Jumping rope | TheFencePost.com

Jumping rope

Do you remember that an hour used to seem longer than it does now?

When I got to go play at a neighbor’s house for a whole hour, we packed a lot into the time. Now an hour seems so brief, perhaps because some may measure hours in terms of television programs, which do speed by. In reality time goes by faster as we age and I really don’t know why. Yet we can reminisce as slowly as we wish.

One of the favorite past times of kids, at least little girls, was jumping rope. It could be done alone or with friends. Current popular equipment, such as skateboards, require a smooth, hard surface and are generally used in town. Rope jumping is an equalizer as it can be fun out in the country or in town.

The number of ropes can vary. Double Dutch is a particularly difficult version as it involves two long ropes, held at each end by different people. One or more individuals run in and jump double time to get over each rope as it comes along.

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“In reality time goes by faster as we age and I really don’t know why. Yet we can reminisce as slowly as we wish.”

We sang ditties as we jumped. The rhythm of the music helped us keep the cadence and these should bring back memories for many readers.

Teddy bear, teddy bear,

Touch the ground,

Teddy bear, teddy bear,

Turn around,

Teddy bear, teddy bear,

Walk upstairs,

Teddy bear, teddy bear,

Say your prayers,

Teddy bear, teddy bear,

Turn down the light,

Teddy bear, teddy bear,

Say good night.

By high school I guess we hadn’t outgrown our penchant for jumping rope because along with nine of my female classmates, we started a synchronized rope jumping team and performed at basketball halftimes throughout our four years of high school. We used the hard, plastic beaded ropes that made a nice clicking sound as we worked through our routines and the sound helped us keep in sync. We choreographed our own material to the tune of Herb Alpert’s “Tijuana Taxi,” his “Lonely Bull” and “Winchester Cathedral” by The New Vaudville Band. We used additional music yet these are the only ones I recall. We practiced hard enough that every performance was flawless.

Here is another one I remember.

Down by the river, Down by the sea

Johnny broke a bottle and blamed it on me.

I told ma, ma told pa,

Johnny got a spanking so ha, ha, ha.

How many spankings did Johnny get?

1, 2, 3…. (Keep counting until the jumper messes up).

Now, much to my surprise, I’ve learned rope jumping is a competitive sport. Teams range from age six through adults; some teams are co-ed. When you think contests, you naturally conclude training camps, workshops and judging clinics would be needed, and they are. Tournaments abound.

Videos are available on the net if you want to see them in action. The ones I viewed showed teams are mostly high school age boys who do back flips and more. What our team did doesn’t begin to compare, yet I’ll bet we had just as much fun. ❖


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