Hoops Too Big?

October 2007

Shewww!!! What a morning!!

I am on my way to Durango, CO to teach a couple of hoop workshops and give a talk on "hooping and global healing." Fort Lewis College is focusing on Dr. Paul Farmer's work in Haiti this semester and thus my experiences hooping in Haiti were fortunately of special interest to them. Since I've never had trouble traveling with a stack of hoops, I decided to wrap up two bundles with 15 hoops each in some fun fabric for the trip and carry on all my personal baggage. As these workshops are for beginners, the hoops are pushing 3.5 ft, but again, this isn't that new and has never before presented issue. Well - until today! My flight from RDU to Charlotte happens to be on a super small plane with an extra small (2.5 ft) cargo door. IKES!!! George, the US Airways Rep who assisted me this morning tried so diligently and creatively to get me on a plane with an accommodating baggage entry. He was immediately intrigued by the oversized hoops, my somewhat unusual attire (not unusual to me, but several airline employees have looked at my long blue furry vest with question and surprise) and the nature of my travels in general. Despite his genuine efforts, there was no way the hoops can get to Durango on a plane before my workshop tomorrow.
Deep sigh. Inhale. Exhale. Brainstorm. Problem Solve? Surrender.

Just in case you are ever considering emergency fed ex-ing hoops on the fly (haha) ---
It's $690 for 3 day express AND
it's $1200 for this size package overnight!
Plan C??

BUS or Rent A Car? At the last moment, I figured a mid-west road trip was my last option. Luckily, I can get into Alberquerque, NM tonight at 11 pm. That means a few hours of rest and a 3 hour car drive in the a.m. WITH HOOPS for the workshop at noon tomorrow! After 1/5 hours of internet research, this was a glorious solution to my un-fed and somewhat weary bodymind. I had begun to consider driving from Phoenix - more treacherous 9 hour trek that may be snow covered in parts.

Relieved, I sit in the RDU airport waiting for my flight that doesn't leave for FOUR + hours! (Of course the first thing that came to my mind was that movie the terminal ;-) and then the wish of having my personal hoops with me to enliven this wide open gate hall.) But I've lined up water, odwalla and a soy latte to wash down my protein bar while I finish my power point presentation here on the sunlit floor of the airport hallway.

As fate would have it, there are no troubles for my travels home with hoops. I still hope I'll be able to find good homes for them in Durango.

Lessons? Hmmm...
1 - Call the airline ahead of time to see what type of plane I'm traveling in to make sure the cargo door is suitable for an average groove hoop. Note that there are really small planes with really big cargo doors.
2 - Search out the local hoopers in final destination. When I went to the Wellness Conference in WI, there were no hoopers there, so I had to get the hoops there. Durango may not be a hoop hot spot, but Colorado has to be full of hoopers! It would have been more fun to rent a stash of play hoops and pass on hoop sales to a local, than to drag two arm loads of hoops across the country anyways. Plus, I would've gotten to connect with other hoopers!
3 - If no hoopers there, go a day or two early with tape, find a lowes and craft hoops in town.
4 - Keep breathing~ My body physically expresses the sensation of panic and stress. I've been trying to surrender to the flow of the universe and breathe more to offset distressing moments. Being 'in the flow' is more than a hoop state. It is a way of being - leading this dance of life the best you can but yielding to the unexpected shifts in momentum as they inevitably arise. When I freak, I can't think clearly to problem solve anyways. That response has gone pretty well today. Today's occurrence could be a blessing even if I never fully realize why. Besides - it would be laughable to get too worked up about getting a stack of sparkly adult toys on a plane. I mean, this world is a tough place that's sooo full of tragedy and despair. I'm going to Durango to speak about Haiti, a place that puts all my woes in perspective.

So now I return to my power point to finish the slide show presentation.
Grateful, humble, excited,
and a little hungry for my daily poached eggs in the face of a day in airports...