You know how when you’re 9 years old and skinny as a pin even though ice cream and pizza form the bulk of your personal food pyramid? And people keep telling you, Enjoy it now, Skinny, because once you hit 30, you aren’t going to be able to eat like that anymore?

Turns out they’re right. I’m encroaching on my mid-30s, and it is an unsightly time for nudity. But I don’t blame it so much on the copious amounts of ice cream and pizza I still inhale. I blame it on treadmills. Stationary bikes. Aerobic instructors who yell. You know, adult crap.

Then a friend re-introduced me to a vestige of my 9-year-old past: the hula hoop. She told me 30 minutes of “hooping” each day would whittle my belly, thighs and hips. So I started this hooping—in my living room, in my front yard, a couple lunch hours a week in a class downtown. And you know what? I have no idea if my hoop has whittled a thing. But I don’t give a damn either.

My focus is on keeping the hoop spinning around my waist. Or dropping it to my hips and then spinning it upward again. Or my favorite trick: lifting the spinning hoop, over my head and back down to my hips without stopping its rotation.

I’m 34 years old, and I have resuscitated my inner 9-year-old with a hula hoop. Turns out, she’s quite the talented gal. And as soon as we’re done hooping tonight, I’m taking her out for pizza and ice cream.

Interested in trying hooping? Beledi Global Dance Center sells hoops and offers weekly “Hooping for Health” classes. Traverse City, 231-932-0668.

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski