Tag Archives: fitness

Open to Everything

So… I’ve been hooping for nearly two years. It’ll be two years next month.

In the beginning, there was weight loss. I grew up dancing and in gymnastics and in tennis (which I was horrible at) and was thin my whole life. Sometimes unhealthily thin. Then I went to college. To pay for college and living expenses, I worked nearly full time  while going to school full time and didn’t make my health or my love of dance a priority. So I basically stopped doing anything but walking all over campus. When I graduated I was broke. I couldn’t afford a gym membership and was still being lazy. This continued for about three years.

Then I started hooping. Hooping gave me a reason to dance and move again. Within six months I’d lost 25 pounds. I went from nearly 180 to the mid 150s. It was grand. I began to feel more confident and attractive again. I was happier. I was more energetic, less depressed (mostly Seasonal Affective Disorder), and I stopped getting sick. In my first year at Patch, before hooping, I got sick at least once every month. In the last two years of hooping (still at Patch) I’ve gotten sick three or four times.

However now I want more. I want to be a better hooper and to be a better hooper I want to be stronger. I want to be more flexible. I want to be more toned. I want to be healthier. I want to fuel my body properly. I’ve wanted these things for a while but didn’t care enough to put effort behind it. Hooping has spurred this. Now I WANT it. Bad.

So I’ve embarked on a personal health journey.

In November I started using a meal replacement shake. It was working! But it also made me feel bloated and sloth-like and ill. I tried every suggestion people could give me to make the shakes work, but they don’t work for me. At least not that one. Maybe there’s another out there that’s better for me.

In January I started teaching hoopdance again. This is great because it’s guaranteed hoop time, even if it’s not a full workout. It’s still extra time in the hoop.

This past month I finally got a gym membership. This was also spurred by the fact that we got a new TV and I can’t practice my hooping in the living room anymore for fear of breaking “the precious.” Now I have a place to practice and flail and toss my hoops in the air and it’s fantastic. But then I thought, “There’s a whole gym full of equipment I can use. I should learn to use it!” And I hired a personal trainer.

I’ve been working with the personal trainer for a week so far. It was a tough and sore week, but I feel good. I have another couple months I’ll be working with her. Hopefully she can teach me how to improve my workouts on my own. I don’t want to be that person that goes to the gym and only does 45 minutes on an elliptical before leaving. Some days that may be ok. Rest days. But I want more.

Today I tried my first kickboxing class at a boxing club down the street with a friend. It was hard, but it was great. I sweat. A lot. The cardio part, well, it sucked. It really bothered the tendonitis in my arches. But the boxing part, even though it was hard, I kind of loved it. Apparently I like to punch things.

My weight was in the mid-150s when I got married in October. I was doing a million things at once, going crazy with how busy I was. So I did nothing for the month of November — and I mean nothing. I did not hoop. I did not teach. I worked and hung out with my new husband. I gained 10 pounds. I lost five when I started on the shakes (but then stopped since they make me feel ick). Over the holidays I was able to maintain my weight without gaining — yay!

But here I am in the same place. I weigh 162.5. I’ve done cardio every day for the last three weeks; some days pretty hard core. I’ve done weight workouts. I’ve been watching my food intake. And here I am, still at 162.5. There have been some changes though. My waist is down four inches from November and my chest is down an inch and a half.

I’m putting this all out there to track my journey, be accountable to myself, see where it goes. I’m open to all things health and fitness. Personal trainer? Boxing? Yoga? Zumba? Bollywood dance? Heck yeah! Let’s try it! And hopefully I can move that scale down at least 20 pounds by May.

I’ll leave you with a recent hooping video.

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JOIN HIPS – Hoop Injury Population Survey

Hoopers! Take part in the Hoop Injury Population Survey!

Hoopers everywhere! This is important for us all!

I’m helping out with a big study, known as Hoop Injury Population Survey, that Hooping Ted has undertaken to figure out how we can keep hoopers healthier longer. Since hooping is sort of an obscure hobby/activity, there isn’t a lot known about the types of injuries we get, or how to treat them. For example, hoopers may develop hoopers hip. But how much do we understand about that injury and how to treat it? Better yet, do we know how to prevent it? Questions like these are what the study aims to find out.

To get an overview of the study, read the welcome letter from Hooping Ted below. Then join our group on Facebook to take part in the discussion and find ways to contribute to the study.


Dear hoopers,

I’m conducting the first, large scale, independent study on hooping injuries. The purpose of this group is to build support and community around the study.

The hoop community is rapidly growing, but it’s still pretty new. As we keep pushing the boundaries of hoop dance, and more people decide to perform and teach hooping as a career, we’re seeing more chronic pain and injury. So many hoopers I’ve met have had pain or injuries, but don’t talk about them or hope they’ll magically go away. I believe most of these are preventable.

In order to keep ourselves safe so we can hoop for many more years, we need to understand the nature of our injuries more deeply. What injuries are most common? Why are they happening? When are they happening? Who are they happening to? Only when we fully understand the problem can we create positive, lasting solutions.

The study will be in the form of an online survey, launching May 1, 2012, and run through the end of August. The aim of the research is to explore pain and injuries in hoopers, and provide a better understanding of its causes, symptoms, and treatments. This study is not for profit. It is not directly affiliated with Return to Roots Hoop Gathering, and any R2R questions should be posted on that page.

The data used in the study will come directly from the survey, not from this group. Please feel free to share your experiences though, it’s possible others have had a similar story and can offer some guidance.

Do feel free to tell all your hooping friends to join this group! Please don’t add them without asking first. I think it’s always better to have members of a community who genuinely are interested in being there and participating. 🙂

I’ll be posting updates on the study’s progress regularly on the group’s Facebook group.

The Group Docs have a lot of the essential info about the study:
With Love,
Ted Brancu

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