Jumping rope.

Just when I thought I hit a training wall…

Jumping rope.
Jumping rope.

…I prove myself wrong, yet again.

There are some long-term goals at Crossfit that I sometimes think are pipe dreams:

  • Handstand push-ups (or handstands, for that matter)
  • Regular box jumps (14″ or higher)
  • Double unders
  • Unassisted pullups
  • Muscle ups

I’m not sure if there’s much else that I really CAN’T do. Oh…L-sits, I guess, and ring dips, although I’ve been able to do dips on a more stable platform (like bars). Bodyweight movements, I think, will always be difficult for me. Or more so than the average person, who grew up being able to do amazing things with their body and their own weight.

So those movements listed above…yeah, they’d be nice, but it’d also be nice to weigh 120 pounds, but that’ll never happen….

Except…I started thinking, Maybe it could happen.

I’m a pretty strong jumper of the ropes. I can do single unders for days. During the most recent competition, I did 170 single unders unbroken before I tripped. Not bad.

I have tried doing double unders in the past. I tried and tried, and made such excellent swishing sounds as I tried to make that rope go faster and faster. I always thought my issue was not being able to jump high enough. Until I went home and was practicing at CFSWP, and coach Troy was watching me. And what he told me shocked me.

“You’re jumping high enough. You need to have faster wrists.”

“What?! FASTER wrists?”

“Yeah, just channel all your anger and really whip it.”

He proceeded to tell me that perhaps I would never get double unders simply because I am too nice, and that I really have to want to punch something in order to get them.

I tried and tried with the gym’s speed rope, and sometimes I would get one foot under the second whip, but mostly, I just landed on top of the rope.

And then I gave in. I went online, and purchased a jump rope from Rx Jump Ropes, which Shannon had recommended. It had a nice, thick, plush handle, which I loved, along with swivel grips, so the rope didn’t get gnarly like the speed ropes. But what sets this rope apart is that the cables come in four different weights for training. The heavier, the more you can actually feel what’s going on with the rope and what you’re doing wrong. As you improve, you can replace your heavier cable with lighter ones for cheap. It’s also cool to choose colors.

Anyway, I got the rope just in time to test it out for the competition. And the first night I used it? I totally got a few double unders.

Like ten of them! And I’ve gotten them since then, too! I can’t string them together quite yet, and I tend to stop jumping after I get that ONE double under, but now I know exactly what I need to work on. And ALSO that I HAVE DOUBLE UNDERS.

I was shocked.


I just about shat myself when I got them.

But then.


I was working on double unders.

And somehow I started chatting with a fellow athlete about handstands and handstand push ups and kicking into a handstand.

And somehow, she was convinced that I could kick up no problem, but am just afraid…or something is holding me back.

I’m not going to argue with that. I hate gymnastics. I hate tumbling. Ever since I was a kid, I could not handle it. I have these horrible visions of me getting upside down, and landing weird on my head, breaking my neck, and then dying. Or something equally horrible and terrifying. I mean, ick!

So we actually pull out a really plush gymnastics pad…she she and two other people try to show me how to do a somersault, just to begin being comfortable upside down. I spent a solid 10 minutes at it, but I ended up actually getting a somersault. I can’t say it was pretty, but I did do it. And then we moved on to kicking to a handstand. And with that big-ass pad, I almost got it. I was definitely less inhibited than I generally am without a pad. I can feel a handstand coming soon!

The moral of this story?

For so long I’ve felt fairly stagnant. Comfortable, but stagnant. I was pretty content where I was with the skills that I had acquired, and a PR was really coming from adding weight to lifts, or something. I am so glad that I finally made that extra push to acquire a new SKILL that had nothing to do with weights. Granted, I’m not good at either, but it’s a step in the right direction.

An exciting one, at that.


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Exuberant photographer, artist, writer, designer, wannabe chef, and Crossfitter.

5 thoughts on “Just when I thought I hit a training wall…”

  1. Pushing through a little fear is hard, granted there are worse fears, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less of a triumph. Think I’m gonna have to look around your blog. I like what I’ve seen so far.

  2. Hey Dani,
    I just saw the video about your weight loss and found the link to your blog. I have enjoyed reading lots of your posts! I just started intro classes at Crossfit near my home in Michigan. I am probably 65-80 pounds overweight and needed the kick in the butt to get in shape! Thanks for inspiring me and keep up the hard work!!!

  3. When I did my first double under I was like a little kid! It was totally an example of what you were just talking about… pushing yourself until you master a skill. It feels great!

  4. When I ‘graduated’ to double-unders a few months ago, I made a commitment to myself that no matter how tired I was, how uncooperative the rope, how vigorously my ego worried about the clock, I would do every double-under in a workout. There would be no compromise, no “I’ll just do singles on this round, then I’ll go back to double-unders.” See: stubborn, relentless, determined, bull-headed.

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