Ev­ery­day Ath­lete

SHAPE (USA) - - Contents -

For one woman, jump­ing rope reaf­firms that you can slay at any age

I was 32 be­fore I picked up a jump rope, but I was in­stantly hooked. I loved the feel­ing of pump­ing my house mu­sic and jump­ing for 60 to 90 min­utes. Soon I be­gan en­ter­ing jump rope com­pe­ti­tions I saw on ESPN—even af­ter be­ing di­ag­nosed with mul­ti­ple scle­ro­sis. In 2015, I en­tered the Arnold Clas­sic, my first in­ter­na­tional com­pe­ti­tion—it’s the Su­per Bowl for jump rop­ers. But at 48 years old, I was com­pet­ing with 17- to 21-year-olds be­cause there were no other jumpers in my age cat­e­gory. The looks I got when I took my spot at the sports com­plex that ex­hil­a­rat­ing day in Madrid—you could al­most hear them think­ing, What’s the old-timer do­ing here? I didn’t think I had a chance. I made it through the 30-sec­ond speed jumps even af­ter los­ing a han­dle, and by the sec­ond event, the dou­ble-un­ders (in which the rope passes un­der­foot twice per jump), the crowd was on my side. I heard some­one say, “You girl! Do it for the big girls!” I used their loud cheer­ing as fuel to get me through two gru­el­ing events: one-minute crossovers and three-minute speed My legs and body felt like mush af­ter the fi­nal cross­over dou­bles event. At the awards cer­e­mony, it felt un­re­alto hear my name over and over: I won four golds plus a sil­ver. (The medals were for my 31-plus age group, but my scores would have earned me sec­ond against the 17to 21-year-olds in most events.) The “kids” I’d just com­peted against were jump­ing up and down for me. As I col­lected my medals, I made a point to say, “It’s not about age or size. It’s about your will and skill.” Do­ing 128 dou­ble-un­ders per minute is just the start of what Lu­cie B. Lind­ner, 51, can ac­com­plish with a sim­ple rope. She ex­plains the mus­cle-sear­ing thrill of it.

I’ve al­ways had a knack for rhythm and beats. Jump­ing rope is where I find my­self.

Grab a rope “I use a speed rope now [shown], but I still ad­vise peo­ple to be­gin with a beaded rope. They’re eas­ier to ma­nip­u­late.” (Rogue Beaded Jump Rope, $10.50, rogu­e­fit­ness.com.)

Lace up “I wear sneak­ers with am­ple cush­ion­ing around the balls of the feet and heels. Just no high-tops, which can re­strict the full move­ment of the an­kles.” (Try the New Bal­ance Fresh Foam Cruz Nubuck, $90, new­bal­ance.com.)

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