MORGAN HOOVER, NEWS-PRESS CORRESPONDENT
August 22, 2009 7:38 AM
Proving that staying fit can be fun and might even help make the world a better place, a Maricopa woman plans to hula hoop her way across 200 miles of the South Coast to raise awareness about the nonprofit organization where she is an intern.
Ahni Radvanyi, 23, currently interns at Quail Springs, described in its Web site as "a working farm dedicated to demonstrating and teaching holistic ways of designing human environments, and to facilitating deeper understandings of ourselves and one another through immersive experiences in nature."
"I want an adventure, and no one's set a record for long distance hooping," she said.
Ms. Radvanyi said she has hula hooped since she was a child, but she became especially passionate about it approximately four years ago.
"Any time there's good music around, you can't make me stop," she said laughing. "I don't do it every day; I do it when I feel called to do it."
Ms. Radvanyi said hooping has changed her perspective on health.
"It makes me feel so balanced afterward," she said, explaining that since she began hula hooping regularly, she has achieved greater body awareness and is "more comfortable in (her) own skin."
"It's another kind of yoga for me," she said. "It's mind and body."
Her favorite place to hula hoop is at Quail Springs.
"There's a hill ... that was considered the center of the Chumash Indian universe," she said. "Early, early morning is the best."
She now plans to take the activity to a new level by embarking on a hula hoop journey beginning Aug. 29 in Ojai, continuing through Ventura, Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and Goleta and ending in Gaviota.
Ms. Radvanyi said she hopes people will join her along these 200 miles because she wants to be encouraged.
"I want to see that they believe they can do it too," she said.
Ms. Radvanyi said eventually she would like to teach a hooping class, but right now she wants "to take on the world."
"I want to facilitate hoop jams," she said of the future, "but what I really want to tell people is to take your next step toward a healthier mind and body."
Symbolism is another important part of the activity for the adventurous hooper.
"I want people to see it as a metaphor," she said. "I want people to see the circle they're dancing in and be the change within it."
For more information on Quail Springs, visit quailsprings.org.
To join Ms. Radvanyi's hooping journey at any point or to gain more information, visit myspace.com/hoophike.