I first had a hula-hoop when I was about seven or eight, I have nothing to peg the date, but I know I used to spend hours hula-hooping with my friend from next door, Richard. He was a slim, football mad boy and could effortlessly spin the plastic hoop round, nothing up the hundreds and the thousands. I was rather more chunky, and I was slower with not such a good sense of timing, but even so, I remember I reached a thousand many times too. We would spend hours doing it, these days young people have so many other things to do I’m not sure many of them would at that age. Or maybe they would… or maybe not many other kids did then and Richard and I were unusual.

Apparently hula-hoops have been popular for literally thousands of years – but made of wood or cane, obviously not plastic like the ones Richard and I had! These modern hoops became a craze across the world in the 1950’s, starting in the USA, unsurprisingly. Some time ago, maybe ten or more years ago, I was inspired to get another thinking it might help me to exercise, maybe get fitter, maybe lose weight.  I ordered one and it arrived, and I was shocked to see it was huge! it never occurred to me there might be different sizes. I started practicing with it, but I wasn’t very good, and it was very cumbersome, and as with so many similar great ideas, it actually wasn’t, and was soon tucked behind a set of shelves.

A few days ago, out with my daughter, we went into a sports shop to get her something, and there were some smaller hula-hoops. The upshot of our shopping expedition was that she didn’t buy anything and i came away with a green hula-hoop. She did advise me, and it is a better size and I’ve started trying to spin it. Very little success so far, I’ve managed 4 complete spins, but I’m not disheartened. As for the other huge hoop, that will be on its way to the charity shop tomorrow!

I’ve no hula-hooping pictures, but my featured image is of the school Richard and I went to as young children.

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