World Hoop Day Blog

In the News: Hooping Hits Washington Park

Hooping Hits Washington Park


April 7, 2010 at 11:25 am by Vincent Barr
How it all began. ( 

Over the weekend, on a walk to Washington Park, I saw a group of five packing into a station wagon.  They fit into the vehicle quite easily, but their hula-hoops – not so much.  I couldn’t help but think, why not lose the hoops?

Clearly, I had missed the boat on this one. About 15 minutes later, I saw one Washington Park peppered with snoozing hoops.  I wouldn’t say I was among the minority as hoop-less, but the hoop-ed were certainly giving us a run for our money.

After a bit of post-park research, I realized there’s a new trend emerging that goes by the name of ‘fitness hooping’.  There’s even a World Hoop Day.  Who knew?

The Albany hoopers weren’t members of the standard fitness archetype though.  They weren’t clad in sports bras or matching warm-ups, but rather in everyday clothes, and I liked that. There were no whistles or fluorescent windbreakers, and no sunglasses with the really reflective lenses.

Fitness hooping seemed pretty casual, but I still didn’t really get it.  I thought hula hooping died off over a century ago and for good reason: it’s not really fun and it’s not really exercise. So, where’s the incentive? Changing its first name from ‘hula’ to ‘fitness’ does not create a new animal… or does it?

There has been an onslaught of off-the-wall fitness gimmicks, like the product that guaranteed abs in just five minutes of exercise per day, or more recently, the questionable Shake Weight and its equally questionable video. Might the latter gadget start popping up around local parks, too?  A part of me really hopes so.

Personally, I would rather see rollerblades re-enter the spotlight light-years before fitness hoops do. I’ve got a pair in the trunk of my car just waiting for the day when it’s once again socially, morally, and ethically acceptable to roll alongside traffic on eight little wheels.

I might even go as far to say I would rather see visors dodge Darwin and make a short, purposeless return.

You can move your hips in a circle? Great. Can you do in a dark closet somewhere; somewhere where no one can see you? Prove it.

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