The World As Mare Sees It...
Skipping Ditties are Welcome. 2004-07-25










It is Thursday. It was Thursday. I hadn't written in the window for more days than were excusable. And so I start to throw a little something together. I use a dash of acerbic wit. I sprinkle a bit of clever, and throw in some finely chopped funny. It's a heady mix, and something not seen in the window for a while. I'm feeling a little less like a sinner, because after all, it is my job to fill the window so that The World as Mare Sees It can be seen.

And then, because it's something like thirty five degrees Celsius, and probably because everyone and their grandmother has an air conditioner on, the power in the neighborhood goes off and a whole bunch of middle-class victims wander out to their driveway, confused and afraid that this time, it really is a terrorist attack, and not just An Accidental Big Blackout like last year.

Fifteen minutes later, the power flickers on again, and all over the neighborhood, clocks are flashing 12:00 12:00 12:00 12:00 and the worst thing that's happened is that I lost my words in the window.

And now it is Sunday, and I look through the window again, and this time, all I can offer is a glass of whine and a box of pre-packaged complaints. It's a sorry state of affairs, here in Mare's world. Except... well... here's a little tidbit for you.

Somewhere along the line, the T in treadmill started to stand for Tedious and Tiresome and Totally Not What I'm Doing Today Because I Hate the Treadmill, Hate It Hate It Hate It.

I've got my magic exercise ball, which is fun to bounce on, and not as much fun to do sit-ups on, and would work better if I used it more than once a week.

And I've got a city of streets to walk on, to run around, to saunter across. But my diskman skips so thatís no fun, and also a bit boring because I can't seem to find three consecutive songs that will fit any particular mood. I'm kind of musically stuck. Also, the risk of starting out on a glorious walk and then stopping for a cappuccino and a chocolate croissant is high enough to abort the mission before I get my trainers on.

And so? I've taken up skipping.

Apples, peaches, pears and plums.

Skipping. For several reasons, too. Firstly, there was a total equipment expenditure of a dollar ninety-nine plus tax. Also, somewhere along the line, I head that skipping is one of the best cardio-vascular exercises one could engage in. After all, the boxers do it, right? But most importantly, I bought the damn rope because twenty, twenty-two, twenty-five years ago, skipping was fun!

Tell me when your birthday comes!

I was never very good at jumping in, and double-dutch was simply unheard for my two left feet, but I could execute a snappy little Hi-Lo-Medium-Slow if you let me play. And if you gave me a short rope, or a long one wrapped around my fists a couple of times, I was happiest to just skip up and down my driveway, singing whatever ditty I'd come to fancy. I'd skip, and jump, and count the rounds of the rope over my head, and most of the time, I prepared for the moment that a talent scout or a Hollywood producer or the head of the National Ballet of Canada happened to be walking along my suburban street, and stopped in awe at my amazing display of agile grace and the sunny sweetness of my pretty face.

Even as an eight year old, I had big, big, starry dreams.

January!... February!... March!

So now, while my dreams may have shrunk, my arse has grown, and I thought the skipping rope would come in handy again. I figured that if I was having fun, it wouldn't feel like a workout, thus making me do it more often, for longer periods of time.

... wheeze... pant... wheeze...April!... May!... wheezeJune!

Holy Jaysus and Mother of Shoes. Poppets, skipping looks like fun. It even sounds like fun. In actual fact, while I can do about 45 minutes to an hour of treadmilling on an impressive incline at a reasonable trot, three minutes of skipping makes me feel like I've done nothing but sit in an armchair all my life, inhaling beer and Doritos through an IV line.

pant... wheeze... July!...

Honest to God, it's the single most difficult exercise I've done in my life. It is, quite frankly, kicking my ass. Not only is my rhythm all scattered and wrong - I remember being able to do more than 10 consecutive jumps when I was a kid! - but those ten jumps has my heart trying to rip itself out of my chest!

August!... Sept..tem...ber!... dammit Octo..ber...wheeze...

Several years and several more dollars of dance lessons, and you put that skipping rope in my hand, and gone is my agile grace. Instead, I feel like a tank with some dental floss. My sunny, pretty face? Is now a screaming contortioned display of red-skinned agony, complete with rivulets of sweat and, most likely, blood and tears.

wheeze...pant... November!... pant...pant... wheezeDecember!

Honestly? Poppets? I think it may just be the best couple of dollars I've ever spent in my life. You can talk all you want about massages and spas and pedicures, but there is nothing like turning into an eight year old for getting away from your grown-up life for a while.

Skipping! Can you imagine?

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