A Circular Teacher

29 Nov

Featured Guest Blogger: Rebecca Morning glory Phipps

A few months ago, my husband got my kids a couple of water hoops from a local toy store. When my oldest daughter got her hands on the new shiny swirly hoop, she picked it up with ease, and was hooping her heart out in the yard immediately. I was made keenly aware of the fact that in all my 31 years, I had never learned to swing one of those hoops around my waist.

I had seen hoopers at shows, and couldn’t figure out the draw of the jam band kids to these toys. I saw the funny widespread street signs depicting pedestrians with a hoop around their waist, and I always chuckled but never really got it…..

I knew there had to be something very special about it to draw such a diverse crowd of people. From tour heads, to club kids, to exercise fanatics. I just didn’t know how, and up until then had not been exposed to the true magic of it.

After a few days of watching my daughter spin to her hearts content, I picked one up and tried my hardest to keep the hoop spinning around my body. But every time I tried, it fell right back down with a big watery clunk on the floor. No matter what I tried, I would whip that thing to the right and blam…down again. It wasn’t until I stopped and spun it in the “wrong” direction…the direction that felt the silliest, that it actuall stayed up. Just for a few minutes, but stayed none the less…

Lesson Number One:
Sometimes the things that feel the strangest to us move us to new places. Right doesn’t always equal comfortable.


I blogged about my hoop experience and the lesson I had learned right off the bat with my fantastic new discovery.Β  Shortly after, Sara (my fairy hoopmother) sent me a link to some hoop dancers doing their thing. I was awestruck!! How did they move like that? How did they make those hoops defy gravity?! In a couple of days a package came in the mail: my very first big girl hoop! It was a collapsible rainbow hoop and it was beautiful! I was at work when my husband brought it to me, but that didn’t stop me from ripping open the packaging and hooping right there in the bakery! It was blissful!!!

Lesson Number Two:
Even when I think I can’t find anything else in life, new beautiful things arrive (sometimes by mail).

I scoured the YouTube channels, finding all sorts of hoop tutorials, by dozens of seasoned hoopers. I drained the video that my fairy hoopmother sent me of all of its beginner hoop glory! I would watch a segment, go outside and try it till I got it, then move to the next lesson. I wanted to dance with rhythm and beautiful flow…but realized quickly that I couldn’t move in my hoop the way I wanted until I understood the basic concepts of how the hoop moved.

Lesson Number Three:
If you want to learn a language, you first have to learn to make noise.


I was sucking up hoop technique like a dying woman in the dessert. I spent hours in my yard spinning and twirling, laughing, tormenting the dog. I would get a movement, and practice until my body ached. Covered in bruises and dirt I would make my way back inside at the end of a hoop session covered in sweat and smiling from ear to ear…..

Lesson Number Four:
Growth = Bruises and dirty feet…no matter how you look at it.

After about a month of heavy hooping, I started to notice an obvious change in my body. My upper arms started to slender and I could see muscle definition where there used to be none. My bruise-covered legs started to tone up. That baby weight I was holding on to around my tummy was peeling off bit by bit everyday. I felt good about my body and it felt good on me. I felt stronger and more balanced almost immediately. I dropped about 10 pounds in the first 2 months. I figured that would happen after I had read that hooping for an hour could burn up to 600 calories…but I just didn’t think it would happen so fast.

Lesson Number Five:
Fun can make you stronger (this one has been hard to accept!).

Since then, I have become a full on hoop junkie. After a couple of months, I decided to start making my own hoops and hoops for others. I wanted to see other people get excited about hooping too! Hooping has taught me not only a healthier way to move my body, but has challenged me on a daily basis with lessons about life, and yes, even my faith!

Hooping has become a thick thread in my life’s canvas, and I hope to paint it well!


Love hard.
Love right.
Follow your Flow!
Rebecca Morning glory Phipps // “Hoopenanigan”

Rebecca’s Hoop Blog // Hoopenanigans
Rebecca’s YouTube Channel

**A big thank you to the lovely Rebecca for sharing her hoop story (I love you girl!). My heart just aches watching her hoop because I miss her SO MUCH. She is one of my best friends andΒ  is actually my very FIRST friend that I met online and then became friends with in real life πŸ™‚ Here are some photos of our last visit so many years ago. I think we’re due for another one!


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9 Responses to “A Circular Teacher”

  1. Tara Wagner November 30, 2010 at 12:08 am #

    So, so, so love this!

    • livelightly November 30, 2010 at 12:11 am #

      Yay! I’m so glad. πŸ™‚ I love it too.

  2. marymc November 30, 2010 at 12:29 am #

    Tears, tears. Rebecca’s story is so close to mine, I love it!!!. Those feet, I had them, the passion…still kicking even in the cold. I can’t wait to hoop it up with you both.

    • livelightly November 30, 2010 at 12:44 am #

      Oh yes…you two are so similar in your hooping path! I would love to get you together someday! πŸ™‚

  3. Sharonnz November 30, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    Thanks for sharing;-)

  4. Maria November 30, 2010 at 11:01 am #

    I just discovered Rebecca’s blog via Facebook…I didn’t realize the connection between the two of you~~how awesome and tight is the hoop community? I love it!

    Thanks for sharing your story, Rebecca! It sounds oh so familiar! The discovery (for me, it was a fascination with Sara’s posts and videos) the first hoop experience (WEEEE!), the bruising, (battle scars) the making your own hoops and suddenly the hoop is around every part of your life! Ahhhh…beautiful. GREAT POST!

    ~Maria R./HoopME!

  5. Cynthia December 7, 2010 at 9:31 am #

    I asked on Tara’s blog and now am asking here. I started hooping, loved it and haven’t been keeping up with it since I gave my ipod to my daughter. no music, no motivation. Anyway, I felt SO good when I was hooping I am purposing to get back to it.

    But it is so COLD here. (yes, I am whining. We southerners are not used to a high of 39 even in December). How to hoop when being outside requires so many layers? how to hoop inside when there is NO room? Any tips?

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