We had a great time jumping the McCarren 5K on Saturday, May 4. The theme of the race was Star Wars (May the 4th be with you!) so Tim’s dorky hat actually has the image of a Star Wars storm trooper on it but sadly it’s obscured. And Heather is Princess Leah…not.
Okay we’re slowing down quite a bit—who designed the knee joint anyway?—but until we can’t do it any longer we’ll keep jumping 5Ks. And no matter how slowly we go folks on the sidelines are always so complimentary which bodes well for the continued growth of rope jumping. To learn how to “skip” with your rope check out this video.
By Janet Beihoffer (04/11/2019)
By now the outcry has been heard and confirmed: Children need recess or other forms of physical activity to thrive in school.
But I could have told you that. As a veteran teacher, I stumbled on this fact in my own classroom quite by accident.
Years ago my students took the required, but now defunct, President’s Challenge physical fitness test. Most teachers left the requirement to the P.E. staff. One year, however, I was informed that most of my fifth grade students had failed the test.
I took that personally. I was an athlete at age 10. MY students would not flunk the physical education test. But what could I do?
Eventually I found an article about a school system which had its students jumping rope every day. “Why not try this?” I asked myself. So off to the hardware store I went to purchase about 120 feet of clothesline. Returning home, I cut 25 “jumping ropes,” one for each of my students.
From that point on, my students and I jumped rope one minute each day before returning to the classroom after the noon recess. We added another minute every week following until we reached five minutes.
Did it work?
The answer was a resounding yes when it came to the President’s Challenge. Every student passed it the following spring.
But something else happened that was even more impressive.
Through the jump roping regimen, one boy had an incredibly difficult time getting the rope over his head and jumping over it. His eyes were misaligned and I’m sure that influenced his lack of coordination. Nevertheless, he tried every day with the others.
This same boy was very bright, but had horrible penmanship. However, this began to improve over time.
One afternoon I called him to my desk to congratulate him on his handwriting. He responded by saying, “Well, the only reason I think this happened is because of jumping rope. I believe my brain has re-patterned itself.”
Could this kind of program be done today? Even though recess is rising in popularity, we have eliminated many other avenues for fitness, including less outside time, no Red Rover, and no Dodge Ball. Have we gone so far in protecting kids that we are cheating them of self-confidence, physical improvement, better motor skills, and maybe even better academic results?
Perhaps it’s time to get out the jump ropes.
Pretty Eyes • Another Idea
Choo Choo • New Pants
Shanghai Drum Music
Jenny • Snapline
I’m Mine • Hang On The Box
That’s What I Know • Brain Failure
The Guy Refuses the Games • P.K. 14
Unruly • The Flowers
Kill Me Sweetly • Sulumi
Having Fun • Sodagreen
Hero • Pop Time
Ali the Mother River • Hanggai
A Visit To Suzhou • Yu Xunfa
The letter is from Missie, one of our instructors who is teaching at a correctional facility in Ohio. We’d love to bring jump rope to more such facilities to help empower and brighten the lives of the far too many women and men who find themselves behind bars. Remember, there’s often little to no difference between those who are incarcerated and those who are not. Often it comes down to one regrettable decision or the difference between getting caught in the act and not. If you have thoughts about this we’re all ears.
New Year’s Day • U2
Midnight Hour • The Toasters
Midnight Run • The Super Stocks
Midnight Confessions • The Grassroots
In the Midnight Hour • The Jam
Better Things • Bouncing Souls
Rock Around the Clock • Bill Haley & His Comets
Make a Change • Buckwheat Zydeco
Tomorrow Never Knows • The Beatles
Dancing With Myself • Billy Idol & Generation X
Auld Lang Syne • The Red Hot Chili Pipers
New Day • The Bouncing Souls
Changes • 2Pac
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.