Here at Hoop Play, we’re counting down the days until Christmas with minutes of hooping! Join in and win a hoop! Watch to find out how!
Solstice Hoop Play was born in 2011, the same year that we were married at sunrise on the Solstice.
Our dream then was to find a way to make a living while tending to the needs of our active bodies and creative spirits. We wanted physical activity and joyful play to be the center of our new lives together! So we started handcrafting hoops, facilitating circus arts programming, and developed the Hoop Play adult fitness program.
Then, in 2012, our daughter was born and she became the center of our lives! Now, we're committed to our dream more than ever - as a family!
Together, we're travelling across Canada, inspiring physical fitness, creative thinking and body confidence along the way! Scroll down to read our blog, The Rolling Hoop, or Click Here to learn more about who we are and what we do! Talk to us now: Call 306-281-0127, email firstname.lastname@example.org or click on our Contact Page Here
~ Katelyn & Cody Selanders, hoopplay.ca
We're a young family rolling across Canada in our tiny RV, sharing our passion for Play along the way! Learn more @ hoopplay.ca
Here at Hoop Play, we’re counting down the days until Christmas with minutes of hooping! Join in and win a hoop! Watch to find out how!
We Are Not On Vacation
The Truth About Full-Time RV Living
I used to be the kind of person that couldn’t function in the morning until I had my breakfast and coffee. I would roll out of bed grumpily, put on slippers and a warm hoodie or housecoat and make my way to the kitchen without speaking (I’m lucky to have a husband that’s a morning person, so he would attend to our daughter first thing). After about 20 minutes of eating and sipping coffee I became human again and could do regular things like talk to my family.
Life in the RV doesn’t allow for that way of being though. You see, when the kitchen table must be “built” every morning by folding it out of someone’s bed, one has no choice but to work for their breakfast. The routine is mundane:
Thankfully, while I’m doing this Cody has usually started on the coffee. So, by the time I’m done we can all sit down at the table and eat together.
What would a regular family do next? Washing seems in order, which isn’t too bad except that the water is always cold and usually Cody needs to go outside to get us more. We take turns brushing our teeth and washing our faces in our tiny bathroom while the other is getting dressed in the “kitchen.” If we are showering that day we would first need to pack our bag – flip flops, towel, shampoo and soap, and a change of clothes – before heading to the communal bathrooms. We weren’t sure Reesen (4) would be okay without her usual bath, but she is adjusting to showers quite nicely!
We try to get out of the “house” everyday. When we were actively on tour we were busy all the time but now that we are settled for the coldest part of winter we are careful not to get stir-crazy in our tiny home. We go for long walks and I take Reesen to as much free kid’s programming as I can find. We take turns working - building hoops, processing orders, planning events and training. Still, Cody is hunting for a seasonal job to supplement our income since we can’t make much money when we’re not teaching classes or hosting instructor training.
After lunch its nap time and we have an important decision to make: do we want to stay in the motorhome the entire time or stay out of the motorhome the entire time?
If we want to stay in the RV then we must set-up Reesen’s bed on the top bunk, carefully lining up the luggage around her so she doesn’t fall, but also committing to staying in the RV the entire time to supervise. If we want to stay out of the RV – maybe to hoop outside if the weather is nice or do laundry – then we can set up Reesen’s bed on the couch. We requested a site really close to the main office (bathrooms and laundry) so we can use the baby monitor to keep tabs on her, but if she’s on the couch then there’s no going back into the RV once she’s asleep. She would sleep through a bomb at night, but if we opened the door during her nap she would be up immediately and very grumpy after that. (I know, I know, I have a 4-yr old who still naps so I won’t complain about the logistics!).
In the evening, we prepare our supper on our propane stove or toaster oven, boil water for dishes, and repeat the morning routine in reverse. We might leave the RV for Reesen to fall asleep and once she’s out we can return and chat, make a snack or even listen to music without waking her.
Maybe we want to snuggle up and watch some TV together? No big deal. We just have to get out the folding stool to build a TV stand, get out the laptop and either connect the external hard drive with all our shows or get Netflix going. Just don’t think about going anywhere now, because the only place for the “TV” is in front of the door.
