When I was a kid, I never learnt how to double Dutch jump rope. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to learn, it’s just that I wasn’t good at it, my skinny legs didn’t lift high enough, or move fast enough or angle out at the right entry point.
And the girls in my neighborhood didn’t stop turning the jump rope fast, just because you were slow. In fact it appeared to me, to be the exact opposite and beginner or not, once they started swinging the rope your turn ended when the rope stopped. Even if you stepped on it, getting into the middle, even before you had a chance to jump. And it wasn’t negotiable. But what a joy it was to watch! The best jumpers had the longest time in the ropes, their legs seemingly went a mile a minute, their braids flopped in-sync with the rope’s revolution up and down. Perspiration glistened on their foreheads, as they held their arms elbows in, tight spin and then elbows out, arms upward and bent. You either had the skill to jump Double-Dutch or you didn’t get to jump Double-Dutch, it was that plain and simple.
My strategy was to offer to swing the ropes and hopefully, the older girls would take pity on me and in that way, I might get a turn to jump. Unfortunately, I couldn’t swing the ropes for the girls who were taller than me, because I couldn’t swing the rope over their heads, or as they called it, I was “double-handed” whatever that meant, I’m not sure as we all had two hands. In the end, I never got enough turns to properly learn how to jump.
I was in awe of Double-Dutch jump roping, but it wasn’t reciprocated, it was like having a crush on someone who doesn’t like you back. After awhile, I stopped watching. Besides, a little further up the street, a group of boys were playing basketball. If you know me at all, then you know how that panned out for me. 🙂
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