Hoopers on Coney Island

On my last official weekend in New York City, a group of my classmates and I decided to go to Coney Island together. It was a Sunday, and since it marked our last full weekend in NYC, we decided that we wanted to be together. I made the mistake of not bringing my hoop the last time I visited Coney Island. This time, I refused to make that mistake.

The initial group was rather large, but it did split itself into two smaller groups. The first thing we did was hit up Nathan’s for food. The cheese fries are great, especially if you get them with bacon. Sorry guys, I didn’t get a hot dog there. Maybe I will next time.

I had put my travel hoop together because we were taking a while to decide what to eat. I didn’t end up hooping right at that moment, but I kept the hoop connected, and handed it off to a friend while I placed my order. After I got my food, I found my group of friends sitting on a spot on the boardwalk that was closest towards the railings where the beach is. Of all places that they decided to sit, there was a young woman with a bunch of hula hoops on the sand close to us. “Finally! A hooper!”, I thought excitedly.

Normally, I can be quite shy and introverted, but all shyness goes out of the window when I see someone with a hoop. It’s like I become a child once again that has no fear of what anyone will say or think. I immediately went up and talked to her.

I found out her name was Sarah, and that she had been hooping for a couple of years, just like me. Also, like me, she claimed to be shy; however, she brings the hoops to the beach every week so that people can play with them. After talking with her for a couple of minutes, I told her I’d be back once I ate something.

I couldn’t eat fast enough! Shortly after, the band of classmates had dispersed, and I ended up with a group of new friends… other people that were just like me, and understood the magic that came with hoop dance. For the next 2 hours, I was in hooping bliss, performing on the hot Coney Island boardwalk. Some people stopped and watched, and others joined us! At some point, we were about 10 hoopers deep, which was amazing! There were a couple of hoopers that ended up playing in my personal hoop. I even learned a new trick!

After a couple of hours out there, I decided that I should probably find my schoolmates… mostly because they had my wallet, which held my phone and metro pass. In the meanwhile, I managed to earn $4. Sarah and the other hoopers were nice enough to split some of the donations we got with me! That made me feel cool and special. What made me feel even more special was when she gave me her card.

“Hit me up when you come back; I’d love to hoop with you again!”, she said. I readily agreed to do so.

After wandering around for who knows how long, I finally found someone from my group. I had lost all track of time, and didn’t realize that I had been hooping for nearly 3 hours until I got my wallet back and checked the time on my phone. We arrived at almost one, and it was about 5:30 pm when we went to leave! Thank God I wasn’t getting tired because I was getting old. Though I’m not really old, I did fear that this was the issue.

I sat on the F train going home, and I was tired, thirsty, and tanned, but happy. It’s a beautiful thing when you connect with someone that understands a portion of your madness.

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