Making a jump rope from scratch probably never crossed Jim Glick’s mind before COVID hit in March. But one month into the pandemic, Jim was crafting his own jump rope in true MacGyver style: improvising a design using common parts and tools and racing the clock because it was a matter of (if not life and death) health and well-being.
Seven months later the Sharp St. resident is still at it, perfecting his DIY jump rope. Jim can assemble his Model 5 in just 15 minutes. I watched him do it last week, the parts laid out on a table in Cross Street Market.
As the world began to shut down in the spring to combat the spread of COVID-19, Jim quit his gym. Looking for an alternate exercise regime, he considered running for his cardio workout, but the idea of wearing a mask while huffing and puffing through the streets did not appeal.
“I thought, what’s good cardio while you’re at home or just outside your home. I remembered skip rope,” Jim recalled. “I wanted to start that day and I didn’t have time to go online or shopping at a store. So I made one.”
Now his morning exercise routine includes calisthenics and about 20 minutes of jumping rope, interval training style. He has gone through six jump ropes so far. I watched him make #7 in the Market.
Parts for the “Glick Jump Rope 5.0” cost $15, Jim reports. Everything can be found at the Dollar Store and Ace Hardware. The jump rope is nothing fancy, but it is a testament to the power of ingenuity and our own hands to wrestle some control of our lives back from the COVID crisis.
And here’s how it’s done …
9 ft. extension cord; 9-inch length of fiberglass reinforced tubing; 2 wire clamps; two clothesline swivel hooks; two 6-inch dowels; foam padding (optional)
Wire cutters, duct tape, X-Acto knife, wrench or socket driver
Cut ends off extension cord. Separate the two parallel sections of the cord with the X-Acto knife. Slip the cord through the tubing. Slip each end of the cord through the closed end of a clothesline hook. Adjust length of cord to fit your height by holding the clothesline hooks at your armpits with the middle of the cord touching the ground. Secure cord ends with wire clamps. Cut excess cord. Wrap clamp in foam for additional protection (optional). Duct tape clothesline hooks to dowels.
– Steve Cole