I scanned the topics to see if I was duplicating a discussion (I hope not.) At any rate, here I go with my first question/discussion start on hoop city:)
I'm still a new hooper (or feel that way) but I love it!! I especially love hooping outdoors not because I want attention but because I love the feel of the grass, fresh air, and even better if it's a beautiful park or beach. I love the water! Like today a gorgeous sunny winter day I went to the beach with a friend and some woman came up right in between my friend and I while I was actually talking (and hooping) and interrupted me repeatedly to make commentary about me hooping. She was so excited? all smiles with her thoughts of hooping as a young person. And wanted to know why I was hooping for exercise? Other times people exclaim how huge my hoop is. Or how good I am (which I'm not really.) I suppose part of my "problem" is I'm not sure what to do with all the positive attention. I'd really rather just be in this picturesque environment and ignore all the people except to maybe smile and move on with gaze. But they want to CHAT. sigh. I do love kids though I never mind kids watching and asking questions:)
Every time I hoop outside people talk to me. I know I need to get used to this and figure out how to talk to them but I feel really awkward about it. They ask lots of questions, make comments, and stare lots. The staring and watching is easier to ignore than the comments and questions and conversations they want to have. Even if I have earbuds in with my MP3 player on (on low so I can still hear what's going on around me) people still try to talk to me...
Do folks have some quickie replies? one liners to appreciative passerbys and to gawkers?
So far, I usually just smile and say thank you and quick yes or no answers and often start some spinning turning move with a smile and go back to hooping. I'm a horrible hooping ambassador and I know I'm not sharing the hooping love... What do you all suggest? eek.
you could bring extra hoops with you and let them talk for you. When someone asks about hoping you could give them a quick explanation about the growing spin community and hand them a hoop to try. I think it could lighten the mood for them and you.
I also have started having this problem. I usually get responses after practice while I hoop on base (Navy) but out in town people come up to me out of nowhere (some are kind of scary looking.) I'm not big on people approaching me that I don't know and I really don't like being in places where it's just me and another person. (I truly have major trust issues with anyone I do not know.) When i know someone then it is alright.
But when they do approach me I just make small talk about it...I'm not one to scream from the bell tower what I am doing, how I started, etc. The positive attention makes me very uncomfortable too...I really just want to be left alone so i can practice. I don't mind if people watch me and stare...I can always ignore that (unless it's one person, then I always have an eye on them...I'm very parinoid.)
I think what it comes down to is do what is comfortable for you. I keep things short and simple. I haven't interacted with anyone like you mentioned, but if I do I will try to be polite. I've noticed to continue hooping normally helps them get the idea that you want to keep going and not stop for time to talk. And if you are still moving, they will also want to stop talking and watch you instead.
Thank you so much for your reply!!!! It's good to know someone out there feels a bit like me about it:) I want to be polite too! I just don't really like sharing stuff about myself with strangers and I'm not thrilled with strangers approaching me either! I suppose I'm going to get a lot of practice at this talking to strangers thing - because I love hooping! And I love hooping in big open spaces and at the beach. I'm not going to just hoop at home. Especially not now since the weather is getting better:) And I imagine when I break out my LED hoop out in public there'll be more questions too!
My neighbors come over and try to chat me up while I'm hooping outside. But that doesn't bother me at all. I like all my neighbors:) I live in the burbs and they're all very sweet.
I guess part of the thing is my intention. I'm really not interested in talking to strangers, I'm not interested in stopping hooping, and I really don't hoop in public for attention, promotion of any event/site or even of hooping itself. However I feel guilty about not stopping, not talking about hooping, and not sharing the love of hooping. It seems that many folks on this site and the other site I'm on are much more friendly than I am with strangers. I met strangers with a sense of wariness and discomfort in most situations. When I'm just walking or bicycling people only approach me if I stopped but hooping is different. I get that its more of a spectacle. I do love it and I do like talking about it but not when I'm actually hooping, flowing by the beach or dancing to some groovy beats on my mp3 player. sigh. I guess I'm just not very friendly except in certain circumstances. It's like the fact I'm heavily tattooed; people want to talk to me about my tattoos and expect I must WANT to talk about them since they're visible. But in fact, I have tattoos because I love them and they're meaningful to me. I don't have them to start conversations. I have developed some quickie replies to people that follow me around malls, stores, and parks trying to talk to me about my tattoos and that's why I thought I need/want something about hooping:)
I also know that I feel more threatened by strangers because of a history of icky people trying to drag me off in the bushes, trying to touch me, etc. (none of which while hooping usually just walking through a parking lot, walking my dog in the park, clubs, concerts, etc.) And intellectually I get that talking to these hoop interested folks might get them hooping and they're not really a threat; they're just friendly. But sadly, I don't feel friendly or at least not yet.
Maybe I can make up some business cards with general hooping info like this site and hooping.org on it and have stack when I go hoop in the park. I can work up a 2-3 line quickie response and direct them to the cards and go back to my hooping?
You could always say something like "My therapist recommended that everytime I feel like randomly killing 100s of people, I should hoop. Once my urge is gone, I'll be happy to stop my hooping and chat with you." Most probably won't stick around until you're done :-)
Slightly less dramatic would be to just quickly thank them for their interest, but let them know that you hoop to meditate and talking prevents you from doing so. Maybe even offer to answer any questions when you finish, if you want. Even though it is often nice to be social with strangers, you don't OWE them a conversation.
Seriously, I am so passionate about hooping that people better beware of talking to me because I will talk their ear off. But really, it is about spreading the hoop love. Alot of people became interested because one day out of the blue they saw someone hooping, then they asked, and then they became a hooper.
I don't think you can avoid it. In my first hoop class I remember my teacher told me to watch myself in the mirror and decide what to do with my arms because if you are hooping, someone is going to be watching and you don't want to look like a chicken flapping away. It is true, it really attracts attention.
However, if youa re really that uncomfortable maybe try Lacey's reply. :0)
Yeah, I'm with you on that I probably can't avoid it. And since so far almost every time I've hooped in public people try to talk to me about it. Thus why I thought I'd for some suggestions here.
However it seems most folks here are waaaay more comfortable and friendly than I am with strangers. I suppose hooping in public is going to wear me down and maybe I'll just get more comfortable. laughs.
I don't really mind people watching. As a belly dancer and someone heavily tattooed, I'm pretty used to people's lingering gazes. I'm also good with a comment here or there. It's the "conversation" and questions and such that leave me feeling that I'm a bad ambassador for hooping (since I tend to say short quick answers and avoid talking.)