Great coaches are hard to find. We found one in DC.

If you’ve been lucky enough to have a great coach in your life, particularly at the middle or high school level, you know full well what a profound impact they can have on your success, happiness, and well-being. Who out there has had a great coach and what was your experience? We met Keino in 2012 at a Punk Rope Instructor Workshop in Washington DC and I instantly liked him. Plus my intuition and our conversation told me he was doing great work helping kids become good athletes and even better people. Let’s hear from Keino.

TIM: I remember meeting you back in 2012 and thinking this guy has the coolest name in the world. How did you get the name Keino?

KEINO: My name was derived from an Olympic runner (Kip Keino) from Kenya. My dad watched him win four gold medals while running barefoot. Kip Keino was a special runner and my dad fell in love with his name.

TIM: What inspired you to get involved with sports and fitness?

KEINO: While growing up I was introduced to a variety of sports by JD Brown, a no-nonsense guy who believed that athletics and education could change your life. He was the the recreational director at Fort Davis Community Center in southeast DC. I loved each and every one. I loved them so much that I went on to get my undergrad and masters degrees in biology and physical education.

TIM: How long have you been working with kids?
What do you like most about it?

KEINO: I’ve been working with kids for 28 years. What I love most about working with kids is seeing the children share the lessons they’ve been taught with their peers, as well as with their family and the community at large.

TIM: When did you begin jumping rope? What do you like most about it?

KEINO: I began jumping rope as a child, but it was a chance meeting with the Punk Rope team that made me fall in love with it
TIM: How has Punk Rope impacted the way you teach jump rope to kids?

KEINO: We are Punk Rope fanatics. We either use Punk Rope as a warm-up to the lesson at hand or we use it as our 30 minute “Do Now Activity.”

TIM: What’s your favorite song to jump to?

KEINO: In the Air Tonight by Nonpoint.

TIM: What else would you like our readers to know about you?

KEINO: Punk Rope has been in my class room for the last six years and I would be lost without it. It builds denser bones, quicker feet, and better cardio, but the fun my scholars receive is priceless.

By | 2018-05-21T11:45:22-04:00 May 21st, 2018|0 Comments

Punk Rope Games IX is coming!

The 9th annual Punk Rope Games will take place on Saturday, September 23 from 11am-2pm at Lowery Plaza, directly under the #7 train in Sunnyside, Queens. This is the first time the Punk Rope Games have been held in Queens. We think the Ramones would be happy about that. Hey ho, let’s go!

This year’s Games are a memorial to Vicky Haft—Punk Rope founder Tim Haft’s mom—who passed away in December 2016. Vicky was a creative spirit who devoted much of her life to sharing her passion for art with children of all ages. For the past several years she volunteered at the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire and was twice named volunteer of the year. In her honor, Punk Rope is donating 75% of the proceeds from this year’s Games to CMNH. The remaining 25% will be donated to Sunnyside Shines, a non-profit whose mission is to invigorate and enrich the economic life of Sunnyside by creating a safe, welcoming and dynamic commercial district.

1) Costume Contest (team)
2) Long Rope Trading Handles (team)
3) Jump Rope Relay Race (team)
4) Rubber Chicken Toss Relay (team)
5) Me First You First (partners)
6) Spoons (partners)
7) Tower of Power (individual)
8) Wheel of Misfortune (individual mystery event)
9) Rope Skipping Barrel Race (individual)
10) Arm Cross (individual)

Everyone is welcome to compete regardless of age or fitness level. The registration fee for a team of 4 is $100; for an individual the fee is $25. Teams and individuals can register at the link below:

Immediately following the Games and until 5pm please join us for an awards ceremony, the presentation of the Punk Rope Cup, and lots of celebrating!
Maggie Maes | 41-15 Queens Blvd
$5 Stella | $7 Maggies Jamo Mules | $4 PBR tall boys

Maggie Maes
LFOD Apparel
Beaner Bar
Madame Scoville’s Hot Sauce

By | 2018-02-13T17:47:04-05:00 August 1st, 2017|0 Comments

Revisiting Play

I recently read an article entitled “In Defense of Play” in the Atlantic by Alison Gopnik, a professor of psychology and an affiliate professor of philosophy at UC Berkeley.

Gopnik asks the question: “Why play?” She then answers that question with some fascinating insights, citing everything from evolution to robotics along the way. But before we delve into the answer let’s define play. According to biologists play has give characteristics:
1) play is not work; it doesn’t accomplish anything
2) play is fun
3) play is voluntary
4) play has a patter of repetition and variation
5) play has special characteristics that distinguish it from non-play

Since most animals play, particularly social animals with long childhoods, parents who care, and large brains, it stands to reason that play has a purpose. One possibility is that because playing often involves pretending, it helps us learn how to deal with the unexpected. In essence, it enables us to formulate more creative solutions to unforeseen challenges. Remember, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Daphna Buchsbaum, one of Gopnik’s former students, found that preschoolers who pretended more were better at “counterfactual” reasoning–figuring out what could have happened, but didn’t. They were no smarter overall and no better at an “executive-function” task, but they were more likely to imagine other ways the world might be.

Here’s Gopnik: “We don’t play because we think that eventually it will give us robust cognitive functions—although that may be the evolutionary motivation for play. We play because it is just so much fun.” In other words, we do it for it’s own sake.

“Just as we should give children the resources and space to play, and do so without insisting that play will have immediate payoffs, we should do the same for scientists and artists and all the others who explore human possibilities,” writes Gopnik.

And I would argue that this should extend to fitness classes where all too often the approach is hyper clinical, joyless, and overly goal-oriented. Which is precisely why I attempted to make Punk Rope as playful as possible; so that participants could enjoy the movements for their own sake and imagine a fantastic world with no boundaries. By imagining the unimaginable, my hypothesis is that Punk Ropers will work harder, accomplish movements they previously thought unattainable, and as a byproduct will reap the fitness benefits that we all desire. And even if we don’t shed those last 10 pounds at least we’ll have had a damn good time trying.

By | 2018-02-13T17:47:05-05:00 August 12th, 2016|0 Comments