Some people drink booze or pop anti-depressants in order to stave off the blues, but Jessica Bullock, who grew up in Oak Cliff, deals in another way. “I could never be in a bad mood while I’m hula-hooping,” she says. Bullock is a fan of String Cheese Incident, a jam band widely credited with spawning a modern day hooping craze among its followers. “My husband and I used to go to their shows 10 years ago, and I loved to watch the people in the hula hoop pits, but I never took part myself back then,” she says. Eventually she came around, though. At one of the shows, her hubby bought her a brightly colored hoop, and she immediately craved more. A few years ago, Bullock located some hula-hooping soul mates, and the group began holding monthly hoop sessions in Oak Cliff. Jennifer Barclay, a childhood friend of Bullock, is a regular hooper. “It’s a good core workout, and Jessica can teach anyone to hoop,” she says. “My daughter couldn’t hoop at all, and now she’s doing all kinds of tricks.” Barclay is training to become a certified hula-hoop instructor through hoopnotica.com. Instantaneous good moods are nice, but the groovy exercise has had unexpected perks. Bullock, a self-proclaimed “big girl” has toned up significantly by way of the core-strengthening hula movements. “I call it the accidental workout,” she says. “I’ve lost about 30 or so pounds without even paying attention.” —Christina Hughes Babb
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