Jumping Rope is Not Just for Kids

Early this spring, I promised myself that I would keep working at my jump rope skills.

Part of it was to offset all the sitting that I find myself doing these days at work. Another reason was that the indoor soccer season was over for our team, and I knew that I’d need to focus on getting high-intensity exercise throughout the week. The third, and perhaps decisive, reason was that I was tired of thinking and feeling older than I was. I’m not old (as I see it), yet I’ve felt a gradual “aging” the last few years. It seems to take longer to recover, there are mystery twinges in muscles and joints, and it feels more difficult to get moving sometimes.

As a kid I remember having tons of energy, and being able to clearly focus on whatever was at hand. We sprinted up and down the streets, rode our bikes for hours, climbed trees, jumped off rocks, all “just because”.

I want to do more things just because. So, out comes the speed rope, every (other) day. Still working on the every day discipline, but it’s become much more comfortable to me now. I can get into a groove and find that place- where the rope is skipping me – for longer periods now. No more shin splints or ankle weirdness. I like it.

I like it because it’s humbling. Jumping rope at a brisk pace gets your heart rate up, gets the juices flowing, and it just feels good.

The rhythmic motion of the body and the left/right foot skipping pattern have a very centering effect, a tonic for the typical modern unbalanced life. If we can re-train our mind/body connection and break out of old postures and patterns of movement, then our chances of changing anything in our lives are greatly increased. And change in our lives is good.

I’m kinda hooked on it now. If I don’t get some on a regular basis, I get cranky.

So go jump yourself some rope, and if you need some inspiration, check out these speed rope workouts.

Derek Markham

Things I dig include: simple living, natural fatherhood, attachment parenting, natural building, unassisted childbirth (homebirth), bicycles, permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, bouldering, and the blues. Find me elsewhere at @NaturalPapa, @DerekMarkham, Google+, or RebelMouse.

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