When I last wrote to you I was staring 58 in the face. My birthday was on December 6 so I made it, but my friend Mary didn’t make it to 33.
On December 6 I attended Mary’s wake and on December 7 I attended her funeral. F*ck ovarian cancer. Mary was the nicest person I’ve ever met. She was also selfless, smart, athletic, funny, genuine, kind, and full of joy.
As Mary was going through treatment she never stopped putting others first no matter how much pain she was in. I wish I could bring Mary back. The world needs Mary. But I can’t and it hurts. But what I can do is try to live a good and decent life, a life inspired by Mary’s example.
After Mary passed away I gave a lot of thought to what the heck I was doing with my life. Much of what I was doing seemed pointless. I was getting ready to throw in the towel on Punk Rope and more, but then I received an email from a good friend of my sister’s. She mentioned that her brother, an elite athlete and world-renowned physician, had recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and to “fight back” he had joined a program called Rock Steady Boxing. Apparently there is a growing body of research demonstrating that non-contact boxing training can help to slow the progression of the disease. And as you might expect, rope jumping is part of that training.
I wasted no time in researching Rock Steady and was impressed by what I found. I then reached out to them via email and they responded right away. I’m happy to say that in less than a week a partnership was formed.
We “donated” our jump rope instruction e-book which Rock Steady will now offer for free to all their affiliate coaches. We also created a rope called the Rock Steady featuring the organization’s signature colors of blue and yellow. And most importantly, we decided that for every rope we sell (not just the Rock Steady rope) we will be donating $1 to Rock Steady so that they can advance their mission. We will also entertain the possibility of partnering with other benevolent organizations that use rope jumping to help or heal the people that they serve. While we recognize that our donations will only be a drop in the bucket, I think Mary would approve, and that’s worth more than words can say.
If you’d like to honor Mary, consider making a donation in her memory to the Women’s Lunch Place, a Boston-based organization that provides a safe and welcoming place for women in crisis who are struggling with domestic violence, addiction, mental illness, and homelessness.