Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hula Hoops

By Julie Rahm
     Contrary to popular belief, Hula Hoops were not invented in the 1950s. Hula Hoops have been a part of exercise since the 1400s. Hoops were used for play and exercise in ancient Greece. Of course, the Greeks did not use plastic. Their hoops were made from dried up willow, rattan, grapevines, or stiff grasses. Even in 13th century Europe, the hoops were used for recreation and religious ceremonies. According to medical records from that era, doctors encouraged patients with dislocated backs and heart attack victims to use this winding exercise. In the early 19th century, the term “hula” was added to the toy name due to the experiences of British soldiers who travelled to the Hawaiian Islands. During their stay, the soldiers noticed the resemblance of the hip movement in the traditional hula dances to the movements of people that go hooping. Now you know the ancient history of Hula Hoops!
The new history of Hula Hoops began in the late 1950s when a plastic version was successfully marketed by California's Wham-O toy company. In 1957, Richard Knerr and Arthur "Spud" Melin, starting with the idea of Australian bamboo "exercise hoops", manufactured 42 in hoops with Marlex plastic. With national marketing and retailing, a fad was started in July 1958. Twenty-five million plastic hoops were sold in less than four months. In two years, sales reached more than 100-million units. Carlon Products Corporation was one of the first manufacturers of the Hula Hoop. During the 1950s when the Hula Hoop craze swept the country, Carlon was producing more than 50,000 Hula Hoops per day! The hoop was inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in Rochester, New York, in 1999.
Even today, Hula Hoop record-setting continues to be popular. The record for the most hoops twirled simultaneously is 132, set by Paul "Dizzy Hips" Blair on November 11, 2009. The previous record was 107, set by Alesya Gulevich of Belarus on June 15, 2009. The current record for longest hooping is held by Bric Sorenson of the United States, who went 90 hours between April 2, and April 6, 1987. The largest hoop twirled was 45.55 ft in circumference, by Ashrita Furman of the United States in September, 2005. The record for simultaneous Hula Hooping is for 2,290 participants at Chung Cheng Stadium in Kaohsiung, Taiwan on October 28, 2000. And for the heaviest hoop, in 2000, Roman Schedler spun a 53-pound tractor tire for 71 seconds at the 5th Saxonia Record Festival in Bregenz, Austria. Now you know!
My point in all this is simple. If your life is so busy that you are constantly “jumping through hoops”, some prioritization is in order. Take a pause and determine your life’s priorities. Then, do the sort. Accomplish the important tasks first. If a task doesn’t contribute to your goals, perhaps it shouldn’t be accomplished.
To learn more prioritization and task management skills contact me through my website at 

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