How jumping rope became my spiritual practice
Life can be like jumping rope.
Your timing can be off.
You may trip.
You may fall.
But never put down the rope.
Keep jumping and one day you will find your perfect rhythm.
I love my boot camp. I work out at Brien Shamp's Boot Camp, and it is filled with the best teachers, the best community and the best training. Somedays I show up to work really hard and somedays, my success is in showing up at all. Regardless, the community there cheers me on, and I always leave feeling filled and stronger. This strength has allowed me to be an even better practitioner and speaker because my physical body can handle all that I'm demanding of it in my work.
But today my spiritual work met me at the gym.
In one of the stations, we were asked to jump rope for 300 jumps. Jump rope has been a long-time spiritual practice for me because it would be easier for me to put down the physical rope and just jump up and down 300 times... and I used to toss that rope to the side.
About 2 years ago though, I decided I would no longer put down the rope.
If I was going to improve, I needed to keep that rope in my hand. I needed to let it hit my feet so I could practice my timing. I needed to feel the frustration build that would push me to keep jumping. I needed to check my ego upon picking up that rope because I knew my attachments to looking like a professional boxer jumping rope would limit me because I would feel embarrassed every time I tripped myself with the rope. And over the years and through much practice, my jump roping has vastly improved. I have refused to put the rope down, even when others suggested it might be "easier" to put it down.
Who said mastery was easy? Or that mastery was quick?
I have moments of boxer jump roping now. The very first time this happened I could literally hardly believe it myself, and I was so proud. I knew how hard I had worked. (Super hard!) I remember the first time this happened someone said, "Wow! I'm not able to jump rope like that," and I said, while remembering all of my struggle, "Yes, you can. Just don't put the rope down. Keep going."
So you can imagine with this whole journey behind me how excited I was to see the jump rope as a station today. I've worked so hard and now it's exciting for me to hit that station. So, I got into my station and it was as if I had never picked up a jump rope ever. My timing was off. I kept hitting myself as I tripped over the rope. I was getting so frustrated. I could see the people around me who had opted out of holding the actual rope looking at me crazy that I should just put the rope down. It would be easier after all, right?
Nope. I would not and will not put the rope down.
I will improve instead. Because it's not really easier to put down the rope. Putting down the rope just delays my progress. I felt like today was the reminder that we can make advances in mastering skills in life and still have off days. Who knows why? Maybe the jump robe was broken. Maybe I'm coming down with a cold. Maybe my energy is imbalanced. Maybe my mind was distracted. Who knows?
But I think my jump roping challenge can be substituted for everything we are trying to master in this life.
Do you put down your rope when it gets hard, frustrating, challenging or embarrassing as you are working toward your goal? Or do you stick with it and move at your own pace? Trusting there can be days that aren't as "easy" as others. There will be days you trip. There will be days you'd prefer to skip. And there will be great days that help you to feel on top of the world.
Who said we have to progress at a certain pace?
The next time your self-mastery gets tough- with whatever it is- meditation, improved eating, more exercise, losing weight, less electronics- hold onto your rope. Don't put it down.
It might hurt you, embarrass you, or frustrate you, but don't give up.
No one said it would be easy or quick. But I assure you, it is worth it.
It will ultimately make you stronger and more prepared for the next step in your journey.
Don't put down the rope. Keep jumping. Keep trying and trust you will find your perfect rhythm when you've learned all the lessons needed to master your goal.
What are you working on right now? What's your jump rope goal? Be sure to share it with us on Facebook and Instagram.