‘Speed….SPEED…..SPEEEEEEEEEED!!!!!!!’ Mickey, Rocky
Last week, due to my absent mindedness, I was forced to skip my Lonsdale rope in an old pair of Burton wing-tipped brogues. Today, I successfully located my Nike trainers on the outside porch, soaked through with English rain. In fact it was still raining lightly. Undeterred, such is my recent unfettered devotion to skipping rope, I skipped in the rain, in sodden trainers. A rhythmic squelch kept the beat like a metronome. It was almost a mechanical display, detached from emotion. My sweat becoming diluted with the thick drops of fat rain that had cascaded its way down from the roof-tiles, over the guttering, onto my bald crown.
I’m adding doubles now, such is my confidence. Not just one, but at least 4-5 at a time every ten seconds of a minute. I skip for twenty minutes each night. I mastered the doubles sometime back and am now adding the double-cross. I don’t know how it looks, because I’ve long since wanted to watch myself. Caught my reflection once in a boxing gym, a pigeon-toed dwarf skipping rope is enough to put someone off their cornflakes, believe me.
My mind can’t take flight like it does in running. I don’t get to fully exercise my inner-enmities, or decompress after a day of chasing PR interns for invites to whisky tastings. My antennae is firmly locked into the count, a few glances at the clock, getting to hit the doubles on the final ten of every minute. Like a snooker player craving the sound of the resin object ball, smacking the truest part of the pocket leather, I push for that inimitable whipping sound of the rope during the doubles. After, 20 minutes I slam the rope hard on the concrete because I’ve seen Rocky a 100o times. I crack open a Spitfire in the Utility room, sit on a laundry basket that folds under my weight.