It’s Just a Jump Rope

What’s the worst that could happen? Let’s just say it did involve some cackling and vomiting in my mouth.

Remember when jumping rope was fun? Or frog jumps? Or completing an obstacle course? Ah, the good old days. What happened to the magic and delight of these seemingly childlike enterprises? In my childhood I would never have foreseen that frog jumps would one day be near vomit-inducing—granted I never frog-jumped as a child while holding a 20-lb. sandbag, so that puts a rather adult edge on the once beloved frog jump. 

I have learned that when any of these seemingly childlike activities are put into an exercise circuit they are the opposite of childhood gaiety. They are more like childhood root canals. I just want to cry. 

I remember all too vividly the first time I picked up a jump rope after years of neglect. It was at “The Biggest Loser” Ranch and when my trainer, Bob Harper told us to grab one, I thought, ‘how fun, jumping rope,’ like it was going to be easy or something. I think Bob read the thought bubble that surely appeared above my head, because he looked at us sadistically and said, “This won’t be fun.” And then, I am pretty sure he cackled.

We were supposed to get 100 jumps in under a minute. The fit person may scoff, but I wasn’t quite there yet and immediately realized that jumping rope for time was atrocious. I felt heavy and uncoordinated and as my other teammates got to 100 one by one and were moved to another workout, still I fumbled. Everyone finished, but me. I couldn’t get to 100 in under a minute, and by this time I was on my 12th or 15th attempt and was heaving, wanted to sob and officially hated the jump rope. 

Bob refused to let me believe I was capable of being defeated by a jump rope. He asked, “If you walk into a building on Madison Avenue, are you going to walk in thinking you are already defeated? Or just believe in yourself?” That did it—I got 106 jumps in one minute and then promptly turned away from a smiling Bob and the cameras and threw up in my mouth. Then swallowed it. Because I am a lady.
Don’t be alarmed though. Being reintroduced to jump ropes, frog jumps and obstacle courses may be jarring as an adult, may make you wonder what you ever found enjoyable about these activities in your youth, may even make you spew, but what it won’t do is make you feel like a wuss. 

On the contrary. When I finished jumping rope, carrying sand bags while frog-jumping and running and racing yesterday, as grim as it felt in the middle, the after … well, I’ve got to say I felt like a boss. 

So maybe pick up a jump rope this week and rekindle some excitement over this pastime that now doubles as a torture device.