Jumping rope was always a challenge for me when I was in grade school. That was a problem, because jumping rope was something all the girls my age did, and it was effortless for them. Not for me.
I could handle individual rope jumping, as long as it wasn’t double-time or something tricky. Oh, some girls could do speed jumping (hot peppers, I think it was called), but it wasn’t typical. No one did rope cross-overs or any of that fancy stuff. So when it came to just me and my rope, I was fine.
It was when jumping rope became a group activity that I was in the weeds. Two girls held a long rope, one at each end. Standing about 8-10 feet apart, they turned the rope over and over, just kissing the ground on each pass. (If, horror of horrors, it was double-dutch, there were two ropes moving in opposite directions!) Other girls ran into the turning rope (sometimes in pairs or more), began jumping and chanting their favorite rope jumping ditty. And they did it with such ease! But as I waited in line for my turn, I was a basket case. Moving into that turning rope at just the right moment and jumping over it at just the right time... Oh, it was terrifying.
I’ve thought about jumping rope a lot over the years. Starting school on the first day, I thought about it. When I moved into a new neighborhood (which I did a lot as a kid), I thought about it. Learning to merge into traffic on the highway, I thought about it. Beginning a new job or joining a team project, I thought about it. And I came to this conclusion: I was just not very good at jumping in.
I still think about it today but you know, I think I’ve gotten the hang of it. Just don’t bring any ropes.