Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Jumping for Joy?

How do you know you’re not a kid anymore? When, at 34 years old, you cannot jump rope for more than 60 seconds without feeling like you’re going to die. Let me paint this picture for you in greater detail. I’ve given up soda and am attempting to give up red meat and just generally change the way I live my life health-wise. On Monday, I asked Jamie to buy me a jump rope – not a cheap plastic one, but a decent one for fitness – which he kindly did. My intent was to go outside to the little 4’ x 5’ slab of concrete at the end of the ramp to our front porch and jump rope for five minutes every morning. On Tuesday morning, I got up before the birds were even awake and changed into a pair of gym shorts, a long-sleeve, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure t-shirt, a pair of white socks and my old, nasty sneakers. I put a bandanna on my head to keep my hair out of my face, grabbed the little white timer off the stove, hooked a finger through a loop in the jump rope, and headed out into the dark and chilly (ok...darn cold) morning. It smelled like winter was clashing with spring; an odor that was calming and invigorating at the same time. The sky was clear and full of stars and, though the puppy across the street began barking his fool head off the second I set foot outside, it seemed pleasantly quiet. I set the timer for 5 minutes, placed it on the hand rail of the ramp, positioned myself in the middle of the concrete slab and started jumping. Around and around went my arms, around and around went the rope. I was doing OK...for about five seconds. The longest five seconds of my life! I pushed myself harder, completely mortified that I was getting winded so quickly. In no time, I was almost unable to jump high enough to get the rope under my feet and the thing kept getting snagged on the concrete. I’m sure if a neighbor was watching me from the window of their house, they got a good laugh because the entire thing was a complete disaster. I think I was able to jump for about 1.5 minutes before I gave up, collected the timer (which was still happily ticking away my good intentions...the damn thing) and stumped back into the house to recover. I did not have an asthma attack, but I was winded. Muscles I forgot I had burned like they were on fire and my heart was hammering madly inside my chest. I felt defeated. I felt embarrassed. I felt let down. I felt determined to try again. And I will. But only after I recover my dignity. TTFN JMS

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