I lost my ability to hula hoop. Now when I pick one up and step inside of it, the best I can do is spin it really hard and hope that split second of orbit will be enough to impress anyone watching. This isn’t an ability that I thought I would have to practice in order to retain it. I always thought I would be able to spin a circle around my waist for more than a second. I was wrong.
I really haven’t lost any sleep over this, though. In fact, every time I try and fail I usually just shrug it off and look for an activity I can actually do. But there was one day when I was in fourth grade that I was not only keeping the hoop going, but I was in a contest to see who could sustain the longest. On that day I was weirdly confident that I could best my opponents in this because what I lacked in skill, I made up for in heart. I was a passionate young man then, but only for brief moments about things that didn’t matter.
If I’m not mistaken, the winner of the contest was Jillian Anderson, or Andrews, or something like that. I got the first name right probably. The only clear memory I have of the event is watching her spin away for what became a ridiculous amount of time before the other girl gave up or passed out or whatever. I don’t actually remember feeling upset about my loss, but I’m almost certain that was the last time I picked up a hula hoop until I was an adult.
Suppose I blame this loss of ability on the physics. Maybe I could do it now if I wanted to, but the size of the hoop has to exceed a certain circumference so I may exert less energy to keep the thing in orbit. Having a 17 inch waist probably made a big difference for me back then. This is speculation of course, attributed to my rudimentary understanding of physics and my inability to estimate circumferences. I was actually very skinny so my waist had to be at least half of what it is now if not more. Now Google is at my immediate disposal so I could actually look up the numbers and have a more accurate estimate, but it’s close to my bedtime and I’m not sure anyone cares that much. Suffice it to say that I blame math as the reason for my lack of success inside the hoop and not just because I got old and became a square.