Monday, January 4, 2016

Death by jump rope

Like many people, I have vowed to get back to the gym this year.  I want to feel better about my body.  I also have a few races and a wedding that would all be happier if I was in a bit better shape.  I set my alarm for 6:00 a.m. this morning instead of 7:00.

I woke up, pulled on my gym clothes, pulled on my dress clothes over top, and walked the frigid half mile to the gym.  The entire walk, I kept thinking about if I would have time to run back home and get a warm hat and maybe gloves to take to work.  It was that cold this morning.  This is a surprise given how much warmer it has been.

As I got to the gym, I looked first for a class to take.  I've always loved classes.  Gary's boot camp at this YMCA started at 6:30.  I had time to get there.  Now I've been to Gary's boot camp before.  It usually leaves me spent for three days.  I knew that I had a workout ahead of me like one I hadn't seen in months.  I grabbed the yoga ball and mat and walked into the workout room.  It was there that I met my nemesis.  Gary handed me a bright yellow jump rope.  I found my spot in the corner. He asked us to put our ball and mat against the wall and get ready to jump rope.

I don't know how many of you have ever seen a five year old trying to jump rope.  I had this pleasure when I gave jump ropes to my nephews and niece at Thanksgiving.  They are ages 3,5,6, and 7 (I think that's right).  The oldest one, my niece, figured it out.  The next in line had some trouble, but he got it eventually.  The little guy just wrapped it around his feet and giggled (maybe that's what I should have done this morning).  Instead, I looked much like my 5 year old nephew, except I'm 39 years old.  Now, I do know the concept of jumping rope.  I'm sure that at some point in my life, I could do it well...hell, who am I kidding, I never have been able to jump rope well.

Gary told us to remember to flex our wrists and to try to cross the rope for a better challenge.  Being adventurous, I started.  The entire rest of the class was jumping a steady jump, very fast and crossing, with some of them hopping on one foot then the other.

Me, I kept miss-timing the jump and smacking my shins with the rope.  Then I'd jump and get so excited that I made it over that I wouldn't whip it around high enough and smack my neck on the backside.  Then I'd start again at the bottom and get a few jumps in.  One foot must surely be slower or more lazy then the other, though, because every second or third jump, I'd end up with the rope caught between my two legs and almost castrate myself.

I didn't realize, until today, that there were so many ways to hurt yourself with a jump rope. 

Six one minute jump rope sessions later, I finally was able to jump over about 30% of the time and stop every three jumps, instead of not getting any exercise.  Just as I got it right, we switched to abdominal exercises.  These I can do.  That was just the warm up.  Then we headed to the gym to do wind sprints.  I thought I was going to make it through the 45 minute class, but after 5 wind sprints, I decided to go downstairs and walk on the treadmill and lift weights on my own.  I did it.  I didn't die.  I'm back at the gym.  I just have to start jumping rope more often.  

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