Just Like A Jumping Jack!

Raise your hands if you have not jumped ropes in your childhood!

Not a single hand will go up – I am sure of that.

 It definitely is the most loved game for everyone as a kid. Given a chance, who wouldn’t want to jump ropes again? As a player, as a spectator – rope jumping is a subject close to the heart. Unfortunately, in our busy lives, we usually don’t get time to go back and re-live our childhood memories.

But, something happened at work that made us revisit those days and the activity of jumping ropes. Prithashree had a sudden inquisitiveness about jumping ropes. For some reason, she wanted to learn more about everything that is related to jumping ropes. Who better than Shubham, our in-house fitness and gym freak and someone-on-the-lookout-for-sports guy to address the issue? Well, let me say, he jumped at the idea of this activity (pun very much intended).

So we all went down to this sporty continuous learning session expecting to relive some of our childhood days. We were in for a surprise. There was much to learn about jumping ropes. For something that came naturally to us as kids, it was a big surprise waiting for us!
Well, have you ever thought that there might be some norms to be followed while practising jumping ropes?

The matter of fact, there are!

Choosing the Ropes

Supposedly, we were doing it wrong all these years. All of us had put skipping ropes under a common category till now, but we learned that there were two types of ropes:

  1. Heavy Weight
  2. Light Weight

Both these ropes addressed a specific issue, which are as below:

Heavy Weight ropes were used for weight loss. So if you are jumping ropes to lose weight, make sure to use heavy weight ropes.

Light Weight ropes were used to increase stamina and were generally used by athletes and boxers. It also helped with breath control and helped increase bone density.

Length of the Rope

Surprise! There were norms about the rope length as well. The rope that you use to jump must be 3 feet taller than your height and that too not taking the handles of the rope into account.

Jumping Norms

Well, these are not exactly norms, but more like tips and tricks of the trade to be successful at jumping rope. Shubham told us these four tricks that we had to keep in mind while jumping rope:

  1. Try to jump on your toes
  2. Do not jump too high
  3. Use only your wrist to rotate the rope (these when you play as a group or team game)
  4. Bend your knees a little bit while jumping

So as soon as Shubham shared the basic norms about jumping rope, we were raring to go. At first, the activity was meant to be an individual activity. But Vivek, our Founder, had a great suggestion. He suggested that we make it a team activity instead of an individual one. We were all for it. So quickly the rules were set in place. The team activity would consist of 4 people in a team – two would hold and rotate the rope and the other two will jump together while holding hands. So we made teams – 3 in all. We were given 5 minutes to discuss the strategies we were to follow during the game. And a rule was put in place that 3 fails or falls were allowed. So within these 3 falls we could go back to jumping. After the 3rd fall, the team that fell would be disqualified from the game.

So we started the game. Easier said than done. It was supposed to easy (it did look easy, right?), but was not. The first team was inconsistent and couldn’t do well. The 2nd team did exceptionally well and the 3rd team was also performed well. The second team – the one formed by Sakshi, Yogita, Bhanu, Jahir and Subodh – won the activity.

It was a great activity. We enjoyed it. For many of it was revisiting childhood neighbourhood games. It was also an awesome exercise and had us fighting to control our breath often. Once we were done with the activity, we gathered around for our huddle to discuss what we learnt from the session. These sessions, as Vivek rightly pointed out, was to de-stress ourselves and share the learnings. Where on one part, we were teaching/sharing our learning to others and imbibing the learning they were sharing with us. Vivek believes that continuous learning is important for our survival and for keeping ourselves updated and we all agree with that 200%. That is why these continuous learning sessions at work are so close to our heart.

So we sat down to learn and teach and here is what everyone learnt at today’s session:

Abhilash had played the game in his childhood. After that, this was the first time he took it up. He was not aware of the types of ropes (heavy weight and light weight) to be used and that was his learning. He felt that it was a good activity and enjoyed it.

Blessy too had played this game in her childhood, but didn’t know about the technical stuff associated with the activity such as the height parameter. She felt that it was a nice learning activity.

Prajakta learnt that twining the rope is as important as jumping as if one person made a mistake in twining, the other would also make the mistake how twining is important, and if one made a mistake then the other would also make a mistake in twining.

Subhodh learned about team management and how important it was to have a strategy to work out and with resources.

Jahir also felt that Strategy is important. He was all praises for Subhod who did well and even though he was not playing, he was motivating his team members to do well and instructing them. He also learned new things about skipping (such as the height factor) though he jumped rope 100-150 times a day.

For Vivek, there was a lot of learning. According to him, Shubham tested a lot of things in today’s activity and put everybody in a spot by saying that this is an individual game. He also tested everyone’s presence of mind as well as ability to think on the fly by making small tweaks to make it a team game. That is the first learning. He felt that everyone had to be on their toes and many times, one may not get all the time in the world to design the activity.

Vivek was all praises for the second team and told that they were a delight to watch – nothing flawed – totally flawless. It was as they had a rhythm with the rope and seemed like horses jumping up and down gracefully. Vivek loved every aspect of it and said that they looked absolutely insane – so much in tandem, so much in sync. He pointed out that the synchronizing shows in the KPIS as well – that is – when a team is in sync, it becomes 10x better. And in this case it was a teamwork of teams and everyone had to be sync and it showed it.

Yogita had something funny to tell us. She thanked Shubham for the activity because she had a cold and knew that skipping helps eliminate cold due to taking in more oxygen. Her learning was that as a team, if the resources for achieving a goal are not right, it might keep you lagging. So in their winning, the rope was also a factor. The right stretch, the right spacing, the right speed of the rope all contributed to it. She also learned about the height and other trivia associated with jumping rope

Lakshmi was a little flustered about the jump and found it a tad difficult to synchronise.

Monali felt that the difference in her and Pritam’s height was a little issue while jumping.

Prithashree, the reason why we were all having this session thanked Shubham for session and told us about how she used to jump ropes in her childhood to increase her height but it didn’t work out. She actually compared her learning to the work culture. She said that often when the team works on a project and then finishes it, they relax before starting the next project. By the time the next project comes along, there is a pile of work. And it was exactly like this that she worked at jumping ropes – jumped and then relaxed and waited for the rope to come up again. Whereas, Yogita’s team kept on their jumping and warming up instead of relaxing and could form a rhythm.

Pritam’s learning was that taking on work suddenly is not good and one needed to be consistent while working like with jumping ropes – everything had to be in sync to make sure the work happened smoothing – the team that jumped and the team with the rope as well.

Bhushan felt that strategy is important to set the rhythm and team in sync to give good results. He praised Subhod whose though was not playing and motivating, which actually helped.

Bhanu explained how he waited for Jahir to move his hand on the rope and followed suit. To this Vivek replied that sometimes in teamwork someone has to accept leadership unconsciously to make things work and others follow

Sakshi learned that as there are players in a team and each one has a different skillset. And if the team is not good it doesn’t matter. Because everybody has a role, the teamwork happens.

Avinash learned that in a teamwork if one makes a mistake, it really doesn’t matter, but in an activity like this one, if one makes a mistake then everybody pays for it. With that I bring the curtains down on this activity. A special thanks to Shubam for making us learn the ropes to jumping rope.

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