When someone says to me they do not have time to learn to ‘dance like you do’ I always give a little laugh and say,
“Try finding the time as a single working mom!”
I started out hoop dancing 3 years ago, right as the father of my children left me for the first time. It was a devastating experience but I was fortunate enough to find this tool to help me get through the rough times. Hoop dancing became like a drug to me. Whenever I felt depressed or pissed off, I just picked up my hoop and let it all out. Instead of being destructive and succumbing to the situation at hand, I found a way to better myself and picked up that hoop every chance I could get to it.
Even if it was just for a few minutes. Even if I just picked up the hoop and felt the heaviness of the upward rotation of the isolation. Even if my baby was crying and wanting me to pick her up because I was the only one around. I would learn to lose myself in a hoopful meditation.
I could go on and on about how hard it is to be a parent in general. We give up everything that is ‘me’ to an almost thankless amount of work to make a better them. Where do we find the energy to even look at a damn hoop!
I get that.
There are days where I will even hide my hula hoops away in the closet because I am just not feeling it. But for the most part, it is my drug. I am addicted to feeling good about myself and knowing that I am learning an art form that many know very little of or about it. I get to show people a few tricks and make them smile. That is an addiction in itself!
Another thing is that most hoop dancers I meet in the online community are mothers or fathers themselves! It is a beautiful thing to be able to connect with so many like minded individuals.
Then there are the endless amounts of videos on YouTube or any of the Hoop Dance Groups on Facebook that have tons of tutorials for beginner to advanced hoop dancers. And if you look a little harder, you might even find a hoop happy friend who will let you borrow their practice hoop to get a feel for it. Or just get one of your own from the Shelled Hoops online store. It is worth your time to have a few minutes to yourself even as a single mother.
If you have always loved watching others dance with this flow art or just need something new, then I encourage you to get started without any hesitation. You’ve got the time and the kids will love it too.
I have always been a worrier. I am and have always been plus size, so I worry about what other people think and how I look. I worried about school when I was attending. I was always stressed about the pressure my parents put on me for everything. And now that I am older and a mom to my beautiful son, Beau, as well as a soon-to- be wife, I worry about several different things… especially these two men in my life. I am still struggling with being comfortable with myself but I have come miles from where I was thanks to hula hooping. Although some old habits die hard, it’s very important to find a way to work though your own personal things and fully function for your family.
It’s very easy to feel trapped in the hustle and bustle of the day to day. I know I sometimes feel suffocated by stress and worry. Being a stay at home mom often means I don’t have time for myself. Being over stressed is not healthy, not for your mind, not for your body, and certainly not for your family. But it is so easy to find yourself in that state of mind. Sometimes you have to release the tension that builds up and channel it into something positive and healthy. Hula hooping has become my release of my built up emotion and stress. Hooping is my way to feel free of all of my worries. Although I don’t have a lot of time for myself, every time I pick a hoop up and start spinning and dancing I feel my stress melt away. It’s my vacation when I have no hope of having one. First it was practicing things and just being so wrapped up in thinking about something that was fun. It then progressed into a way to dance and have fun in my private time. Now it is so much more. I practice and dance just as I used to but I can loose myself in the movements without thinking or feeling pressure. I don’t have to be somewhere private to feel free and comfortable. It helps keep me centered and connected.
I try to make an appoint to hoop every day. Some days I can only spend nap time with my hoops and other days I try my best to teach Beau, my son. And sometimes he just plays on his own while I dance. I have also met some wonderful people from the flow community around me. We have play dates with our babies while we play with our hoops. I try to meet up and hoop with my fellow hoopers as often as possible. It’s always nice to learn and teach each other new things. Often hooping is my only lifeline to the world outside my house. Every chance I get I try to inspire people to not be discouraged for whatever reason and to pick up a hoop. To teach others something that has enriched my life so much is the best gift I could ever try and give. I am forever grateful to my friends who encouraged me and showed me in the beginning.
I would have never believed that my break from everything, my time to just be with myself, would be hula hoops. Never hesitate to try new things, maybe the unexpected will be your escape! If you would like to try hula hooping to relieve your stress, or just to have some fun…check out Michelle’s shop here!