Not everyone understands why a grown woman would want to learn how to hula hoop, but it was always one of those talents that amazed me. Hooping looked so graceful and deliriously fun, but I never had the time or the resources to really learn how.
And then, a dear friend with a child close in age to my son said, “I think I want to learn how to hula hoop!” I took this as the motivation I needed to give it a whirl, so to speak. I had a 2-year-old and was 40 pounds overweight, really struggling with balancing parenthood, a career, and an lifelong eating disorder. I needed to do something.
Little did I know that it would turn into one of those obsessions that keeps you awake at night. Soon I was hooping in my head, thinking through new tricks, even when I couldn’t hoop. But something that always intrigued me was the fire performers — those who attached Kevlar wicks onto their hula hoops and set them ablaze.
Finally, I was afforded the opportunity to try it. Naturally, I got hooked. And last year was the first time I had the chance to become a real-live fire hoop performer. Not only was it a ridiculous thrill for me, but the audience response was overwhelming.
Public speaking and performance were never a problem for me, but putting myself out there with a hula hoop set on fire was on a completely different level. For me, it took a lot of guts.