Adan Carano returned to the beach on New Year’s Day and realized he was stranded. His friends ditched him, leaving the young surfer without any possessions — even a cellphone. But heading home wasn’t an option, anyway.

Carano’s family did not support him living openly as a gay man. He ran away following a disturbing run-in with his mother.

During Carano’s travels across Mexico, he started Hula-Hooping. He found it was a nice way to make some money as a street performer, and just as importantly, make friends. So when Carano found himself completely alone in the resort town of Sayulita, he knew exactly what to do.

“I was like, ‘I can’t live anymore here. My only exit is to go away,’” Carano said on the Outsports podcast, The GAMEDAY TEA. “I just started traveling around Mexico. At that moment, I started doing Hula-Hooping.”

Carano’s coming out experience wasn't easy. He was raised in a conservative Mexican family, and his mother and father struggled to accept he was gay.

“My mom just told me, ‘No, I can’t have a gay son. You’re crazy,’” he said. “She was very, very mad at me, and angry.”

It was also difficult for Carano in his hometown. When he started surfing, the locals viewed him with suspicion.

“Guys from the town, they’re very macho,” he said. “My first time, I felt like people were looking at me. I was nervous, but then I don’t care. I’m just like, ‘OK, I want to try it and do it.’ I don’t care. I’ve always been like that. If I want to do something, I just do it.”

Carano says he’s on much better terms with his family today.

Carano didn’t second guess his decision to begin anew. He made it a point to catch the waves, and along the way, became a superstar hooper. Nowadays, Carano can’t imagine surfing without his hoop.

For starters, it’s a memorable way to make a first impression. And he’s also really, really good.

If you have any doubts, check out his Instagram, where he regularly posts stunning photos and performances.

“Hula-Hoop makes me feel happy and makes me feel like I can make friends very easily,” Carano said. “People see me and want to try Hula-Hoop. Hula-Hoop makes me very comfortable to talk to people.”

Carano is still living in Sayulita, where he’s attending school, and trying to plan out his long-term future. He picked himself up, one Hula Hoop at a time.

“In that moment I was like, ‘God, I don’t know what to do in my life,’” Carano said. “Now, I have a lot of goals.”

You can follow Adan Carano on Instagram here.

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