An Open Letter

An Open letter:

To my “hula hoop” with love (sorry for the “hula hoop” part)::
Dear JaMocha,
I want to write about you for class.  I’m getting my MFA in Writing Creative Nonfiction and I’ve have tried for days to write about you, tried to find the balance of language, but isn’t balance just so easy it’s hard because balance needs simply balance. You taught me that. You taught me lessons in rhythm, lessons in flow, in time, in femininity, and of course I’m not talking about you, and you know that.  I’m talking about your power, but I’m not talking about power because you are not powerful. You are just a toy, just a Wham-O trademarked “hula hoop,” though you are not the Wham-O Hula Hoop, and you are not the hula. I do suppose you could be some distant cousin to the hula-kahiko, somehow related to the dance that early Polynesians used to perform for their king because sometimes, you are my king. You are my sacred chief, and you are my morning ritual. I bring you o
ut to my driveway, I drag you out and spin you around, and sometimes, I’m only doing it because you look so good when you spin, and I am honored to honor you, and isn’t that power?

artBut sometimes, I have not been honored, sometimes, I have not been oh, so delighted to spin you around. Some days I curse you because you don’t understand death or ends. I scream at you, let my voice get raw, scream that there is an end, and I’ll figure out an end to your lack of beginnings and endings, but I never do, and I never will, and you’ll flip my force and bring force back to me, make the circle bigger and stronger, and let me throw myself in. 

I was in you when I prayed to the universe, to the gods, to Jesus, to anyone who would care. I prayed to you and you prayed with me and we prayed together, and we cried together and we came unhitched together, and I threw you into the air where you would spin and spin, but always come back to me and scoop me into your vortex, and I know I gave you power. You are nothing but irrigation tubing connected with a plastic insert, wrapped in pretty tape. I have made you, dear hoop, but you have made me. You made me with the force I put in you. I fling you, push you and it’s you who pushes back, back at my hips, my hands, my shins, pushing back on my back. Everything bruised with repetition and time, and I feel a since of pride because I think for a second there is no end, and I do get it, but just as quickly as it comes it fades. Open and close.

I couldn’t fit your robust 42’ inch diameter into the overhead. I couldn’t bring you to my brother’s funeral, couldn’t bring you to the church or the cemetery, but you didn’t need to go.  You were already there. You are my father and his grandson. You are the circle, and you are unbroken.

I will write about you dear hoop.


Audience of One, Please.


Audience of One, Please.

I went back to Hooper Park today and this time I had a bit of an audience. I’m actually not so sure I had any kind of audience, but sometimes, because I love attention, it makes me feel good to think that I do have an audience even if I don’t. (Some folks were out eating lunch so maybe I did.)

Anyway, I am not looking at them intentionally, trying to pretend that I don’t think that they are watching me. “And I think, oh yay, I can entertain them while they eat.” Anyway, I started warming up, and two minutes or so into my workout, in the midst of doing a whirl or a twirl or something, (actually, I think it was barrel roll grapevine looking things) I step on my own two feet and I bit it. Tumbled right to the ground, leaves all over me. Dead grass in my hair. Skinned up my knee. I get up. Not a single person has noticed me.

And man, that just made me laugh. Ultimately, I hoop for me.

What do you hoop for?

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire.

Liar, Liar Pants on Fire.

When I was on the streets selling hoops to minors and their moms, I had sort of exaggerated my story a bit.  Hey, man, a girls gotta make a dime. But I would say, “It’s an amazing exercise (true), I’ve lost weight (true) at least thirty pounds (ummm, really?)

Today while working out, I realized that I now have a perfect opportunity to find out if I am liar. Since my year long sabbatical away from the hoop I have gained about thirty pounds. Coincidence, I think not! (right? right?) For about the last week I have been doing an old workout that I had created for a class (you can call it ‘class’ if maybe one student showed up right?)  Anyway, it is so hard. Am I crazy? No wonder hardly anyone came to class.

What do you think? Do you think I am a liar?

Hooping is My Bag

Hooping is My Bag

This is what I have almost convinced myself of: I think I have split my personality. I met someone the other day who is just as obsessed about hooping as I am. I find this nearly impossible, actually so impossible that I think that some of my personality split off of me and formed another person. My obsession for hooping got so big that it had to split off of me and formed an entire new human being. This person probably doesn’t really exist. I’m not sure yet. It seems too good to be true. Finding a person that you can geek out with about the one thing that brings so much joy, it’s amazing, and absolutely surreal. Could it be real at all?

