"We were always looking for new jobs, hoping to find that perfect job that paid the bills AND that we looked forward to daily." Sound familiar?
In 2007, Jen and Keith Moore were both morbidly obese, unemployed or between unsatisfying jobs, and feeling very frustrated and unsuccessful. Six years on, 270 lbs lost, and several Hoopnotica Certifications later, Jen and Keith are finally living the hoop dream!
Jen talks about what it means to support their family as Hoopnotica Master Trainers and independent fitness professionals!
Even after almost four years of being professional Hula Hoopers, we still cannot at times believe this is our reality: we are truly living the hoop dream!
It was a process that began gradually, until one day we stopped, looked our lives, and realized this was it-this was the direction we were headed, to support ourselves and our family 100% by hooping and still working way fewer hours than most people!
Many of you are already familiar with how hooping changed our lives forever-with Keith and I losing a total of almost 300 lbs and finally winning the battle over obesity that we had struggled with our entire lives. However many of you aren’t as familiar with the impact hooping has had on us professionally.
Before Hooping...Hoping for the Perfect Job:
Before Hooping, Keith was always in upper level retail management. The money was good, but the hours were long and the jobs were stressful, especially when we started a family. Keith never enjoyed his job, and constantly was job hopping, because he would grow bored with the monotony of the work. (Just to give you an idea, at age 35, Keith has worked at over 80 different jobs!) He was always looking for new jobs, hoping he’d find that perfect job that paid the bills AND he looked forward to daily.I worked as a nanny, which I enjoyed, but the pay was very low, and once I started having children, I wanted to stay home with them and focus on them, not raise someone else’s children and mine at the same time.
Keith decided to go back to school in 2008, because many job opportunities were closed to him without a degree. In 2009 when the economy crashed, he lost his job. We had a 4 year old, a 6 month old, and we were living on $222 a week in unemployment.
When I started hooping and people started asking me if I was a hoop instructor, I thought it was the funniest thing ever. Me, obese, a fitness or dance instructor? HA!! I would laugh about it to Keith every time.
But, then a really funny thing happened: after a few months of hooping, and countless people stopping me to ask me when/where I taught class, I started to consider the idea of becoming a hoop instructor. There were no Hoopnotica Certified Instructors in upstate New York, and maybe I could make a little extra money while Keith kept searching for a "real" job.
Your Dream Job Can Be Your "Real" JobI got certified through the distance program in January 2010, thinking I would teach in a few months, towards the fall, when I was really “good” and had lost more weight. (I was still well over 200lbs at this time.) I started putting out feelers, and within a few days, THREE gyms emailed me asking me to start the following week.
I was terrified, but stepped forward with the idea of “fake it til you make it” and by the summer I was teaching over 20 classes a week and turning down requests for workshops, performances and classes! I told Keith that I thought he should get certified too, until he found that “real” job he was still looking for.
Keith started teaching and by the end of the year, we stepped back and said, Wow, this is a business...there are our real jobs! We are professional hula hooper fitness instructors! We had lost almost 300 lbs by this time and were continuing to change our lifestyles while spreading the hoop love! We had named our business Roc City Hoopdance in February, and it became an offical LLC by the end of the year.
Doing What We Love & Spending Time with the People Who We LoveNow, even as Hoopnotica Master Trainers, running our own HoopDance studio and certifying new Hoopnotica Instructors around the world, we get to spend all day with our children, educating them (our kids are home-schooled) and creating amazing bonds that Keith especially wouldn’t have had if he was still working 60-80 hour work weeks away from home and from our family. And the crazy thing is, we make more money NOW than when he worked all of those long, labor-intensive hours!
Going on four years of teaching HoopDance, this is the longest Keith has ever been at a job and every day still brings new and exciting challenges. Even though the basics of hooping never change, the amazing people we get to interact with and the new places we get to go change every day, week and month.
And all of this happened because, for many months, the obese girl (I used to be) in the corner of the gym with her TravelHoop and Hoopnotica DVD playing on a laptop, who never truly thought she could hoop, kept trying and kept trying. Less than four years later, I am healthy, happy, and living the ultimate Hoop fairy tale. If I can do it, so can you!
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