In 2006, I was introduced to hula-hooping by a friend while living in LA. FFWD to 2007 when I moved back to Buffalo, NY. I brought my hoop with me and noticed not many people there hooped yet. In 2008, I started the "Buffalo Hula Hoop Group" to create a community of people who wanted to get outside and play. Little did I know that this little magic circle was transforming my life. As far as I was concerned, I was just outside, hanging with friends and having fun. But what I didn't know was that it was building my confidence, increasing my endurance and pushing me physically in a way that I hadn't done before. Not too long after, I began going to the gym to exercise to improve my hoop practice. I was absorbed by watching as many videos online and becoming a part of the great hoop community. A couple people started to suggest I teach classes. And since I was in school to be an art teacher, I thought it would be good to get some practice in teaching people how to hoop before I had to step in to a real classroom. The rest you can say, is history. I have since taught hundreds of people across WNY on the joys of hoop dance from beginners, to advanced. My last year in Buffalo, was truly something special. It was the Summer I was sponsored by BCBS of WNY to teach a series of fitness class on the waterfront (one of them being my intro to hoop dance class). And on opening night, 120 people showed up to hoop with me! It was absolutely incredible! I'm sharing this story with you because exercise might look different than you think. It CAN be fun; especially with a community. It doesn't have to be walking or running on a treadmill. It is more fun with friends and an activity that excites you or lights you up is the goal. So wherever you are at on your fitness journey, don't give up! Try new things and pay attention to how your body and mind feel afterwards. Focusing on the outcome, robs us of the joy of living in the present moment. So instead, I invite you to just enjoy the process.
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