I don’t know about you but I love a good challenge! On January 2, 2013, I decided to join the 30-Day Hoop Challenge for the month of January, hosted by Hooping,org for anyone aspiring to get back into regular hoop practice after the busyness of the holidays. I managed to achieve the goal of hooping at least thirty minutes per day by month’s end. When February dawned I saw no reason to break the streak so decided to continue and see how many more days of hoop practice I could string together. I missed a day here and there but decided to continue to challenge myself through the year and see how I did.

To date, on 126 of the 195 days since 2013 began, I have hooped for thirty minutes or more. I’ve hooped nearly two out of every hree days, so far. I’m thrilled to have managed this during a year in which I’ve worked a full time, high-stress job and am commuting almost two hours a day. Normally any of those things would be enough for me to pass on hooping. Instead of letting it all get the better of me, more often than not, I turned on some music and grabbed my hoop.

My mom loves making a game out of things she might not be feeling enthusiastic about doing because if she approached it as a game, it was more fun. I used to think she was silly for taking such pleasure in marking things off her list or timing herself in mopping the floor or ‘whisking up the house’, but now I get it. Approaching the things we do in daily life with a light heart and spirit of fun and accomplishment changes our experience of those things. I appreciate her excellent modeling of how to get through tough times and make the best of things.

I am certain that I would have passed rather than played many, many days/nights had I not set about the game of challenging myself to do more hooping this year. The fact that hooping is something I love is beside the point. Even something we love can feel like a burden if our heart is not in it when we do it. The challenge helped me to hold it differently. Some days I really wasn’t up for it and I didn’t force it. Other days, knowing I could enter the hoop, change my mood and energy level AND post another day of hooping on the Facebook group was enough to get me going.

In doing a daily hoop challenge we open ourselves to showing up and allowing things to unfold in our dance with the hoop. The hoop partners with us regardless of whether we are moving fast or slow, whether we are feeling Rock and Roll or Jazzy, whether we are ecstatic or exhausted. There is power in committing to showing up more often than not. The more you show, the more you know about who you are and what works for you. Hooping can be exhilarating, inspiring, meditative and exhausting. It can be rejuvenating, rehabilitating, refreshing and ridiculously fun. Hooping is heart-healing, lymph-draining, core-strengthening pleasure. It heals and reveals and brings us back to the center of who we are. That’s why it feels so good and looks so beautiful and we can’t resist picking up the hoop for one more go-around.

If it’s been a while since you challenged yourself to hoop more, I encourage you to give it another whirl. Every time I’ve done so I learn so much more than a few new hoop moves. If you’re new to hooping and have yet to do a Daily Hoop Challenge, I hope you go for it. You have nothing to lose but the blues and perhaps a pound or two. The gains are countless, though. You’ll be glad if you do.

I’d love to hear about your thoughts or experience with doing hoop challenges. In the meantime, do hoop on!

Love, Jodi

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