In 1958, the toy Hula Hoop was introduced to the world. Everybody was doing it. Well, almost everyone.
"I never did it as a child. I just couldn't get it. I was a clumsy kid. My father used to call me the Sherman tank, if that helps at all," says Hoola-Fit owner Heather Kirkendall.
Fast forward to now. With heavier hula hoops being made, Heather Kirkendall not only learned how to Hoop it up, but now it is second nature to her. So second nature that she owns Hoola-Fit, which, as the name implies, is a fitness class that uses Hula Hoops to reach their fitness goals.
Kirkendall says, "Once I got hoop spinning for the first time, I haven't stopped. It would take me hours to extoll the virtues. I am happier, fitter, and younger than I have ever been."
Kirkendall was certified in 2013, and she now brings Hoola-Fit to the masses in Nokomis. Thankfully her "studio" so to speak is big, because it is attracting a lot of people.
"It's kind of like circuit training. You do all the body parts: arms, legs, core. Its more fun. What could be more fun? You are on the BEACH!!," opines Cathy Conway, a Hoola-Fit enthusiast.
Adds Kirkendall, " Being on the beach adds a nice element to it. It is a nice office."
Amy Raspiller was diagnosed with MS a couple of years ago, and that limited what kind of exercise she could do. Hoola-Fit fit the bill.
"I couldn't run. Walking was an issue so, it was hooping. My biggest deal is that I can stand on one foot. I couldn't do this," says Raspiller.
Whereas Kirkendall was unable to get joy out of it as a youngster, neither Raspiller nor Cathy Conway had Hula-Hooped in 40 years, at least.
"Oh ho! Probably when I was 10, and it didn't go well," laughs Conway.
Adds Raspiller, "Its fun. It makes you feel like a kid again."
The fact that you are burning 300-400 calories is a nice added benefit to using the hoop.
"I was fortunate that somebody gave me one. I was 100 lbs. heavier," says Kirkendall.
Kirkendall is determined to bring Hoola-Fit to the whole community, and the community might just be receptive.
Raspiller adds, "I had an 18-year-old girl come up to me and say she couldn't hula hoop. I said, 'You're 18 girl. You can Hoola'!"