow start to gently wake up the body. Use your hoop as a prop to stretch and even to massage our some of the kinks in your neck and shoulders. Emerging from hibernation-mode shouldn’t inflict violence to the body. When you’re ready, rise and hoop! I often like to start with slow music, but lately, I’ve been opting for a heavier hoop and just rockin’ out to a good book. It’s pretty great to start my day with my favorite breakfast combo: reading, hooping, and (of course) coffee.
Perhaps most importantly, do what you can to seek out a hooping community! This is likely the best option for finding a large space that you can let loose in! Here in Pittsburgh, we’re very thankful to have the Union Project where a group of us can come together and hoop on a weekly basis. The space is a real gift to us, but even more important than the space itself is the community that happens. Winter can often serve to isolate us, so it is imperative to do what you can to seek community of lively folks! If there is no community to plug into in your area, consider investigating local schools or gyms that may have space! Chances are, those in charge would dig the opportunity to activate the space, and those whom you know will be hungry to rid themselves of cabin fever and instead burn the floor in a hoop!
Where there’s a will there’s a way. Your hoop is your portal to make it happen. Maybe get super wild and call up some friends to make hoop angles- hoops make great halos! That’s right– do something silly that give the neighbors something to talk about. Embrace this winter season as something special. Use the time to do some dreaming, and choose to make the most of it! But remember: if you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong! Make a change. Invent, discover, and behold the winter wonder.