The expensive jump rope arrived today. I pulled it out of the box and realized that it was going to require some mechanical inclination. That’s an issue…
Now, as a three year old, I could disassemble a 10-speed bicycle and an oven door with nothing more than a case knife. I did both. I also took apart any tricycle or other toy that my parents got me that had screws or bolts within a day of it arriving in my care. Of course, I couldn’t put any of it back together and sometimes, neither could my parents (my sister’s 10-speed was one of those items). My father did manage to reassemble the oven door and reattach it before my mother got home, but this was not because he didn’t want me to get in trouble, it was to keep himself from getting in trouble. Because my mother would have asked how the hell I’d gotten the case knife and why I had been left unsupervised long enough to disassemble an oven door.
However, as an adult, I’m not that great at mechanical things. I can follow the directions and get shit to work, but it’s sort of like stabbing myself in the head and I usually end up with a migraine afterwards. If I’m assisting my SO, death threats begin to get hurled and we both scream at each other like drunken sailors. When he says “Come help me,” I start searching for anyone to take my spot as his assistant. We are both cranky, “always right,” my way or the highway, type of people and we do not agree on the right way… even when we manage to get it done, correctly, on the first try, we are also contemplating where to hide the other one’s body.
I read the instructions. I am to put my foot in the middle of said rope, pull it taut and then shorten so that the handles are below my shoulders. OK! I can do this! I put my foot in the middle, pull it taut, and find the handles are about 6 inches on either side too long (remember, I’m a short person). So, I unscrew the end of the handle, figure out the plastic doohickey that holds the rope, and trim it. But now one side is shorter than the other and I can’t unscrew the other side because Hercules seems to have attached it. Easiest solution, repeat step 1. I adjust my foot to the new center, pull, unscrew the handle again, work with the doohickey, trim, and screw it back together. The rope is now the acceptable length for use.
I prepare for my jump roping session. Remember, I wear pajamas 85% of the time. Today, they were fuzzy and hot. Preparing required me to go change into non-fuzzy, non-flannel pajama bottoms (I’m wearing one of SO’s T-shirts, it’s baggy enough to move with me).
Now, I’m not going to go outside to do this. The temp thingy is reading 102 degrees with an 92% humidity, which means the act of standing in the shade with a fan blowing on you is enough to break a sweat and make your clothing feel damp. Also, I have neighbors and I do not want to end up on YouTube. I spend a few minutes rearranging living room furniture.
The rope turns, I jump and the rope hits the back of my legs. I have forgotten the last time I jumped rope, but I’m guessing it was before puberty, when I became top heavy. I’m not so oblivious that I didn’t put on a bra for this exercise, despite staying in pajamas. But it’s not enough of a bra and that downward motion had gravity working with it. I go search through my drawers and find a fitted cami-like-thingy with built in bra, because I am going to need the extra layer of support. This is not a wear in public shirt, it’s for sleeping when it’s really hot, which stopped happening 3 1/2 years ago, because my SO moved in and he’s part polar bear. So, bra and cami-like-thingy, I return the living room.
The rope turns four times, I know, I counted, before it hit my legs again. It would appear that I have actually forgotten how to use a jump rope. One arm is turning at a different speed than the other. One leg is not really in the mood to be lifted from the floor. I’m still a little worried about black eyes and ER visits, but I bought it and I am going to use it.
I start again. Same problem. I start again. Same problem. I start again and holy shit; both legs come off the ground at the same time! This happens five times, in a row, and I am on my way to jumping rope when the stupid arm thing becomes a problem again and half the rope flops on my head while the other half is still at about waist level.
At least I didn’t trip.
It takes about five minutes for me to relearn how to jump rope, including arm turning and leg lifting. I start the timer on my phone and the minutes start ticking by. I am feeling accomplished! I can jump rope! I am not incapable! I am DYING! Good grief, I’ve been at this for ages. So, I stop because I feel the heart attack coming and go to stop the timer on my phone. 4 minutes 32 seconds. After 4 1/2 measly minutes, I’m red faced, out of breath, sweat dripping from my forehead, my hair damp, and wondering if I should just go ahead and dial 911 because my left arm is going numb.
Then reality hits… I am a 34 year old smoker who is overweight and top heavy (I was top heavy before I was overweight, being overweight didn’t actually impact that at all) who writes books for a living… My idea of exercise is getting up to pee and because of the stupid tall person couch, most of the time, I’m limping on the way to the bathroom. Also, I once walked into a wall and dislocated my knee.
With that realization, it becomes evident that it wasn’t a measly 4 1/2 minutes… It was miraculous. I didn’t die, I didn’t trip and break myself or anything in my house, I didn’t get any black eyes, and I burned some calories that I wouldn’t normally have burned. Thank you, I will chalk this up as a win! Maybe in a week or so, I’ll be able to make it the whole 5 minutes!
Also, I think I might have an idea how Kenzie is going to try to burn off some of that baby weight… So, I got a book idea out of it too. It was a double win!