Most hoopers have seen it, herd stories, or been exposed to outsiders who do not appreciate the art form of hooping. Family, friends, co-workers, anyone you come in contact with will have no idea, or a different definition about hoop culture. When someone is rude, hurtful, or ignorant to the hoop culture, it sets off a chain reaction. The negativity aimed at hooping is now hurt feelings of an artist. Hooping is a passion art and when you are passionate it is easy to feel offended or attacked, but times like these, it can be best to stick to the facts.
We cannot control others but we can change our own reactions, and in turn change the story. Ignorance is the key factor to this problem. What if instead of getting angry and responding with frustration we can take these negative experiences and turn them into learning opportunities.
Recently a co-worker of mine who did not know I was an active hooper made a comment about how girls who hoop are not usually the type to keep their clothes on at work.. I pointed out the fact that I was completely clothed, at work, and a dedicated hooper. My co-worker was not intending to harm feelings or be derogatory, we have known each other ten years and have a great deal of mutual respect. The problem was that the only experience that he had with hoopers was in a setting that caused his remarks. After explaining the weight loss benefits and overall life changing experiences that hoops have brought to me, I could tell that he now saw hooping as a much more versatile activity than he previously was aware.
When we get these remarks it is important to keep an open mind, and fight the ignorance; not the person relaying misinformation. So here are a few knowledge bombs to keep in your back pocket next time you are faced with a derogatory remark:
- According tolivestrong.com:“Hula-hooping is a fun way to keep fit, allowing you to target your arms, legs, abdomen and buttocks through a variety of exercises,. It improves flexibility, balance, motor skills, hand-eye coordination and endurance, and a weighted hoop can even provide enough resistance for a strengthening regimen.”
- TheFix.comlists hula-hooping as a tested and proven method to help people with addiction treatment and survivors of abuse: “What’s inside the hoop, the thinking goes, represents what’s within one’s control, and clients are encouraged to reinforce this principle by reciting little litanies like “This is a boundary. I am protected and contained.”
- The Stroke Foundation also lists hula-hooping as a great PT to help patients: “But for those who can hoop, “just about everything you could teach someone to do with a hoop would benefit a stroke patient in many ways,” said Burns. “Exercises of the legs and arms, which require a midline orientation or crossing of midline, force the patient to use their trunk muscles for stability. Strengthening, stretching and elongation of the trunk of the body are important to improving balance and use of the extremities for stroke survivors. “
We can never expect a change in tone from those around us if we are not ready to rise above. While there will always be the ones who will stick to their stereotypes, and their opinion may never change; that is not something our community needs to loose any sleep over. We can fight ignorance with facts.