HOOP FRIENDS!! and Classes! I live in Liberty, Missouri and I have never been to a Hoop Jam or a Hoop Class and I have been hooping for 3 1/2 years or so. I know crazy right? Well, let me tell you my story. I went to this music festival they have in southern Missouri called Schwag. I saw some hoopers and I said " I HAVE TO DO THAT"! I went home made a hoop and then couldnt keep it up so I stopped. A couple months later I ran into this hooper named Ziggy and went up to her and asked questions. She was soooo great! She told me to stay determined and that she had lost like 30lbs with the hula hoop. The next day I started trying to hoop again. About a week later I was hooping up to 3 hours a day. It was insane. My body was beaten and tired but I was so addicted. About 4 months after that I had learned quite a few tricks. My flow wasn't great and still isn't, but I felt confident enough to take my brand new LED hoop to this festival Spring 4 Green. It was a small event, and I thought it would be a great place to make my debut hooping in the public. I was wrong. There was an abundance of Hoopers there! I thought that would be a good thing, because everything I read or was told was about how amazing the hooping community is. How accepting and so on. So, right away I grab my hoop out of my car and I start walking down this hill, there were these two hoopers walking up the other side. They were skinny decked out in awesome clothing, and I heard one make a joke at my expense. Then the other one chimed in about how there should be a weight limit for people to hoop. It hurt. It hurt soooo bad. So, I only hooped at the small stage that night. I did meet some nice hoopers there, these girls from Hoop Mama's. However, I didnt have the nerve to hoop around them or around any other hoopers after that. It was a HORRIBLE night for me. After that I would only hoop around friends and family for the longest time. Then that June I took a trip to Wakarusa and hooped my butt off. It was by far the best time of my life. I met some awesome hoopers there from all over. They were all very nice to me. I was getting some confidence. I since then I have made a little money off my hooping, hooping at this pumpkin farm in the fall as a scarecrow. I still mainly hoop just for me though. One thing I could never get over was fear of running into those girls and or being judged like that again. So, even though I live right here in the KC area.. I have been scared to go to a hoop jam or to any classes due to that fact. I now know I need to step out because my hooping has stalled considerably. I am desperate to improve at this point, I want to be better on so many levels. I also don't want to care what judgmental people may think. The one thing I have learned is that the hooping community is awesome... unfortunately hoopers are still people and there will always be bad apples. Now, I need to integrate myself in the KC community and pray to be welcomed and not judged. That is the quick version of my story, any advice out there on classes or jams in the area ?
Anna, I can't help you with the classes or jams thing since I'm not in the area, but I want to encourage you to continue stepping out and hooping in public because chances are, those girls don't even remember the original encounter. That's the problem with being mean like that - the person who did it forgets and moves on, but the person on the receiving end bears the scar long afterward.
Even if you do see them again and they do remember, think of this: you've continued to hoop despite them and you've improved. If they're still catty, they must not have changed all that much in the last couple of years, so who's better off? I actually feel sorry for people who think it's okay to have a laugh at someone else's expense; they obviously aren't true hoopers at heart, or they'd have more accepting attitudes. They'd encourage your journey, knowing how beneficial the hoop is for everyone who finds it.
Forgive them for being that way (for your benefit, not theirs), and let go of the fear of being judged. Truth is, there's always going to be someone out there thinking it's okay for them to act like that; not all of them will be as vocal, that's all. You know what you can do, so just do it and be joyful about it and be like a duck - let the nastiness roll off your back. Don't let it penetrate. It's not easy to stay tender and still keep the hurtful things out, but it's worth the effort. It will make you a better hooper and keep you a loving person.
Take in the love God has for you and this community sends to you, and refuse to admit the emotional vampires into your life. Have a blessed life, my hoop sister. :)
I'm glad my words help, Anna. I went to a festival not long ago and hooped with a friend. We were there for about an hour and a half (not hooping the entire time; it was way too hot for that), and we even ended up as one of the two photos the local paper used to cover the event. Here's the thing; my friend (Halimeda Hoops) is tall, slim, athletic and in her 20s. I'm short, curvy, only athletic in a hoop, and in my mid 40s. Were there butterflies in my stomach going into this? You bet. Did I think folks might be judgmental, especially seeing the two of us together? Sure. Did that stop me? No way!
We both took extra hoops and encouraged any adults who seemed interested to try it. The kids were no problem - hoops are kid magnets. The adults were another story. But because I was out there, showing them it can be done by a fluffy middle-aged woman, they were willing to try.
That's our role as hoopers - to show people that it's not just a thing for kids and slimmer folks. If we're out there spinning joy and spreading the hoop love, we help the community grow. And if enough of us persevere, the mean girls will either mellow out or leave, because it won't be any fun for them to mock us if we outnumber them. ;)
According to Mapquest, we Coast hoopers are about 5 hours from you, Cathy. It would be a fun overnight/weekend trip if we could go to Carrollton and jam with y'all, and if Anna can make it too, that would be wonderful. I'll have to talk to Halimeda about it. Khaanee might be game for it too, but she still has a ways to go before she's recuperated enough for a trip like that.
Also, some of the other MS hoopers might want join us. We might even be able to make a real event out of it. Cathy, is there an indoor venue we could use in case the weather isn't good? Are there places for several of us to stay for a night or two?
If we got enough people committed to attending, we might even be able to get someone like Caroleeena or B*Hoops to come teach a workshop. I realize you were just talking jam and I'm talking full-on hoop retreat, but it might be a possibility. Just something to consider. :)
Traci...not sure I'm posting this in the right place...hope you find it. I like the idea of trying to have a jam or retreat here....but I'd feel better if we actually had some experience first. I'm the only one who's even watched videos. Here are my thoughts: My brother lives in Slidell, La and probably minutes from Khaanee. From what I can tell you are about an hour from her. That's close enough to you guys that my sister, Liz and I could visit our brother at a time when we could get together and hoop with y'all and learn some basics. It would be easier trying to get an event together here if we knew more about what we were doing. Don't you, Khaanee, and Halimeda have monthly jams at your church or somewhere? I've kept up with your videos a bit. I know Khaanee is a long way from well so it would be easier for her if we come to you. I think if we meet with y'all and get some direction, it would be so much easier to try and plan an event here. We might be able to pull some hoopers from other areas in the state if we figure out how to begin. Let me know what your thoughts are on this.....Thanks, Cathy