Hula hooping isn’t just for kids anymore. In fact, it can be a great workout for those of any age, with the added benefit of being so fun it doesn’t even feel like exercise. Superhoopers co-owner Melissa Badamain found hooping at a critical point in her life, and it helped her lose 130 pounds and even find her passion along the way. Read on to discover her inspiring story.
Excited to join in the hula hooping fitness craze, I took a beginners’ class from the folks at Superhoopers in Los Angeles. That’s where I met Melissa Badamain, my instructor and co-owner of Superhoopers, an Anaheim-based company that teaches hula hoop classes and sells hoops and other supplies to people all over the world.
Not only does Melissa enjoy hula hooping as a fun, effective workout, but she believes that hooping saved her life. In fact, before she found hooping, she weighed in at almost 300 pounds. The only movement that she logged each day was getting up and walking one flight of stairs to get to work, and walking down those stairs to get home.
Melissa had been in 3 different car accidents within a very short period of time and never fully recovered, which caused extreme weight gain. She lived each day in constant pain and struggled with vertigo. Over time these challenges caused her to become antisocial and depressed, but deep down, a part of her was still hopeful.
One day, her friend dragged her out to a concert in Hollywood, and that’s where she saw hoop dancing for the first time. Melissa was transfixed. “My eyes were locked on this one girl the entire night. She was hooping so effortlessly, graceful, and oh-so sexy! I could see myself in her.”
It took Melissa 5 months before she was ready to commit. Then one day she bought an adult hula hoop online and dove headfirst into hooping. It took her an entire week to learn how to keep the hoop on her waist, but she was immediately hooked. Determined to master this newfound passion, Melissa hooped for 2 hours every day, and up to 4 hours on weekends.
After a while, she noticed that she had more energy. She was sleeping better at night. Her endurance and balance had improved, and most importantly, she was hardly in pain anymore. Melissa started bringing her hoop to work so she could hoop during her lunch hour. Eventually, she got her co-workers involved and started teaching hoop class and making hoops for everyone. Melissa recounts, “For one whole year, I did not miss a beat. I hooped every single day, and when I stopped hooping for even a couple of days, I began to feel muscle spasms in my back and joint pains.”