July 15, 2006
Hooping It Up in Carrboro!
it's humble beginnings in the 60's when adolescent girls swung
their hips to keep the cheap plastic hoola hoop circling their
bodies like a planetular orbit of the sun to the 21st century
high tech hoop the revolution rages on! With it's ability to shatter
age and sex barriers, the
hooping craze has now claimed as it's vicitms young boys barely
able to walk, middle aged men who only a few years ago would have
scoffed at the idea of hooping, grandparents who missed the craze
the first time as well as every other sex, race, nationality and
Carrboro News, usually at the forefront of recognizing and reporting
events was completely blindsided by this one. We'd heard about
The String Cheese Incident, their cheesy stickers with the hoops
but had assumed(wrongly) that this was a craze destined to fizzle
and burn out as it had originally in the 60's.
tried to ignore the story as long as possible, but when we saw
Von Nugent(son of famous heavy metal
rocker Ted Nugent), hooping it up along with internationally recognized
bass player with the Off the Road Band, Michael Chandler, we knew
we couldn't squelch this one any longer.
that I could wander over to the East Commons of Weaver Street
Market where the hoopers congregate, talk to a few, take a few
pictures and still not have to leave the sanctuary of the shade
while I gathered information to wire a major story back to my
editor, I decided it was worth the walk. You can imagine my surprise
when I saw middle aged men and a young 8 year old girl swinging
2(yes, that's two- hoops at the same time!). How could my paper
have been so blind! We really need to keep on top of the major
trends and news of the day!(But to our credit we were the first
of the major media outlets to take the position that invading
Iraq would be a disaster!-We're good at recognizing the large
and obvious trends- we just need to hone our skills on the smaller
more insignificant ones!)
unable to understand the allure of the hoop, I decided to exercise
my journalistic skills and ask a few of the hoopers why the engaged
in such a sport(or is it a hobby?).
chicks, man.... the chicks really dig a guy who hoops", said
one UNC student who wished not to be identified by name.
wife's always in my face" exclaimed an exhausted looking
20-something husband who claimed
to have been hooping steadily for 3 hours. "With this hoop
I can keep her at least two feet away!'
trying to loose weight, but I can't afford to join a gym or buy
one of those fancy exercise machines...but I can afford a hoop!"
replied an obviously obese woman who it looked like she would
certainly benefit from any kind of exercise even a walk to the
Weaver Street Dessert Bar wouldn't hurt!
approached three woman who were standing along the sidelines,
hoops in hand, having an animated discussion and obviously
enjoying the magic of the hoops. "Don't tell anyone,
but we don't hoop. We just love the hooping energy and are
trying to integrate the good vibes into our consciousness
without all the work!".
As I approached
a young girl effortlessly swinging a couple of hoops, she
looked at me, with a confident grin and said, "Hey
Mr. Reporter, I can teach you to hoop if you like".
Beaming that she recognized me for what I was, but not wanting
to humiliate myself by having to awkwardly shift my hips
in a circular motion(not unsimilar to what they refer to
in The Bahamas as "grinding" your woman, I just
patted her on the head and said "Thanks kid, I appreciate
the invite...but I have a deadline to meet!... Maybe some
I slowly rode
my bicycle home recognizing that my new profession with
it's deadlines to meet, just like my 15 month old daughter,
in tow and sleeping in the
trailer behind me, were a welcome pair of built in excuses
that would allow me to politely decline many uncomfortable
invitations for years to come.