Now I’m not saying that full-time RV life is any harder than life before, I’m just saying that, unlike how it might look, we are not on vacation. We have work to do everyday and if we had the time and money to go “sight-seeing” we would have the added work of packing up the RV to drive it (don’t even get me started on that routine).
But, in many ways, life is a lot easier.
For example, I can clean my entire house in under 10 minutes! I’m talking clean the bathroom, wipe down the counters, vacuum, and wash the floors – heck if I wanted to change the sheets, clean out the fridge and wipe down all the cupboards I’d be looking at maybe half an hour! The laundry never piles up because there’s nowhere to put it, and projects are finished once they’re started because there’s no room for that either!
With less space there is less stuff, which leaves me with a little less to worry about.
Sure I fantasize about a bigger RV – one with a separate bedroom for Reese and enough floor space to do a plank. But there was always something else I thought I needed when I lived in a bigger house too.
And what does Reesen think of this lifestyle?
She has declared that she will live in Osoyoos when she grows up and build a house with room for us in the basement, she is excited to go on tour again and specifically wants to see the ocean and Nova Scotia, her and Tori the cat have seriously bonded…
… but should we do this forever? “HA! No, Mom!”
- Until next time,
Katelyn, Cody, Reesen & Tori the Cat @ hoopplay.ca
We are having so much fun on the road that we’ve decided to keep going! Starting in March we’re going to take Hoop Play across Canada, coast-to-coast, ending up in Moose Jaw next August for the last Connect Festival! We’re working on the tour details right now, but we plan to host Level One & Two Instructor Certification in major cities across the country! Learn more about our program at www.hoopplay.ca
Do you ever feel like you missed the boat? Like, the moment has passed, your time is up and you just can’t go for that dream anymore?
I’ve felt like that before, and I still have those thoughts now: “If only I had started hooping when I was younger, I would be better now… If only my daughter was in school already, I would have more time…If only we had more money, things would be easier…”
And maybe all of that is true. If we could do what we can do now - but had the resources we had before, or lived in the environment we don’t live in yet – maybe we would be more successful! Yes, that could very well be true.
But if those things are not lining up right now, why waste time and energy wishing for a moment that has passed?
That illusive moment, the one you NEED to seize so you can finally live your life, is easy to spot in the hoop. We start with slink: when the hoop is around your waist, notice the gap that opens up once every rotation and when you feel ready just dip your hand in.
Try it off-body.
Try it with your eyes closed.
Eventually the gap becomes so apparent that we can use that moment to lift the hoop off our body, to catch and release it, and to expand our skill repertoire and flow in complex and amazing ways!
But in the beginning, as one new instructor pointed out to me, “it can be so hard to get that timing right!”
So here’s what our hoop can teach us: when we miss the timing do we spend the rest of our hoop session lamenting about the lost opportunity and fantasizing about how beautiful it would have been if we just got it that first time? I sure hope not! Instead we keep the hoop spinning, take a deep breath, and go for it again.
Yes, there is a right and wrong time for everything – from hoop tricks to major life decisions like having a baby or buying a house. But the gift we often miss is that things just keep on spinning for us. So that moment will come again and if we’re really paying attention we can seize it.
So notice that rotation, take a deep breath and look for the next opening. Focus your energy and seize your next opportunity. It will come again, I know it, but if you’re still focused on the last time you missed it, you’ll miss it again this time for sure.
Are you looking for your next opportunity, or still missing the last one?
- Katelyn, hula-hooping social worker & fitness instructor @ hoopplay.ca
Now seize this opportunity: become a Certified Hoop Play Instructor today by attending one of our upcoming training events! We’ll be in Calgary October 8 & 9, Lethbridge October 15 & 16 (with all-ages circus arts workshops and beginner hoop demos too!) and Saskatoon October 22nd & 23rd. Learn more about us or follow our hoop tour at hoopplay.ca
Top 10 Lessons Learned On The Road (So Far)
We have officially surpassed the one-month mark of living full-time in our RV! In the past month we’ve spent one week totally off-grid, attended 3 festivals, stopped for food or gas in 22 communities, stayed in 5 different campgrounds, camped in 3 different backyards, and driven over 2000 kilometers through two provinces – all in our 25 foot, 1979 Okanagan Camper with our 4 yrd old daughter and our temperamental cat!
