Friday, February 8, 2008

Cinderella, Dressed in Yella

I've forgotten how to jump rope. I'm genuinely saddened by this realization, as I thought jump-roping was supposed to be like, oh, you know, riding a bike. But I bet I've even forgotten how to do that.

I wanted to find a way to work a spot of cardio in every day, without having to run every day at the gym. Every time I go to the gym, I end up spending at least 45 minutes there, and some days I just don't have that kind of time. Three days out of the week, I'm stuck at work until 5, hours past when everyone else leaves for the day, so I wanted to utilize the time I usually spend staring at facebook to get a bit of movement in. So I asked my self, "Self? What's something that's portable, quick to get my heart rate up, and fun?"

I was skipping for a while, through the church hallways where I work. The church is centered around a garden-courtyard, with the four equal-length hallways making a big, cinderblock-enclosed square. Skipping was fun, but it presented a problem when the phone rang and I couldn't hear it on account of my tripping over myself. So I bought a jump rope.

Problems with said jump rope: I forgot how to do it. I spent every recess hour for YEARS jump roping. When a competitive jump rope team performed for my school, I vowed I would one day be the captain of such a team. Maybe I'm just old and fat now, but I can't seem to get my feet off the ground at the same time. And my hair gets in the way now. It was longer when I was 8, so I must have had a trick to getting it to stay out of the way of the rope. I was once able to do awesome rope swinging tricks, and now, I'm a double-jumping newbie. Along with forgetting how to jump rope, I forgot that the vinyl kind was ALWAYS the last rope picked by jumpers. ALWAYS. Vinyl stings like a bitch. Thankfully I can wear jeans to work, and they both hide and reduce the appearance that I'm a 22 year old being spanked with a whip....on the calves. I've also forgotten the trick to getting the rope to spin evenly in the handles.

Probably the worst thing about forgetting the best of childhood pastimes (maybe with the exception of 4-square), though, is forgetting all the jump rope rhymes. I remember only the beginning to "Cinderella, Dressed in Yella" ("went downstairs to kiss a fella, made a mistake..."). Then there was the alphabet one. Something with food? Names? There used to be one about grades. With that one, I always went waaaay past graduation and into grades 57, at least.

The realization that I've forgotten all the jump rope rhymes prompted my realization that I've forgotten all the hand clapping songs, too. "Miss Mary Mack Mack Mack..." That's all I've got. "Miss Mary had a baby, she named him Tiny Tim, she put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim, he drank up all the water, he ate up all the soap...." what is that last phrase? And then there was the one that had the line about leaving your bra in your boyfriend's car.... I don't think I even knew what one would be doing with her bra off in her boyfriend's car, but I remember being appalled that my mother was so abashed she wanted me to change the word "bra" to "wallet." C'mon mom, like that even fits.

And in case anyone was wondering, sites that give jump roping tutorials totally do exist. See, told you.


Sally Parrott Ashbrook said...

"Cindarella, dressed in yella, went downstairs to kiss a fella. By mistake, she kissed a snake. How many doctors will it take?" [Counting then ensues with each jump.]

My brain has stored nearly every song and chant that I've ever heard, it seems.

I heard a personal trainer on the radio a couple of days ago saying, "Jumping rope for a few minutes is good. Most people couldn't jump rope for half an hour." And I thought, Really? Not because I can do it now, but because unless I'm remembering incorrectly, jumping rope for long periods of time was easy and fun as a kid. Remember Jumprope for Heart? Wasn't that jumping rope for hours straight?