Exposed Vs All Hooped Up

In this month's challenge Exposed goes up against All Hooped Up.


Our hips don’t lie – so we’re kicking off 2015 with an epic hula hoop battle against All Hooped Up. Will our year get off to a winning start? Read on, dear reader, read on…


All Hooped Up is a new and fun hula-hooping club teaching hula skills to hoop-enthusiasts all over our fair Sheffield. Lizzy, instructor and founder of All Hooped Up, has been hula-hooping since she was a young’un, falling in love with the sport when she began hoopin’ in the rocky mountains of Canada. She’s a qualified hula-hoop instructor with a BSc in Sports Science. Impressive stuff!


Me? I’m the bird who epically failed GSCE PE and hasn’t taken part in any competitive sport for about ten years. So, makes sense that I’d be the one taking her on at her own game, eh?



However, after assisting in the running of a hula-hoop club at college, and possessing the ability to hula for a respectable amount of time, I was feeling that this, my first Exposed VS, was possibly in the bag. Possibly. After claiming over a glass of vino during after-work drinks I had the hula-hooping ability of a world-renowned professional, the pressure was certainly on. Confidence is key and all that…


So what better way to spend a cold, wet, December afternoon than freezing your arse off in the Exposed HQ courtyard? After initially meeting Lizzy, who arrived with about fifteen differently sized hula-hoops in tow, we went for a quick practice in the courtyard. Trying to tactfully choose the easiest hula-hoop for said challenge. I had a go with each of the hoops, eventually opting for a relatively large weighted number. Lizzy’s disadvantage; she’d be attempting the course with three.


As Editor Carl set up the ever-so-professional obstacle course with materials from the office, Lizzy and I had a quick practice with our hoops. This was when the realisation set in; I couldn’t hula-hoop and walk at the same time. Damnit. As the main component of the task, an Exposed victory seemed a bit unlikely now.


After a few epic hula failures, Carl and Lizzy suggested I skip with the hoop as opposed to the traditional hula. Alright, seems fair.






First stop on the obstacle course were The Hoops of Death. Four hoops set out on the ground which we both had to run to (whilst hula-hooping mind) and do three rotations in each hoop. Easy enough.



Second stop, Bad Smurf. Simply run/hula around Bad Smurf. Straight forward.



Ah, Carl’s obvious favourite, The Magical Tinsel Trail. Artistically laid out on the ground, one just has to follow and hula along the magical tinsel trail to victory.




Fourth on the quest, Officer Cartman. Our Exposed mascot marked the fourth of the obstacles, similarly to Bad Smurf, you just had to hula-hoop round him. Oh, and you WILL respect his authoritah!



The final, and most challenging part of the obstacle course; Walk the Plank. This one brought in by Lizzy, obviously. This was made up of a wooden beam balanced on a brick, making a sort-of see-saw, which we had to hula-hoop whilst walking across. Uh oh.



First-up was snake-hips Lizzy. Armed with the timer, and praying she was as daunted by the course as I was, I watched her set off. Mastering the perfection of walking and hula-hooping (seriously, how does one DO that?!), she sped off into The Hoops of Death in what seemed like the blink of an eye. Easily completing her three rotations, before I knew it she was approaching Bad Smurf. Giving the timer a quick check, only ten seconds had passed. Ten seconds! Bloomin’ ‘eck.


Easing her way around Bad Smurf, and gliding along the magical Tinsel Trail like a magical hula-hooping fairy, only twenty-odd seconds were gone. Damn, this girl was good! I was pretty sure I couldn’t sprint the course in this kinda’ time.


Passing good ole’ Officer Cartman in seconds, Lizzy quickly made her way up to the climax of the obstacle course; the deadly, terrifying, and downright dangerous Walk the Plank. Admittedly a little worried about this one, Lizzy made her way slowly yet gracefully over the plank, with barely even a stumble. She finished the course in a bloody staggering 44.3 seconds. Impressive stuff lady!



Reyt, my turn. Not allowing myself any short cuts, I made the courageous decision to actually hoop the whole way. Slowly, yet surely, completing my three rotations in the Hoops of Death, I stumbled across an obstacle I hadn’t known existed until now; the damn courtyard cobbles. As the rain began to come down, the cobbles got slippier, making the course even more difficult (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!).


Approaching Bad Smurf, I dropped the hoop. No! Picking up and carrying on (thankfully there were no penalty points) I made my way over The Magical Tinsel Trail. In the wind and the rain, the trail had become more of a not-so-magical tinsel heap, so I just kinda ran past it. Time saved.


Trying to be as speedy as possible, I ran/hula-hooped/didn’t hula-hoop around t’old Officer Cartman, as I mentally prepared myself for the fifth and final obstacle, Walk The Plank. Having refused a practice earlier in fear of breaking my legs (and threating to sue Carl if said injury happened), I was less than prepared for this bit. Not letting my pride (or arse) be bruised, I hula-hooped over the see-saw, a past the completion point. Hurrah!




The moment of truth. Having made it back alive and uninjured from the cobbles and challenges, the results were in. My time was announced by Carl at 1 minute and 20 seconds – making Lizzy’s time of 44.3 seconds the winner! Having only taken a third of my time, the girl schooled me good.



So we’re not starting 2015 with a win, and it’s yet another loss for the Exposed office. Having boasted being the bees’ knees for this task, it’s safe to say drinks will be on me this week. Hey ho. There’s always February, yeah?



Experience the all the benefits of hooping with All Hooped Up! Check out for more.


Words: Emily Beaumont. Pics: Marc Barker.


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