Exercising is such a cliché New Year’s Resolution that it may be hard to believe that it isn’t among mine for 2017. If anything, exercise was my 2015 New Year’s Resolution which, if you’ll allow a humble-brag, has gone quite well. Sure I’ve hit bumps and fallen into slumps but have (so far) been able to get back on the proverbial horse and expand my exercise regime with each passing year.
At 2016’s twilight, YouTube suggested a jump rope video. Jump rope. Now there’s something I haven’t done in a while.
Jumping for health
I can’t remember exactly why I started jumping rope but I do remember when — it was 2009 during my stay in Japan. I know I was looking for ways to exercise and stay healthy in an environment that wanted me to lock myself in the lab so on what was probably my weekly trip to Kanazawa I bought my first jump rope at the same department store where I did my grocery shopping. And here it is in all it’s glory.
The sports department had a few pairs to choose from but I bought this one because it can keep track of the number of turns the rope makes (when it has batteries in it). It’s also red and black which, as I would later find out, are the colours of Scorpio, my star sign. The rope itself is either PVC or rubber which left indelible red marks on my forearms when I was first starting out. It encouraged me to quickly “get good” to discourage the whispers along the corridor of those who thought they had worked out my midnight hobbies.
After returning home to Brunei in 2010 I still used the jump rope every so often. But my last clear memory of it was handing it to my nephew (2 years old at the time) after he saw me using it and insisted on doing it himself. There is nothing cuter than a small child who thinks he is jumping rope by flailing his arms around.
Preparing for my return to the Jump Rope
It had been at least 4 years since I’d used the jump rope so I took to YouTube to remind myself of some of the basics. I also looked up some alternate jumps and workout circuits which gave me a good excuse to hunt for an interval timer app. I’m not one to use an app for everything but I do know when an app is more convenient for me than a traditional interval timer. After a brief search I settled on Impetus Interval Timer which is free and allowed me to create my own set of intervals.
And really, that’s all I needed. I didn’t want to over-complicate things. I scheduled my jump rope session on my calendar and that was that.
So… how’d the Jump Rope session go?
Pretty well. Surprisingly well.
I had completely forgotten how tiring a short jump rope session could be. Even with 20 second work-outs my legs quickly felt the burn after the third set. I found myself wondering if this was what it was like when I first started running.
I was able to get back into the groove of the Regular Bounce (the default way of jumping rope) and eagerly tried out a few variations — front-and-back, side-to-side, straddle, boxer’s skip, run-in-place, knee-ups & mummy kicks. Look them up on YouTube if you’re interested. I surprised myself that I quickly got the idea of each variation but I definitely need more practice with each.
My jump rope session was about half-an-hour long. My main goal was to re-acclimatize myself with the jump rope, make sure my Regular Bounce was, well, regular, and give the other variations a shot. Mission accomplished.
Jumping Rope: The Conclusion
I am 100% on-board with re-incorporating jump rope into my exercise regime. I am a bit concerned how it will affect my running, I don’t want jump rope to tire my legs out to the point that I can’t run. But I’ll just have to take things in stride (no pun intended).