I remember when I was a little girl and I’d just learned how to jump rope. It was so exciting. I would jump around with my rope all day, teaching myself how to speed up and slow down were tricks I thought only I could do. Then the requests start coming from my friends outside for all of us to jump together. Ok, I thought this is a piece of cake. So they would each hold one end of the rope while I stood in the middle and prepared myself to jump every time the rope came around. One, two, three, jump! One, two, three, jump! I had it down packed. It was almost as easy as dancing, all I had to do was keep the rhythm of the rope. I couldn’t wait until it was my turn, no matter how fast or slow they turned the rope I could keep up. I started showing out, touching my toes, clapping my hands, turning around, you couldn’t tell me anything. Then some older girls from down the street came and wanted us to try something different. They still wanted us to turn the rope but instead of standing in the middle, they wanted us to jump in. What? You want me to jump in the ropes while they are turning them? Nope, that’s not the way we play. After much hesitation and with a whole lot of attitude, it was my turn. I was scared as hell! So everyone gets into place and the rope starts turning. I’m standing on the outside rocking back and forth listening to the sound of the rope. One, two, three, go. Nope. One, two, three, go. Nope. One, two, three, go. Nope. Forget this, I’m going home. I’m not supposed to be on this street anyway. As they continued to skip over me because I refused to try it again, I started thinking to myself, all I have to do is jump in. Once I’m in I can use the same skills I used before. I can dominate the competition because I’ve already mastered the jumping skill. I just have to learn this new way of getting inside the ropes. The old way was standing in the middle and waiting for someone to turn the ropes when I was ready. They don’t do it like that anymore. Ready or not the ropes are turning and if you don’t jump they will skip over you. You will miss your turn. “I’m next” I yelled. The rope started turning. The girls started screaming. One, two, three, go. Wait. One, two, three, go. One more time. One, two, three, jump. As soon as I jumped the rope caught me right in the face, down I tumbled! Wait…what? This did not happen to anyone else. What did I do wrong? Let me try this again, but this time let me count for myself. The rope started turning. I listened for the rhythm, my rhythm. I started rocking back and forth. One, two, three… One, two, three… One, two, three, jump! I’m in baby! I was back like I never left.
Nothing about that experience was easy, but it was worth it. What are you waiting on to jump in? Are you afraid of change because that’s not the way you play? Is it easier for you to leave because it’s not what you signed up for? Or do you keep getting hit in the face because you are jumping in on someone else’s count? No worries, start over. Pay attention to the rope. Listen for your rhythm. Start moving to your own beat. Give yourself time and don’t rush the process. Count it down. One, two, three. One, two, three. One, two, three. Jump!