When was the last time you treated your hips to the gentle caress of a hula hoop? If it’s been more than a few years you may be under the same misapprehension I was, that using this classic toy is like riding a bicycle – you never forget how.
I had been hearing about a new exercise class using weighted hula hoops. While I wasn’t interested in joining the class I did think it sounded like fun. After reading a couple of articles about this wonderful exercise I decided to buy myself a hoop and get in on the action.
I’ve had some success with the hula hoop game on my Wii Fit video exercise program, so I expected the skillful technique I had as a child to come back to me quickly. I’ve never forgotten how to ride a bicycle, after all.
Well, my mind may have remembered, but my hips seemed to have developed amnesia.
I have a theory about past accomplishments: I can still do anything I have ever done…until I try and fail.
In my mind I was still the schoolyard hula hoop champ until a week ago when I pulled that plastic circle over my head, gave it a spin and caused my sons to collapse in hysterics at my wildly gyrating hips that failed, time and again, to keep the toy spinning around my middle.
Eventually, through dogged persistence, I have been able to keep the thing going long enough to get my daily workout, but the experience has been eye-opening.
For one thing, I now realize how much flexibility I have lost over the years. Hopefully, I will get some of that back by exercising. The second, and greater, lesson I learned was to be aware of how easy it is to lose one’s gifts if one fails to exercise them.
There is a theory that says if you want to feel a certain way, then you should act “as if” you already do. The deed can come before the motivation and even create it.
I’ve sometimes lamented that I am not a more innately generous and empathetic person. I’ve allowed myself to act out of guilt, rather than love, more often than I care to confess.
Could it be that practicing spiritual gifts could not only keep a person from losing them (like flexibility and skill with the hula hoop), but might actually help to acquire them in the first place?
I think I’ve got another exercise to add to my regimen. Wish me luck!
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