Along the way we have been promoting our business, hoopplay.ca, and gearing up for 5 weeks of hula-hoop fitness Instructor Training events across Alberta. There have been some amazing ups and some devastating downs, but all-in-all its not much different from the ups and downs of life before! Here are the Top 10 Lessons we have learned so far:
Ah, the festival that we will not name… .
We found out about 2 days before our arrival that 2/3 of the music was cancelled, but we trucked on hoping we would enjoy what was on stage 3. Not long after we arrived other vendors starting packing up, since about 6 members of the public wandered through (compared to the 500 attendees/day they were promised). The music was over by 930pm every night, but we couldn’t hear it from our vending booth anyway. There were no “happy festival vibes,” considering the volunteers/organizers left our workshop halfway through and wouldn’t even check out our booth.
But the real kicker was on Sunday, when we saw volunteers wondering around carrying Tim Hortons cups from the city – right past the independent food vendors selling fresh brewed coffee. We made a whopping $40, spent it all on food vendors, and promptly left (early). On the bright side: we met some amazing vendors who shared encouraging stories and advice!
This place we will name: Kenaston, the Bermuda Triangle of Saskatchewan! Online their campground looks amazing – free firewood, a swimming pool and a playground! But in reality we were *right* next to the highway and it was so windy that we could hardly keep a fire going (this is the place you drive through on your way to Saskatoon where its ALWAYS blizzard-ing). We went to bed early, cold, and our earplugs didn’t mask the sound of the heavy trucks zipping by. The swimming pool was closed for the season (wth?!? Its August!) and the “playground” consisted of a very old and sketchy swing set. Reesen referred to it as the “swinground” but we didn’t actually let her play on it.
The (really) good stuff: Kenaston campground had clean bathrooms with hot, free showers and it was only $15 a night. We gave them $20; it was too good to be true anyway!
On the road from Raymore to Kenaston SK we took the highway that looked to be the “thickest” on the map. About 2km in we saw little orange flags, then little red ones, then nondescript signs such as “loose stones” and “slow down.” We lost one of our car magnets, Cody drove about 30km/hr and Reesen couldn’t nap because it was just too bumpy. The only other vehicles we saw were big trucks and farming equipment.
Somehow, though, this sticky note that Reesen put on the back of the RV, way back at the beginning of August (Connect Festival), has survived it all. 6+ nights of torrential rainfalls that leaked into our camper and 2000+ kms on some pretty rough roads, all the way to Cold Lake Alberta where we are now. I think we should start taking bets: where do you think we will be when this finally falls off?!?
When we switched to a plant-based diet earlier this year I thought I could always count on Subway for meat-free fast food. This is not the case when the only communities for several hundred kilometers have a population of less than 200.
We had a really nice sit-down meal in Raymore but the next morning we had to grab A&W for breakfast: one pancake, two slices of toast, 2 hashbrowns and an order of fries. Mmmm, carbs.
Reesen went over a week without a bath or shower. Maybe that sounds awful, but that is the reality of life on the road. We wash her face, hands and feet regularly but her curly hair can only go so long without conditioner! The only shower she will comfortably use is the solar shower, but it is no longer warm enough outside to use it!
So when we arrived in Oyen AB we decided to take her to the pool – maybe after a swim she’ll be used to the water? No such luck. She cried most of the time, in the pool and the shower (but if you ask her she’ll tell you it was great for some reason).
The next day we bought her a really big Rubbermaid container. Since then we’ve had access to clean bathtubs in the homes of trusted friends and family, but I’ll let you know how it goes when we try her first bath in the RV!
I wore a bright green summer dress to my Nonna’s funeral (in the Catholic Church). I felt a little out of place, but I think my Nonna would have told me I looked nice.
She was 90 years old so her death was not entirely unexpected, but attending a funeral was not something I considered when I packed up for this trip. It was upsetting that I couldn’t dig out my photo albums to gather pictures of her. But instead, I went right to her old house, walked the path by the river that I walked with her, and collected some river water to remember her. I wouldn’t want to get rid of the photos, gifts and memorabilia from my Nonna, but I am OK without it right now.
We camped in Drumheller for my Nonna’s funeral; a beautiful spot, but because of the tourist attractions, in-town camping is more like visiting a high-end resort. Our site was over $40 a night, wood was $10 a bundle, and the showers (and laundromat) were all coin operated.
