Tuesday, November 16, 2010

French Braids and Double Dutch...

Skipping.  It was what we did at recess...or lunch hour...on the playground.  We chanted skipping songs...and jumped to our hearts' delight.  And when we reached the end of the rhyme...we went into a skipping frenzy called 'pepper'.  That was the competitive part of the game...how long could you maintain that speed?  And then there were those who were quite good at skipping 'double dutch'...where one would jump two ropes while they were being turned simultaneously...like an egg beater.  I can't say I ever mastered that!  The skipping ropes of my memory were actually made of  rope.  And we wore dresses to skip...since we we were required to wear dresses to school back in the day.  Our hair flew free and our dresses got tangled in the rope on occasion.  It was all part of the game.

But skipping is a thing of the past, right?  Not so!

Skipping is serious sport these days.  And when they head off for a day of skipping...

...they are required to present themselves in team gear...and with hair in French braids.  And so it was that I rolled out of bed at the crack of dawn on Saturday...to see if I still knew how to do French braids. Soon Emme and her team mates were off to a competitive jump rope competition...with participating teams from our province and Washington State. 

Last time I showed up when the skipping was all but done.  This time, I arrived bright and early...and got in on the action. 

I won't bother posting a whole lot of photos of the actual skipping...since the rope, feet and hands are all a blur!   She is good...she is fast.  Let's just say...this is not how Grammy skipped!

As for the ropes...they are not made of sisal or plastic...but are stainless steel metal cables...capable of 5-6 rotations per second.  Oh...and they cause welts on bare legs.  

I knew about 'double dutch'...but 'double under' was all new to me...where the participant jumps up a bit higher than usual while swinging the rope twice under her feet. It all happens so quickly...it took me awhile to figure out the rope was going around twice for every jump. 

Emme and her team did well...and she came home with a fistful of ribbons. Next weekend they are off to another skipping event...in Washington State.  

I was surprised to learn that Canada has 41 jump rope teams...with about 1400 athletes...and accounts for about 10% of the world-wide jump rope community.  No...skipping is not a thing of the past!


  1. Oh now that would be a good heart work out! :0) I'd fall over the rope LOL!

  2. Super grandma! That's you - I could picture you with the comb and some water as you made those braids. I could also remember when I skipped, in a dress, hair in braids - but I'm glad it wasn't a metal rope!

  3. Wow, what a great sport! And good on you, Grammy for supporting them! Dairymary

  4. Well I never knew such a sport existed...I remember skipping for fun and I know some do it for exercise but I am not sure they have it as a sport here in the UK...maybe wrong though! Great job done by Emme and her team mates and by Grammy for getting along to cheer on!

  5. Congratulations to Emme! She sounds like an accomplished skipper. It's such a good sport to build strong bones and stay fit. You did a wonderful job making her beautiful braids, Judy.

    When I was a child we always played outside at school recess and "jump rope" was very popular. I was not coordinated enough to do what we called "double dutch" well, but I still had fun! I'm amazed to hear that stainless steel metal cables are used now! Ouch!

  6. This is so neat! Definitely one of my favorite things to do as child, so cool to see that is has become a sport!


    Molly Jane


  7. Such fun! Congratulations to your grandgirls!! The french braids look sweet.

    I remember skipping at recess time. But not all the skipping rhymes we used to chant! I wonder if children still say them...

  8. Such a fun post!... Oh the excitment of getting French braids doen..usually for something special! It sounds like the perfect hair-do for skipping ... I need to let you know when the next Songs, Strings and Steps performs with Calvin Dyck. Have you ever gone? As part of the program the the Abbotsfored Skipping Sensation skips in time with the orchestra... it's quite amazing and takes classical music to another level. The girls would love the show.

  9. Wow, what a workout that is. I remember skipping in a dress, with my ponytail swinging wildly - for some reason my mother didn't like braids. And now skipping is a competition sport! Things do change!
    What a wonderful grandma you are!

  10. Isn't it fun to see how these old sports become the latest trend.
    Guess what? I had to skip in my class this morning. Guess what we'll be doing?

  11. Very interesting! I know she was excited to win those ribbons. It's great exercise for sure. I'm glad you were able to watch this time. I'm sure she loved having her grandma there!

  12. I am originally from Jacksonville, Florida and they do a lot of that down there.I enjoyed watching them but never really got into Double dutch. I once saw a movie about that. It was pretty cool.

  13. You sure did stir up some old memories for me with this post. Memories of a playground years ago where skipping rope with rhymes were a daily occurence. I did not know there were competitions for jumping rope. I would think that is so interesting to watch, especially when it involves granddaughters. Congratulation to their team on many accomplishments. You may be attending many events in the future.

  14. I LOVED skipping when I was a child ... and a new skipping rope was a welcome gift!
    I didn't know it was now a competative 'sport' - how interesting !
    By the way, I love your french braiding! I'm sure it contributed to the ribbons ! Good for them!!

  15. Wow, just got tired from thinking about skipping like that - at my age! It was a fun and delightful activity when we were young, but I never learned to do double-dutch. The French braids are so lovely! It's so good to keep the kids busy, having fun and creating memories!


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