If I had known 20 years ago that the jumping-rope I loved to hop over on the sidewalk after lunch could keep my body in tip-top physical shape, maybe I would have given it more respect. Perhaps it would have found it's way into my lifelong daily routine instead of being tossed into a bin unceremoniously marked "GoodWill". It may also have made the 20 minute workout I endured today less... unruly.
Flipping through available workouts, I settled on 21 Day Cardio 1, with trainer Jade Alexis. Done as a part of Elle's 21 Days To A Better You spread, this workout video is the first in a series of exercises to help get your body lean and ready for bikini weather. It also involves a lot of skipping an imaginary rope, something I haven't even thought about doing since my last jump-rope dissolved into the void of lost toys.
While I can appreciate the upbeat nature of Jade and whatever supermodel was working out with her, as well as their ability to jump around for 20 minutes without blacking out from hunger pangs, I wasn't prepared for the amount of jumping (in place, side to side, front to back, in the shape of a square, up high, down low, and so on and so forth) that took place.
If you give this workout a try, I have two tidbits of advice that you should adhere to. The first is that this 20 minute workout doesn't include any stretching before or after, so be sure to stretch out those legs before you start lest you end up like me with calves that explode like roman candles stuck in a jar of peanut butter.
The second is a little graphic so cover your ears if you're timid: you should try to tinkle and make a poop before you make your attempt at 20 minutes of uninterrupted bouncing. I definitely think this second suggestion is something that they should have displayed along with the "consult your doctor before starting this or any other exercise routine" warning in the opening credits as I discovered this is sage advice for people such as myself who ate lunch an hour before.
Now that I've survived the Cardio and showered off the resulting sweat pools, it occurs to me that all of this exercise business would be a lot easier if we had all just continued skipping rope and hula-hooping the way we did as kids. Although we didn't know it when we were playing hop-scotch on the neighbor's inclined driveway, we were exercising as well as having a lot of fun. I hope that as my energy levels increase I'll continue to go back to the outdoor games I used to play instead of boring myself with endless crunches and push-ups. It seems like a lot more fun that way.