The View from OUTSIDE the Hoop

I haven’t written. I know I should have been writing, but I didn’t. I haven’t known what to say. If I’m not hooping, how am I supposed to write a newsletter about hooping? If I’m not exercising, how can I write about living a healthy lifestyle? All of these thoughts and more have been tumbling around in my brain for months, and I think I finally have something to say about it all:

I’m living outside the hoop right now. And I’m making the best of it.

As some of you know, I sustained an injury while hooping last year. I was working on a new move and had the wrong footwear for the style. The rubber sole of my shoe caught on the floor when it should have slid across it, and I ended up sitting down with my right leg caught under my left hip. My doctor sent me for an x-ray even though I thought it was a soft tissue injury. The x-ray was inconclusive. For whatever reason, he never sent me for an MRI, and I didn’t push the issue. I went to Physical Therapy until we moved to Vegas, and when my insurance kicked in here, I went back to the doctor for evaluation and more therapy.
It’s a long story, but my first physical therapist here in Vegas ended up causing more pain – increasing amounts of it – until I could no longer attribute it to the healing process. I found a new PT, and I started seeing a massage therapist that works with dancers and athletes. Things have been improving, slowly but surely, but I have been unable to hoop or do anything approaching my normal level of activity for months now. I feel the need to explain all this because it has been my life for the past year. I’ve never had a severe injury before, and I’ve certainly never had to spend this much time recovering from it.

It sucks. The process is slow. It’s frustrating. It’s painful. And makes the rest of the normal life stresses much harder. But…I’m starting to be okay with it.

I’m finding my silver lining.

I am…HUMBLED by my body. I listen to it more closely than ever before. I rest a lot. I walk a lot to keep from getting stiff, and I stretch a little bit, when my joints aren’t hurting. I pay close attention to what I eat and when I eat it. Because I don’t have cardio to help with my moods, I’m careful about refined foods: sugar, flour, saturated fat, empty calories. Because I’m taking a lot of ibuprofen, I eat more regularly and more conscientiously. Pain has been a good teacher. I now know when I need to stop or modify a particular activity, and I’m better able to recognize that line *before* I do something to cause more pain.

(I’m going to write a post on pain pretty soon. If you have insight into chronic pain that you would like to share, please do email me)

As for the hoops. My interaction with hoops has been limited to making them, and at a much slower pace than before. I’ve had time to enjoy the process and rediscover my passion for customizing every hoop I make. I know now that I’m not a hoop factory. I never was, and I was beginning to resent the process because of the volume I had to produce, plus the extra work of transporting them to festivals every year just to turn a small profit. I just want to make hoops for one person at a time. The ones I’m making now are all one of a kind. Now I make a hoop because I’m inspired to: I like the colors, or I need something to do with my hands. I put it up for sale because I want someone else to be inspired by it. And when I FINALLY get back into my hoop, that’s what will inspire me: the flow only I can bring to MY hoop.

Hoop Well!  Live Well!

Posted on Thursday, October 9, 2014 6:43