Yesterday morning at 8:00 I wound my way down the circuitous roads of the park to find a bunch of other women waiting in cars. The weather had a slight chill (45 degrees and rising) but there was excitement in the air. Here I was, part of a big group of women – probably about 30-40 of us, all looking sleepy but ready to start training.

This was my first hoop walk because last Sunday was canceled due to rain. Most of the women had done it the Saturday before so they already had 2 miles of experience under their belts waists. But I was a virgin. I had only hula hooped standing in one spot – never actually walking while hooping.

So, off we went, the big lot of us sporting very different styles of hoop-walking. I tried and tried to hoop with my hips swinging from side to side like the cute girl in front of me, but try as I might the hoop wouldn’t stay on my hips. I finally decided to embrace my own style and to hoop-walk with my hips rocking in a front to back motion, which is much more how I walk anyway. I have no idea what I look like, but I did see several others who had less of a side-to-side womanly swing and marched on with a more sporty, non-curvy look. I think this is what I look like. And that’s fine with me. I just had to find my groove, figure out what was most natural for me, and go with it. And I did. For 3.75 miles! It took us 2 hours which felt like forever and, honestly, for most of it I felt like throwing down the hoop and just running the rest of the distance. I’m just not used to workouts taking so long – but I am realizing that it’s more than speed and distance – it’s about being part of a team and getting to know the other women in this hoop troupe. I’m so excited to be a part of this and I look forward to getting all the way to 13.1 miles on April 24th!