We have also learned, however, to exhaust all possible options when looking for campsites. It takes some digging, but there’s always something cheaper than an “RV park” and always something better than the Walmart parking lot. I like to check FreeCampsites.net, but its no surprise that there’s not much along the stretch between Edmonton and Calgary.
This brings me back to Lesson #3 and makes me wonder what the hell we were thinking going down that road!
We took another chance and decided to attend a festival we had never heard of before (clearly we didn’t learn after Lesson #1 either), because we had been referred by friends and the organizers were SO nice to us! We followed the directions they gave us, and when we reached the end of the highway (literally a giant stop sign and barricade) the GPS said to keep going. So we drove into the forest, past some “camping nodes” for people that like to rough it and then further still up a logging road. We drove over TWO bridges that were barely wide enough for our camper and said “Private Bridge, Use at Your Own Risk” and still didn’t turn around. Seriously, what the hell were we thinking?!?
Oh, and did I mention it was pouring rain? Sorry Mom and Dad. I promise we won’t do that again.
Then we arrived at the festival in the forest.
Now, don’t get me wrong, everyone there was very kind to us and our daughter, but this was not a “family-friendly” event. Things weren’t yet set-up when we got there, but when we woke up the next morning and found there was no drinking water, only 2 porta-potties (for apparently 3-500 people) and no medics on site we got pretty worried. Not to mention,it poured rain all night until our motor-home started leaking and we could see that the roads were starting to flood out.
If it had been just Cody and I *maybe* we would have stayed (and never ever told our parents what went on there) but I couldn’t stand the thought of something happening to Reesen and knowing there was no safe way out or fast way for help to get in. So we packed up while it was still pouring rain and made our way back down to civilization.
And there’s my excuse for taking over a month to publish this blog and let all of you know what we’ve been up to!
We are learning that when a campground says they have WiFi, they don’t really mean it. No, we will be running on data (or WiFi borrowed from friends and family when we are visiting them) for the majority of this adventure. We have since upped our plan - but it doesn’t make much difference if we’re in a location with no cell reception - so we will also make an effort to take lunch and coffee breaks in restaurants with internet. Hopefully next month we’ll do a better job of staying connected with our online community. Our sincere apologies to those of you who have called us, emailed and sent us facebook messages with a very late response – we are truly grateful for your support and we promise we’ll try harder!
Up next, we’re heading to Edmonton Alberta for Level 1 & 2 Instructor Training on September 23rd & 24th, then Red Deer October 1st & 2nd, Calgary October 8th & 9th, Lethbridge October 15th & 16th, Medicine Hat October 22nd & 23rd, and finally Saskatoon SK for the SaskFit Fitness Conference November 5th and Instructor Certification November 12th and 13th!
What are we going to do in our camper over the winter months? (No seriously, what are we going to do?!?) Follow our adventures in our Facebook Group: The Rolling Hoop, learn more about us or sign up for training @ hoopplay.ca
We’re Wild People Now
2 wasp stings, 1 tick, and about 4000 mosquito bites later we survived our first week off-grid. On our way to Wild Spirit Prairie Sanctuary we saw 3 rainbows. Seeing them was reassuring, as I cried for most of the way there – again.
This time, rather than mourning the loss of our “stuff” (when I cried after we rented out our house to strangers), I was mourning the loss of our community; namely, saying goodbye to my parents.
I grew up just blocks away from my Nonna’s house in Drumheller, and I wanted the same for my daughter. So when my parents moved to Moose Jaw for work, we followed shortly after. I thought we would stay there for the rest of our lives, and now I don’t know for sure if we’ll go back. The more I let go, the further I want to fly.
But Reesen didn’t cry when we left Moose Jaw. It was me who was mourning my own childhood. It’s me who misses when a bicycle ride to Nonna’s house was enough of an adventure. I know this is what I need to do, but I wish it was easier. I wish security didn’t feel like a cage.
We took a wrong turn and ended up at a flooded out road. I wasn’t worried. Now that we’re in our motorhome we always have a warm bed to sleep in, no matter where we are. Jenni met us on the road and lead us to the Sanctuary. The mosquitos started biting as soon as we rolled down our window. I’m so glad we stopped in Craven for repellent.
