This month's challenge is less flow, more thought. The challenge is to write about how hooping (or flow arts in general) has changed your life.


Here's my story:

How hooping saved my life (or at least saved my car.)

Two years ago this month, a guy with a gun tried to jack my car. I was stopped at a stop sign at night with the door unlocked and he opened the door and told me to get out of the car. I hesitated and then saw headlights in my rearview. He took a step away from my car and I gunned the accelerator and got away.

What does this have to do with hooping? Hooping has taught me to be in the moment, to be aware of what is going on around me. To get difficult moves like the vortex and shoulder hooping, you really have to pay attention to what your body is doing and where the hoop is. You really have to be in the moment. This will also help keep you from getting hit in the face with the hoop. After getting nailed a few times, I got good at paying attention to where the hoop is when it’s near my face. J

For the first 36 years of my life I pretty much existed on autopilot. I let life move me around and just tried to adjust. Taking control of the hoop has actually helped me take control of my life. If you want the hoop to keep going, you have to push it the right way. You have to be an active participant. You have to learn to take control of the hoop to keep the planes and transition the hoop from one place to another.

I believe that my practice with the hoop increased my awareness of myself and my environment and helped me see that I can control situations by my actions. If I hadn’t started hooping, I don’t think I would have had the presence of mind to notice his hesitation and take advantage of that to get away. I also couldn’t just let him take my car with my pretty sparkle hoop in the back. You know, not a single police officer asked me about that hoop. Funny. So you see, hooping really did save my car (and maybe my life, too.)


Prize: One roll each of gaffer and deco tape in the winner's choice of colors

Raffle entries are due by October 31st, midnight, Hoop City time.


**** Please start all raffle entries with "Challenge Completed." ****


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Replies to This Discussion

Challenge Completed.


My story is one you'll know if you've read my replies on other threads.  I've been hooping for close to two years now, and in that time, I've found a new level of confidence that never existed before.  I'm more comfortable in my skin than I've ever been, despite the fact that I weigh a lot more than when I was younger.  I'm no longer afraid to have a camera pointed at me, and the sadness that used to be in my eyes in pictures isn't there any more.


I've struggled with rejection all my life - still do to a degree - but because of the feedback I've gotten from my hoopdance videos, I now have the ammunition to fight back.  Whenever I start to feel down because I'm still single at my age, or like I'm invisible in the world, I remember the encouragement this wonderful community gives me, and I know that at least part of my purpose in this life is to show other women my age and weight that it is possible to be graceful and sassy and fun while still being modest and maintaining one's self-respect.  None of that would be possible without hooping.


There's so much more I could mention - quickened reflexes, enhanced stamina and flexibility, an increased sense of joy in my life - but I think it can be summed up this way - hooping is my anti-depressant, my therapy and my favorite physical form of creative expression.

Challenge Completed.


Hooping didn't save my life..but it did at the same time. I started hooping almost 1 year ago. 1 year ago I was formally diagnosed with depression, but have been suffering from anxiety, depression, adhd since I was young.  When I started hooping I found peace. however a few months in I hit a wall.

My depression was raging! But I made sure I hooped for at least 5 minutes every day. I made it my mission that I would hoop everyday. My depression began taking over my life. I wanted to end everything. I didn't feel like my life was going anywhere and I felt trapped. I then got my babies--I got 2 rats <3 They always lifted my spirits when I felt down. 

I would never die now that I have 2 rats to take care of. They need me, I need them. Same with the hoop. I need the hoop the hoop needs me. I still suffer from depression, and my OCD is growing rapidly. I still suffer from ADHD and anxiety. But I make sure i hoop everyday and I make sure I learn from every situation. 

My journey has led me to a slightly different path. I am a very earth person YET I am a goth. With the hoop I have something I can do when I feel like dieting. It is something that keeps me sane. It is something that makes me feel beautiful when my heart and mind are telling me other wise.

Hooping has taught me to keep trying and eventually things will stop hitting you in the face XD. The hoop has also taught me to not take life to seriously. The hoop has also connected me into a world of people that are so loving. The hoop brings me this joy.  

spread the hoop love <3 

I love your story Emily, thank you for telling it. { } Hugs to you, your hoop, and your rats. Lucky rats.

Such a beautiful story.. thank you for sharing! I feel the same way about my two cats - we live for each other and I want to be the best that I can for them. I can't imagine ever having kids, but taking care of them feels wonderful :) Also, rats are definitely under-appreciated, beautiful, and intelligent creatures. I'm glad to hear that you're taking care of some of them!

Don't ever lose hope that your depression, anxiety, and ocd will ease up someday. I have struggled with depression/self esteem/anxiety my whole life and it seems that the more I hoop and focus my life on enjoyment, the better things get. Keep on doing that happy dance :)

Challenge Completed.


