What you need: Just yourself!
Props: Jump Ropes
Clothing Considerations: Cropped pants or tight leggings--flared pants will get caught in the rope, sneakers (tie your laces tight!), I wouldn't wear a hoodie as the hood will catch on the rope too
Sweat Factor: Red-faced and sweat-tastic!
I must preface this post by informing everyone that I don't run. Can't run. Not even to my mailbox--and considering my mailbox is a slot in my front door, that gives you some concept of what I'm talking about. Growing up, every Thursday was "running day" in gym class. I LOATHED it. We had to run around these four orange cones placed way too far apart in a field. Everytime we finished a lap, our gym teacher would hand us a popsicle stick. The goal, obviously, was to collect as many popsicle sticks as possible during the 45 minute class period--but the minimum was four. Four laps around the cones. In 45 minutes. Easy right?
Every Thursday, without fail, boys and girls ran past me...two, three times carrying fists full of popsicle sticks. Not me. I could barely collect 4. During the last leg of the 4th lap, the coach would cheer me on/yell at me. My friends would urge me forward, "Chariots of Fire" would play, everything would go into slow motion, and I would collect my last stick before falling into a heap just shy of the last cone while everyone else was headed back inside. You get the idea.
So, when I showed up for Dutch, and realized there would be running involved, I was slightly terrified. All I knew of Dutch was what I inferred from the picture of Melissa jumping rope posted on the blog last year. I guess I assumed we'd be skipping down the street with ropes--which in retrospect was silly considering we ran down Spruce (from the RH studio)--and people wouldn't appreciate a gang full of rope wielding, fitness crazed ladies taking over the sidewalks (or would they?)
Thankfully, we alternated between a light jog for 2 blocks and walking for 1 block until we reached the Schuylkill River Park, so I didn't have flashbacks to gym class. In fact, even though I was dead last in the line of ladies, I wasn't as miserable as I thought I would be. Turns out all of the up-tempo Lithe classes have paid off. I felt like my lungs were keeping up with me (on the way there anyway), and that my legs weren't going jello on me like they did back in the day.
Once we got to the park, we started jumping rope, and something happened with the space-time continuum. Have you ever been having an incredible time with friends or an amazing moment with your significant other--where you just wish time would stand still so that you could live in that moment forever? Well, I've found the answer for you! Start jumping rope! That's right. Want that goodnight kiss to never end? Bust out your rope and get to skippin! Want the incredible dish you ordered at your favorite restaurant to last as long as possible? Get to jumpin! Why? BECAUSE TIME STANDS STILL WHEN YOU JUMP ROPE!!
For example, Catherine, our instructor, would say now jump on 1 leg for 30 seconds! Oh, 30 seconds? No sweat! YES, SWEAT! MAJOR SWEAT! And don't even think you can Lithe stall your way through any portion of those 30 seconds. I blew my nose. Adjusted my sweatshirt. Tied my shoes. Untangled myself from the rope, and Catherine would shout, while looking at her watch, 28 more seconds! This goes on for 3-minute intervals. Three minutes of nonstop rope jumping. You do it in a variety of ways for the interval, then you hit the ground for push-ups, burpees, etc. in between each. Get ready to really test your endurance. This isn't your school yard jump-rope sesh. Oh no.
Then you head to the riverside to do some sculpting work, which is a nice break from the jumping (but still tough), then it's another light jog-walk back to the studio. I again, was bringing up the rear. So much so, that during the walking portions...I had to run anyway just to keep up with the pack. Needless to say, it was a killer workout. I can imagine adding this to my schedule once a week, and watching the lbs melt off. Seriously. I could barely walk the next day, and had to cancel my Tuesday Skinny Mini since I couldn't even make it down my stairs. Lithe still makes me sore, for sure, but this was like first-time Lithing type of sore. I'm still feeling it.
If you like to run, I think this class will satisfy that running-itch I always hear runners talk about. If you're like me and my account of middle school gym class sent shivers down your spine, there's no way you are worse than me, and I could keep up...so don't let it scare you. It's nice to be outside in the world and out of the studio even though Philadelphia refuses to acknowledge that it is spring, and let up with this cold weather. In fact it seems to be giving spring the middle finger ever time she tries to pop in for a few hours. But, she'll win out in the end (I hope), and Dutch is the perfect way to take advantage as the temperatures rise.
See you in class!