We woke up with vigor, ready to lead a family-centered circus arts retreat!
The kids all had baskets to collect twigs, flowers and other findings. It was hot and sunny so we decided to go to the yoga platform in the forest to play. I leaned my hoops against the edge of the platform, and that’s when the wasps found me! The sting didn’t hurt too badly, but my thigh swelled up so I sat the next activity out with an ice pack.
I felt better at lunch so Reese and I took a break at the playground. That’s when the wasps found her! She had never been stung before so I wasn’t sure how she would react. She was tough! “Now when other people say that they’ve been stung by a wasp, I can say that I have been too!” she fought through tears.
That night we hooped until sunset and then Jenni led us through a full moon ceremony. We let go of the things we no longer needed and went for a moonlit walk through the forest. We heard the flap of a great-horned owl take-off just above us, and a dear run as we made our way near its bed. The moon was so bright it charged our solar panel all night.
It rained most of the day but cleared-up in the evening, just in time for our hoop skills immersion. We set up the tent so Reesen could have more space to play, protected from the weather.
When I brushed Reesen’s hair I found a tick nestled in behind her ear. I wanted to freak out so bad! But I took a deep breath, went and found Cody, and sat outside the camper while he used his tick remover tool to get rid of it. He was totally calm and so was Reesen – she said it didn’t hurt at all.
At night we could hear hawks and owls. I whistled really loud and the sheep answered, and then the horses. Sorry guys, I didn’t mean to wake you!
It’s getting hot. And we need really need to shower. We set up the solar shower for the first time and try it out. We thought we had the perfect shelter for it, until we realized it was totally see-through on either side. O well, there’s no one around anyway. Reesen loved showering outside!
At night we heard the horses go for a swim! They must have been hot too.
We’re starting to get restless. We’ve walked all the paths numerous times. We set up our screen house, the tent, the shower and are settling into some daily routines. We think about leaving, but then Jenni offers to let us use her car to go to the beach. It’s supposed to be hot tomorrow so we make a plan to go in the morning.
Tonight you can see every star in the sky.
We had an amazing day out at Sask Beach!
Things seem too good to be true… we are doing totally fine off-grid: powering our water pump and lights with a solar panel, using the compost toilet when needed but nowhere near needing to empty our tanks or fill with water, we have lots of propane to keep our fridge cold, the only food we’ve run out of is junk food (that’s probably for the better), and Reesen is having an awesome time!
But, when we get back to the camper after our day out the water pump won’t turn on. We open up the bench to access it and Tori the cat goes nuts – there’s a mouse. My mom phones and tells me that my Nonna is dying. I take the solar light inside at night to read and realize that a cat has peed on it. My wasp sting has been waking me up every night, so hot and itchy that I have to hold an ice pack on it in order to get back to sleep.
I have a meltdown, and we decide to leave in the morning.
The future looks bright again as we do our dishes outside and realize that the water pump was a luxury anyway. We’ll fix it if we need to, when we need to. Cody finds the mouse and kills it, so we say a little prayer. We pack up our camper and head out. We have four days before we have anywhere we need to be.
So now I wonder, what’s the difference between a cage and a fence? The birds look so free, but they are just as dependent as the rest of us – dependent on things they can’t control, like the weather and their food supply. We feel free now too, but that means we don’t have a fence to protect us.
I am learning that I need to trust that I will be taken care of. Wild animals don’t waste time trying to change the weather, they listen to their instincts and keep moving. Wild people don’t waste time building fences, they stay present and keep growing.
To learn more about Wild Spirit Prairie Sanctuary, visit: http://wildspiritprairies.wixsite.com/wildspirit or email email@example.com Our next stop was Fort Qu’Appelle, find pictures in our facebook group: The Rolling Hoop. Now we’re at the Living Skies Music & Food Fest in Melville SK. Learn more about our journey and where we’re going next @ hoopplay.ca
Enter The Hoop Play Training Contest and WIN FREE TRAINING! Here’s how it works:
The hooper in the Most Viewed Video will WIN: a Custom, Breakdown Hoop of your choice (The Starter, Baby-Mama, Trickster or Prodigy), The Hoop Play E-Book, and FREE TRAINING! Choose from: Edmonton (Sept 23 & 24), Red Deer (Oct 1 & 2), Calgary (Oct 8 & 9) or Saskatoon (Nov 12 & 13)!
