At some point in the past three years or so I either read or heard something about the great benefits of jumping rope. If I remember correctly the story went that if you jumped rope for 3 minutes straight at least 3 days a week you'd burn a ton of calories.
I was inspired and bought an adult-sized jumprope. It lived in a drawer in the garage for a long time.
Then one day I decided I was going to jump rope. I took it out of its box and it stayed on top of the dryer for a couple of weeks before I put it back in the drawer in the garage where it previously lived.
And then I think I got pregnant. Or something like that. That happened at some point because I remember thinking, oh, too bad I'm pregnant or I'd jump rope!
The timeline makes a big jump because I didn't jump while I was pregnant or while I was home on maternity leave or even after I went back to work. No, the jumprope continued to live in its abandoned drawer in the garage until this week.
I decided it was time to liberate the jumprope from the drawer in the garage. It was a perfect time because I'd already put the baby down for the night and The Hater wasn't here. I wouldn't have to give any random excuses. I took the digital kitchen timer to the back porch with me and my trusty jumprope and set it to 3 minutes and 15 seconds.
I can't really remember the last time that I jumped rope. I remember doing it in elementary school. I remember wishing that I knew how to jump double dutch, but never was taught. I remember not liking to run into the twirling rope because it always hit me. I remember trying to jump and name the alphabet before messing up. But this was all in early elementary school... in college I remember hearing a program called "Jump Rope for Heart" (link), but I don't remember anything about the program.
You can say I just assumed that jumping rope would be like riding a bike - something that I'd just remember how to do. It was cool outside, but not cold. I turned on the timer and assumed the jumping position. As the clock ticked down to 3 minutes I began jumping. These were my thoughts:
This isn't so bad. (20 seconds had passed)
This is harder than I remember.
Ew. I can feel it. (It being my period.)
Is it the jumprope messing up or just me? (For whatever reason I couldn't do more than 23 consecutive jumps without messing up, although that was the max -- most times I was excited to get to 19 consecutive jumps, but I probably only averaged 12 consecutive jumps. My inner second grader would laugh that I couldn't even make it through the alphabet.)
I can really feel it now. This is gross.
Oh no. I'm only wearing a panty liner - I hope that's enough.
This is the longest 3 minutes of my life.
I'm sure the dogs in the neighborhood next to ours are barking at me.
GROSS. I didn't consider that jumping rope was going to jumpstart my period.
How do the people in the movies do this so well?
How do second graders do this so well?
(Then, finally, the alarm goes off and I take what's left of my dignity and the jumprope back into the house. As I walk...)
Why are my pants wet?
Oh no. I think I've overflowed my panty liner.
(walking to the bathroom) Oh, yeah... I've overflowed my panty liner.
Gag. (to clarify - that was a thought, not an action)
And in the process of discovering why my pants and panty liner were wet I realize it wasn't completely full of period blood (it was there - just not the saturation factor). No, in fact most of the wetness was pee. I apparently pee'd myself while jumping rope. I'm 32 years old and I pee'd myself while jumping rope on my back porch.
That was a few days ago. I was eager to share this story with women with whom I work who have also had children. They're always telling me not to make them laugh or they'll pee their pants. For the record (because at this point I certainly have to clarify) I've never pee'd myself while laughing or coughing or or any other time that I wasn't intentionally hovering over a toilet with full intentions to pee (at least not since my third trimester, but that's totally normal). They were very supportive and laughed with me as I retold the story. They told me not to bother with Kegals because it wouldn't make a difference.
I didn't believe them. I've been doing Kegals like I was pregnant again. I've been a hard core Kegal queen. I can't say that it's made any difference yet, but it's certainly led me to believe that I'm being productive. Calisthenics for my pelvic floor.
So tonight I decided that I was going to jump rope again after I put the baby down. And I'm tickled to report that I lived through 3 more minutes of jumping rope. My top was 20 consecutive jumps, but my average was probably 14. Furthermore (and frankly the reason for much more jubilation), I did not pee myself!
The small victories mean so much.
It's truly a day to celebrate.