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Hula, Hula, Hula Hoop
Before we start, let's get one thing straight: I am the epitome of all things suck-at-sports. I've tried them all: basketball, volleyball, swimming, baseball, soccer… I can't do any of them. And don't even get me started on football.
Of course, hockey isn't all that bad… until you put me on ice.
And I'm decent at tennis… until you put me in an actual match.
And I actually would probably be pretty good at track if it weren't for my asthma and lack of natural ability – Heh. Never mind.
The point is, I'm probably the most nonathletic person in the world. Make that the universe. I'm taking Basic PE right now, and failing miserably at it (luckily, they grade on participation, not how often you fall on your butt). But, through all the bruises, twisted ankles, and other injuries of the like, I've discovered that there is one thing sports-related that I can actually do. In fact, I'd even go to the point of saying that I'm good at it.
Oh look! On the track, on the field, on the court! It's Danica Patrick! It's Michael Phelps! It's Misty May Treanor! No!
It's me. Hula hooping.
I first learned how to hula hoop back in the second grade. I was just an average hooper back then. I could get the thing to go around my waist a few times before dropping, and I was happy with that… until I witnessed my first ever hula hoop contest. Or, more appropriately, I got smashed to pieces participating in my first ever hula hoop contest (seven year olds can be surprisingly brutal when it comes to competing, let me tell you).
Another simple fact about me: I hate losing. I'm massively competitive, and if I lose, I'm probably more likely to keep going until I finally win than to sit it out for a million bucks. So, after losing that first contest, I set myself up to swamp the competition by practicing every day and getting better and better. Eventually, I migrated back to that competition and won first place. That was just the first step in my hula hooping career.
I began widening my range of hula hooping objectives as I got older… I mean, I'd put so much time into it in elementary school. There had to be something I could do with it after all of that sweat, right? The answer came in the form of my church talent show. I choreographed an entire dance routine to me hula hooping, got loads of praise, and decided I liked doing that even more than the competitions, so I started doing more talent shows… and then I was performing at open mic nights and impromptu dance parties with my theatre company… and eventually I found myself putting the fact that I'm a semi-professional hula hooper on acting résumés when auditioning for things.
It's funny how something as minuscule as learning how to hula hoop can change a life so much. Believe it or not, I've actually made friends through hula hooping, and it's made me more appealing to cast in things because it's a rare talent. Not a lot of people can complete relatively hard dance moves, sit down, or hop on one foot while hula hooping.
And besides all of that, it's kept me and my nonathletic body fit. I'm your average pizza and Taco Bell scarfing teenager, and yet I'm a size zero and pretty well in shape. Hula hooping has done that for me. It's boosted my confidence and made me feel like a real athlete.
Well, you know, except for when the football comes flying at me in PE class.