CONTEST CLOSES THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 8TH AT 9PM SASKATCHEWAN TIME! Winner will be announced on facebook. Only facebook video views will be counted. Questions: email firstname.lastname@example.org
The People, Dancing & the Fancy Ice Cream
There was something really special about Connect this year. Maybe because as vendors and volunteers we felt part of the “tribe,” maybe it was seeing old friends or bringing our cat, maybe because my parents were there loving it for the first time, or maybe my daughter was right and it really was that yummy ice cream made fresh right before our eyes (Freshli Frozen)! Either way, Connect was the perfect kick-off to our year-long commitment to RV living.
The days leading up to Connect were intense. We packed up everything in our house and stored it in our garage (since our home is rented for the year). Only a few necessities were able to fit in the new 250 sq. foot home on wheels. Although exciting, leaving our home with so many great memories was overwhelming - and it was a LOT of work. I would estimate that I stopped to cry anywhere from 4 to 9 times a day in that last week. On the last day we tried to replace the broiler element in the oven and shorted out the whole thing, causing both of us to collapse in stress and exhaustion. But by then Reesen was already with my mom and dad at the festival. and we knew that only a few hours stood between us and good music, great friends, and the furious dancing that cures all hard times.
When we finally made it to Connect we were more exhausted than ever. We spotted a flat piece of land as close as possible to the stages and parked our house. We only made it until about 10:30pm that first night, so we missed the movie. But we had a GREAT sleep (Tori the cat included). The next morning we set up our vending booth and the party started!
I was on-call in the Safe Space (for emotional & psy-crises) but thankfully everyone seemed to party safe all weekend. Much to our surprise we made it until 5am on the second night (Friday) since our very-dear friend DJ 3catsmcgee was playing. His daughter made sure we knew that they really do have 3 cats!
(nice beard Dustin, the music was good too)
Saturday and Sunday was a blur of dancing, hugs, hooping and smiles. My jaw actually hurt from smiling so much (I swear)! Although I was never called in to help with a crisis, I did rescue a few people who got trapped in psychedelic mind mazes late at night and they were all kind and grateful.
Reesen taped her very first hoop (totally by herself and all the way around!) and gifted it to this amazing man (dat guy!) who gave her endless balloons and taught her how to spin glow poi! My parents needed no coaxing to get on the dance floor, instead they disappeared into the garden every time we turned around! A kind woman gave Reesen the best kitty face paint I’ve ever seen, and Reese received enough home-made bracelets and popcorn to make it until next year!
The ice cream was seriously incredible and some of my favourite sets to dance to were 3catsmcgee (of course!), Featurecast (always freakin’ amazing), Adham Shaikh (sooooo groovy), JPOD (watching him dance was inspiring!!) Billy B and Monkey Twerk (I really got my hoop on for those ones!). Really though, there was too much good music to list it all. This was the first festival I went to where I never walked away from a stage saying “meh.”
After the party Cody was on tear-down/clean-up and we were truly impressed by how clean all the attendees were. He barely worked a full shift before there was “no trace.” Well done party-people, well done.
So, I think Reesen was right that the 3 best things about Connect were: #1 The People, #2 the Dancing & #3 the Ice-Cream. My favorite part? Not once did I have to convince anyone to try hooping. The people and the vibes at Connect meant that everyone believed in themselves, and no one was afraid to let their inner child play.
Where is our hoop rolling to next? Find us in Moose Jaw this Saturday for our last local event (Hoop Play All Day!), an off-grid retreat at Wild Spirit Prairie Sanctuary during the next full moon (Wild Hoop Play), and Living Skies Festival at the end of this month before we make our way north and then into Alberta. Follow us @ hoopplay.ca
~ Katelyn, Cody & Reesen
(top and below images by George Wingham)
Can you believe someone actually said that to me? I was sharing my plans - to take my hoop fitness program on a western Canada training tour - with a visitor to our garage sale last week, when she told me I looked good… before signalling to my daughter in the background, and then adding, “for a mother.”
“Uh. .thanks?” I stuttered back.
