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.)