I was never that great at double dutch, but I liked playing anyway. I remember it all–counting, waiting my turn as the telephone wires hit the ground in a syncopated fashion, a group of girls cheering me to hurry up and get in the rope. Before I knew it, I was in. I was euphoric. And then my little legs got all tied up with rope, and it was time for me to turn for someone else.
(I was an excellent turner).
I wish that we all–the adults of the universe who are insanely busy and work 12-14 hour days–could have recess. I want everyone to have an hour to run around and play double dutch and kickball, or lean up against the chain link fence and eat deliciously illegal icees. I want to bring back handball courts and sprinklers and, for rainy days, huge auditoriums where we sit and watch Michael Jackson videos and gossip about our crushes.
Because we are all busy. And recess was forced. Whether or not you felt like it, you *had* to take a break and not work for a bit. No one is around to force you to rest when you’re an adult. Double dutch and other games like it are a powerful antidote to sadness, to that overwhelming feeling like the sky will fall in about 2 seconds if you don’t finish your to do list. Unfortunately, for many of us who do work out, it has become a sad, sad time where we puff away on the treadmill and lift weights. We suck the fun out of everything, as though that makes us, our work, and our exercise more important and worthwhile.
So I’m on a campaign to bring the fun back–as I teach, as I write, as I exercise. If I had a pair of double dutch ropes I would *totally* set up a tournament. I’m pretty sure that the world would be a better place if we could all play for a little bit.