She went on to fat-shame herself, complain about her kids and then suggest that hooping must be really hard.
She asked me when I had my baby (she couldn’t see my daughter, only hear her) and I sheepishly answered, “about four years ago.”
“Oh ya, then you look pretty good for someone who just had a baby…you know, four years ago,” (she tried to backtrack).
At that point I wanted to tell her to leave so I could run into my house and cry.
I know what she meant, we all do. She meant that I didn’t actually look that good (for a fitness instructor), but that just having a baby would be the perfect excuse for me to be less than perfect.
Her words stung. As someone who has struggled with weight and body image since I can remember, I was reminded of my worst fears and some very painful memories.
This wasn’t the only upsetting comment I heard recently though - while selling hoops, two different grandmothers complained to me about their overweight grandchildren (one was only 2 years old!). One grandmother justified her cruel words by explaining that she just didn’t want her granddaughter to end up like her.
What do you think she meant by that? Does she actually want her granddaughter to be of a healthy weight? Did the woman who criticized me really just want to be skinnier herself? OR do we all just want to feel good in our own skin?
I would like to believe that this is the wish we all have for ourselves, and our daughters.
If those critical, fat-shaming thoughts are running through your head - about me, yourself or anyone you care about - take a second and realize that you can change all of that, right now, by just loving yourself as you are.
I had a moment of panic this morning as I ate breakfast with my daughter, watching her repeatedly spill her bowl of milk on the table. “Oh my God!” I thought, “when we’re in the RV its going to be so hard to clean up after her messes! What if we run out of dry towels? We’ll have to pack up and drive to a a laundromat! And then what if we’re out of cash! What if she’s sick again! This is going to be so HARD!”
Then I remembered that following your dreams is hard.
Some of you know that about 9 years ago I was hit by a car. The physical rehabilitation experience is what motivated me to keep hooping, but I was also inspired by someone I met along the way.
I used to have to take cabs everywhere (because I couldn’t drive, walk, or stand long enough to take the bus) and if I was lucky I would get the same driver - this really cool middle-aged man who eventually shared with me that he used to be an opera singer! I wanted to be an actress when I was younger, but by this time I had submitted to the illusory dream of a “good” job instead. He shared his regrets - dropping out of the Banff School of Performing Arts and giving up on his dream - and cautioned about me about “settling” too soon.
He told me that life is like a river, and as you’re traveling along you might find a nice spot on the shore where you want to settle. But remember that there is a whole ocean out there waiting for you. Don’t settle before you find your ocean.
I think I can see my ocean now. I can smell it and I can feel the strong current pulling me in. But its still an ocean. Its cold and its massive - some of the waves are bigger than my house. Its full of life that I know nothing about. But I know that I’m being called there.
Its not going to be easy, and maybe I will turn back and decide that the shore I settled on before was actually the best spot! But first I’m going to find my ocean.
Times are tough. Are you feeling it? Cody posted a meme the other day about how the tough times will make the best stories later in life, and we joked about how we can make soup from anything! Then people started reaching out to us, first asking if we were okay and then sharing that they had been there too, or were there now. Yes, we are OK (are you?).
We could both be working regular jobs, our daughter could be in daycare full-time and we could always have a roommate to save money. We could even rent a bachelor suite, sell our house and make it on minimum wage (maybe?)… if we stopped spending so much time on this hooping thing. Or, we could be happy. We just won’t settle for money, we want something more.
So don’t worry about us, we’re not afraid of the struggle, we’re just afraid of the grind. That back-and-forth, day-in and day-out, always moving but never going, cog in the wheel, rat race kinda grind.
Our escape plan: Roll.
Today, the Summer Solstice, is a special time (plus its a full moon! yowzer!): five years of marriage and five years of our business, Solstice Hoop Play! How will we celebrate?
We’re selling our stuff, renting out our house (for a whole year!), and moving in to our less than 300 square foot 45-year old RV. Two grown-ups, a cat, a 4-yr old and a whole bunch of hula-hoops. We’ll be travelling across Canada (Western to start) doing what we love the most: camping,
.Are you ready to roll with us?
That’s all from us for now. But what about you? What do you need to get rolling? Hit reply and let us know!
~ Katelyn, Cody, the kid & the cat @ hoopplay.ca