Hello! The beginning of this year brought with it a number of goal-oriented challenges from online sources. I signed up for the free Hoops for Hope challenge by Canyon Hoops of Portland, OR since I own one of their fitness hoops (discussed here.)
The series began on Jan. 8th with a FAQ and then the actual hoop fitness challenges, along with accompanying instructional videos, began on Jan. 11th. Certified fitness trainer Leigh Little did an excellent job on the videos, and was available online to answer questions as well. She encouraged comments after participants had completed each workout in the challenge.
And challenging they were indeed, at least for me. I'd only ever used my fitness hoop for waist hooping, but suddenly I was being asked to spin the hoop in various ways around various body parts. Some routines I mastered all right, while others resulted in much dropping of my hoop and even a broken knick knack when the hoop flew off my arm instead of staying on it.
But I stuck with it and dutifully commented after I'd completed the instructions for each routine. I think there was a total of 10 routines as part of Hoops for Hope.
What I didn't know was that at the end of the challenge, each of my comments counted toward an entry for a giveaway from Canyon Hoops. And on Feb. 28th, I learned that I was the 2nd runner-up winner! Woo-hoo!
In case you're wondering why I'm just getting around to talking about my prize winnings, well, I just received the second of my two prizes a few days ago.
But without further ado, I will now show off what I won:
Above, Canyon Hoop's Infinity Collapsible Weighted Exercise Travel Hula Hoop and Xpressive Crochet's Best Hooping Hat Ever. What great prizes!
(Note: the blue and white striped bag was NOT part of the prize - it's something I bought at a thrift store for a buck so my travel hoop would stay clean while on the road.)
I enjoy using the fitness hoop I already own, but at 38" diameter, it's a bit cumbersome to take along on trips. I'd been considering ordering one of the travel hoops but was too cheap to do so. I was truly thrilled to win one!
I could select the hoop size/color I wanted, so requested the 38" diameter in glitter blue/blue.
Obviously, the hoop is shown folded above. Unfolding it is very easy: first, remove the velcro tape fastener (the black strip you see on the bottom left of the hoop, then unfold so the hoop looks like this:
From this infinity-ish shape, the hoop is then opened up and shaped to get this:
Voila! The hoop is now at its full diameter. Folding the hoop back into its travel size (about half the full diamater) is basically the same as unfolding, only reversed, of course.
The only bad part of this hoop was having to wait for it! A delay meant that it still hadn't arrived when we left for vacation on March 17th. In fact, it showed up at our house the day after we departed. That was disappointing, but we ended going out of town for Easter weekend later in the month, so I just took it along then. It worked great!
Now on to the other great prize:
Leigh Little, the woman responsible for the hoop challenge's fitness videos, raved about a hat made by April Billingsley of Xpressive Crochet. Obviously Ms. Little couldn't resist including one as a prize. As with the hoop, I could choose the color, so picked red to match the color of my two cold-weather coats.
This hat is soft and cozy, and the crocheting is loose enough that my hair isn't a matted-down mess afterward! Ms. Billingsley is obviously a very talented crocheter, and you can see more of her handiwork at her Etsy shop here.
And if you'd like to learn more about Canyon Hoops, then go to the website here.
The Hoop for Hope Challenge can be found on Canyon Hoop's blog, starting here. When you get near the bottom of this post, you'll see the link for the first Hoop for Hope challenge. Click on that to begin following the rest of the routines - if you have a hoop and are motivated to do so!
Who knows, you might have better luck than me and won't break anything around the house. But I feel pretty lucky anyway, thanks to winning a great hoop and a great hat!