Meghan Daum wrote a great article called Music is My Bag. I read this in a nonfiction class when I was in college.  My professor asked all of us what our bag was. In 2003, I didn’t have a bag. But along the way I found it. Did my hooping bag get so big that I had to create an imaginary person to talk it over with? Maybe it did, but in the end I don’t really care. I’ll hoop with an imaginary friend any day.

What’s your bag?

3 AM Pajama Hooping

3 AM Pajama Hooping

Last night I did a little 3AM hooping in my garage. I couldn’t sleep. I haven’t been able to sleep for a few days now. I think the universe is trying to tell me something. I’m trying to listen, but honestly I don’t want to. I have feeling in the pit of my stomach that makes me uneasy.  As I hooped in my pajamas, I closed my eyes and listened to the music losing myself in my movement.  And like someone shot me in the gut a feeling came over me.

You are going to have make some very tough decisions. This is not going to be easy.”

That was not what I wanted to hear.  Normally, I can hoop my way through whatever emotion I need to figure out. This is different. Bigger. In need of attention. It’s taking me out of my normal flow. I know I haven’t opened myself up fully to what I need to, but I’m not sure I am ready.

Maybe after a few more pajama hooping parties, I’ll be prepared to make these tough decisions.

What helps you make your decisions?

The Story of 3 Long Sleeve T-Shirts

The Story of 3 Long Sleeve T-Shirts

I just can’t help but think that this is the stuff that sliding doors are made of.  I’m constantly amazed on where I am in my life.  It blows my mind to think that if one certain thing never happened a whole list of events would have never been there to remember.

I’ve been blessed in my young adult life.  My chain of events have placed me in a very settling, and exiting place, which is exactly what I want and need in my life right now.

I am sitting in my garage at this very moment. (God bless, this amazing garage. I am extremely thankful I have such a great place to hoop in.) Anyway, as I started to clean this garage, I came across 3 of my long sleeve t-shirts. That means ladies and gentlemen that I was out here at least 3 times in this garage moving.  I probably hooped so much that I got sweaty and I had to take off my long sleeve shirt.

When I went back to Effingham (yes, for those of you who didn’t know, that is a real town), IL, several people mentioned to me I had lost weight. I have had a gradual weight loss and I‘m not going to lie it felt good to get compliments. People wanted to know how I’d lost the weight. I realized just now after picking up those three shirts that that was how. I come out to this garage, put a hoop around my body and move and move and move. I find tunes that make me move and I move it. I rock it sometimes. I rock it most times. Hell, really, I rock it every time. I freakin rock. And I’m straddling the thin line on whether I’m talking with arrogance or confidence. I don’t care what you call it, but it’s working in my life.  I am happier and healthier than I have been in long while. Not only do I thank hooping, but my friends, my family, and every single event on that long list of things that I remember. Without one of those things, I could be someone else. Maybe instead of a hula hoop business, maybe I could have been a rocket scientist. Who knows?

What do you think? Where would you be?


Hooping Classes at Believe Movement Studio

Hooping Classes at Believe Movement Studios.

728 NE Dekum Street Portland, Oregon 97211 – 503.285.5005

$13 Drop in. Discounts on class punch cards.

* Tuesdays: 7:45 – 8:45
Hoop Fitness Class with ZigZag (Hoopnotica Certified Instructor)
This Beginner Level class is a non-impact exercise that people of all ages will enjoy! Easy, Fun, and Beautiful! Discover the workout that Dr. Oz, Time Magazine, and E! News all rave about!

* Thursdays: 6:15 – 7:15.
Hooping basics with Doctor Spin
Mixed level hoopers.  Working on a new trick and can’t seem to get it? Doctor Spin is here to mend our hooping problems. From the basic pump to foot hooping and doubles work, Doctor Spin will break down whatever move you want to see. Each set of moves is taught at multiple levels, allowing everyone to choose their own pace.
Thursday: 7:30-8:30
Hoop Aerobics with Queen Loo
 Intermediate Hoopers.  Once you have learned the basics of hooping, Queen Loo will take you through a set of exercises and dance moves that focus on the muscles will make us better hoopers. Bring water and towel, you are gonna sweat. 503-505-7329