I have been hooping for almost two years now and it has helped me deal with my post traumatic stress disorder and depression. I was abused physically and mentally my whole life.  I felt like I didnt have a purpose and was losing hope. I just recently left fostercare on my 21st birthday after 8 years of moving from home to home. I had alot of bad things happen to me, along with never knowing my mother. I always felt there was a peice of me missing. After going to camp zoe and watching the hoopers I was inspired.Their energy flowed through them and their hoops while they danced. I immediatly picked up the hoop and found that peice I had been missing. Over the last year it has become my form of meditation. It calms my thoughts and lets me let go of everything. I feel like I radiate confidence when I'm hooping and everyone I love supports me and helps me. With every new trick I learn I feel like I am becoming who I was supposed to be and I can do anything I want. Looking back at my videos watching my progress shows me how far I have come. My hoop is my circle of zen. Hooping has saved me. It has made me the happy go-lucky, positive, confident woman I am today.


-Samantha <3

Challenge Completed


I grew up poor, and poorly. I've had my fair share of crap from life, molested by a babysitter until I was in kindergarten, my baby sitter after that left me with an unsafe dog, who proceed to try to eat my face, just shy of 800 stitches later, face is all good. Adolescence clearly sucked. Teenage years I got knocked up by one of the worlds fore most experts in douche baggery, then abandoned. For a while there (age 12-25) I got pretty self destructive. My school forced me into mental health counseling from 2000-2003, from 2003-2006/07 I was highly medicated for anxiety and depression, you should have seen my medicine cabinet. Before hooping, I'd never managed to accomplish anything, had no friends on account of being so horrifically socially awkward. The first time I tried to harm myself was when I was 8, so it's not really that surprising I turned to drugs by the time I was 13. I started using hard drugs rather heavily. I spent my life savings when I was 21 --enough to move across the country-- on drugs. Every time I used, I hoped it would be the time I would OD. I figured an over does was a great way to go out: it would be "fun", and in the end make for a good PSA "Don't do drugs like this girl".


SPOILER:      I'm still here, and happy to be.     =D


About 2 years ago, I met hula hooping. I'd never had a hobby before, and it was really nice to have something to do that didn't go up in smoke or up my nose; I had never felt so fulfilled in my life. When I discovered hooping, it gave ME something that was MINE. I wasn't doing it because my parents, friends, or significant other told me to. I was hooping because the entirety of my being was magnetized to the hoop. Slowly, I found myself not wanting to drink anymore because I was too un-coordinated to hula hoop, and because the hang overs made me miss out on time to hoop. Then after a couple months of hooping, I just didn't see the world the same anymore. November 21st two years ago, I went clean. I took up my hoop every single day. I used my hoop time at first to meditate on life. I used the time to come to terms with the fact that the things in the past are in the past, and will be staying there. Through my time hooping alone, I learned that it only hurts me to take things as seriously as I had been.


Because of the childhood incidents, I have a terrible self image. When I'm hooping, my self image is glorious. I feel proud to be me. I feel proud of the work that's gone into hooping. It feels good inside the hoop because no one can see the scars. Most of all, despite the bruises, and busted lips, I feel safe in my hoop.


Hooping taught me that there is something to look forward to. Hooping taught me discipline, and mental fortitude (no more medications for mental issues!!). Hooping taught me it's okay to do what I want, because I'm the only one who gets to live this life of mine. Hooping taught me that no matter what I think of myself, I am still beautiful, because there's only ever going to be one of me.

Oh my goodness, reading this has gotten me all sorts of teary eyed. You have an incredibly inspiring story!! It is so incredible the healing capacity that can be found in a plastic circle :) Thank you so much for sharing <3
^.^ Thanks Maggle. I assure you, I never realized how amazing a silly little plastic circle could be either. ^.^ I'm glad they are!
I misted up, too.  I'm so proud of you!
Thanks Caroline!!! =D

Challenge completed.


My story starts when I was young.I am a very artistic person, I've played Violin for 15 years, Ive played guitar for 10 and i took up piano 3 years ago. I have played in many concerts and now i play guitar and sing on the worship team at my church. so i've never really been afraid to play for a crowd.

When i was in high school i joined colorguard and it was the most artistic dancing i could think of. my friends were in it and i had a blast, until marching band season started and the coaches were too rough and mean so i quit in a heartbeat, It was very hard to just drop something that i loved so much, dancing with flags and throwing riffles. I miss it so.

I was a little depressed when I graduated High school because i knew that i wasn't going to be on a team again and i missed the dancing.

One night at youth group my leader told me about a song, so my husband looked it up on you tube, and there was a related video of a girl who was hooping to that song. I thought this is my chance to start dancing again, so i made my husband go to the store and we bought all the tape and tubing and i made my first hoop that day. In December it will be one year for me =D

Great story, Amanda.  I wanted to be in flag or rifle corps in high school band, but I was discouraged by the other girls on the team (they said I was too short for flag, but there were other issues at play) and since there were no baton twirlers (the only other thing I might have done), I gave up on it.  Now that I'm in the hoop, I can transfer my fifth-grade baton skills to it. :) 


Funny thing, too - I was practicing with my praise and worship hand flags the other day for the first time in ages, and I started rolling them over the backs of my hands and tossing them around without consciously deciding to.  That was something I'd never done before, and I can only credit my recent hoop practices for that new-found flag freedom. :)


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