Saturday, September 21, 2013

Grown Folks Double Dutch (with VIDEO!)

I learned how to jump Double Dutch late in life. By late I mean 12-years old. In the hood, that’s way late. If that were old enough to drive a car it would’ve qualified me for handicapped parking. It’s not my fault. As a kid I listened to a lot of AM radio and consequently didn’t know how to keep a beat. You need rhythm to jump Double Dutch or the rope will literally trip you up.

As an adult it used to be that I could get my Double Dutch fix whenever I saw a group of girls playing in the neighborhood. Several years ago I saw some young’uns outside my local library. I asked if I could join them and offered to turn for my jump. One of the little girls said, “You don’t have to turn, Miss.”

“Yes she do,” mumbled one of the others. I smiled, because she was right. Proper etiquette dictates that you at least offer to turn for your jump.  But opportunities like this haven’t happened in a long time. Kids don’t play outside like they used to. No Double Dutch, no hopscotch, no freeze tag. Is it any wonder we have a childhood obesity problem? How are kids supposed to outrun the neighborhood pedophile if they never learn how to run? But that’s another issue.

Apparently I’m not the only one who’s missed hearing the “Swish-Swish, Swish-Swish, Swish-Swish” of a double turning rope. Earlier this year I found a Meetup group called Double Dutch Lovers – NYC. I’ve been wanting to hook up with them for months but my schedule didn’t allow it. Finally, our calendars synched up and I got to go to the End of Summer Jump. No, I didn’t know anyone. I just took myself (and a bag full of Bengay, Aleve, my good sneakers, and a positive mental attitude. I also I took a Glucosamine pill before and after.) 

I had a blast! I met wonderful women, some who jump regularly, and some who haven’t jumped in 30 years. I felt like we all knew each other from back in the day and around the way. Although we didn’t have a permit, a mini picnic broke out complete with yellow rice, Atomic Wings, and sea salt potato chips. Don’t worry. We jumped it all – okay most of it off. 

At the moment the group doesn’t have a place to meet indoors during the winter so we only have a few more weeks of temperate weather to meet in the park, and I really hope me and my bag of preventative analgesics can make it. It just doesn’t feel like exercise when you’re having this much fun!

The Urban Erma, the longest running column on, was created and written by stand-up comedian Leighann LordListen to the podcast on iTunes and Stitcher RadioWatch the video edition on YouTube.comIf you enjoy The Urban Erma please leave a comment, Like it on Facebook, follow on Twitter, And share it with your friends. (Share it with people who are not your friends and maybe they will be.) Get her free e-books of The Great Spanx Experiment and Sometimes I Wish Facebook Had a Hate Button. 


Sonia said...

OMG... I miss double dutch so much! (That wasn't supposed to rhyme! LOL) I moved so much during childhood that I didn't get to jump rope that often. I made sure that I had MY OWN rope over the years so that if I had the opportunity, I'd be ready! Still got it, too!

Leighann Lord said...

You reminded me of what I need to put on my shopping list! Having a rope on hand for a jumpportunity!