Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Kind of Weekend: Parachutes and Hula Hoops

There are lots of moments when I am really thankful that I blog. Sometimes it’s when I know that it has connected with someone – a recipe made, an adventure inspired, or a heart touched. Sometimes it’s when I end up on other places in the blogosphere – like this post on author Melissa Lester’s blog. I also recently popped up on a popular home redesign blog – The Ugly Duckling House. She hyperlinked to my patio remodel on this post where she says “and after looking around the blogosphere a little” on her patio post. And sometimes it’s because I don’t want to forget a single thing about my story. And this weekend is one of those weekends that I never want to forget. I don’t know how I possibly could.

Sky Diving
On Saturday three of my girl friends and I went sky diving together in Waverly, TN. I went sky diving once last year, so I was super excited to go again.  

Ready to sky dive. I know, I look like a creeper.

The other girls were newbies – and it was amazing to experience it with them for their first time! There was some nervousness from a few participants.

Ashley praying...

But everyone jumped.

 Me, ready to jump!

 Linzi getting harnessed.

 Ashley practicing her jump.

Sarah listening to instructions.

Linzi and Sarah supervising the parachute packing process.

And everyone LOVED it!!

We were all able to go up in the plane together and jump (tandem with an instructor of course) from 14,500 feet. Because we free fall at about 120 mph, the air felt super cold! But it was so awesome. My favorite part both times has been the free fall. There is absolutely nothing like rushing towards the earth with nothing but 14,500 feet between you and the ground. It’s an incredible experience. I can’t get enough of it… I’m sure I’ll be going again.

(To read more about what it’s like to sky dive, read last year’s post or watch last year's video.)

Hula Hooping a 5k
As if my weekend wasn’t already interesting enough, today I hula hooped the Mayor's 5k to fulfill one of this year’s resolutions. My friend Yvonne has hooped several half marathons, a Susan G. Komen walk (20 miles a day for three days), and done tons of hoop performances and fitness classes. Yeah, she’s awesome. But even more than being an awesome hooper, she’s an awesome friend! We typically exercise together anyways, but she spent the past couple of months teaching me to hoop walk. We trained once or twice a week together and then hooped on our own at home. I do recognize that it probably seems hilarious to imagine me standing in the middle of my living room hooping for 30 minutes at a time while watching tv. I had a huge bruise on my hip for a while, but my body is finally getting used to it.

Me and Yvonne

Today our hoop team included about 25 walkers (no, we don’t run). I hooped around my waist for most of the walk. But, as you can imagine, my abs got pretty tired so I hooped on my hand sometimes too.

I hope my face looked like that the whole time... not.

Hoopers take up a lot of space, so we started the race in the very last corral. I’m not sure exactly how long it took us to do the 5k because we didn’t start with everyone else and took a couple of photo ops, but I’d say we did the race in about 70 minutes.

Thanks for hooping with me, friend! You are incredible!

A few notes on hooping:
We use custom made hoops which are larger and heavier than the plastic hoops that they sell for children at Target. Trust me, I can’t really hoop with those things! Heavier hoops are much easier.

You might think that you can’t hoop, but you can. I’ve never seen anyone try for longer than ten minutes and not get it. Don’t move your hips in a circle or it will fall. Move front to back or side to side.

If you walk around with a hoop, lots of random people will talk to you. I’ve never gotten so much attention from strangers in my entire life. Be prepared. My favorites were the people who would walk up and say “Is that a hula hoop?” (Duh.) And the man that kept cheering “Hoopity hoop. Doopity Doop.” My least favorite were the dogs that barked at and wanted to chase the hoops. I am so not an animal person.

Mayor Karl Dean does not want to try to hoop. He was asked, but just looked awkwardly down at his sneakers and power walked past us.

I have never taken a hoop fitness class, but the team that I was on today for the 5k was organized through Happy Hoops. If you are a local Nashvillian and are interested in taking a hoop fitness class, I’d start there.

This weekend was so incredible! (And thank goodness, because tomorrow morning is my arm surgery... ugh...)

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