According to Jay Silver, there is absolutely nothing interesting about him: no strange tales of far-off lands, no odd hobbies or tricks up his sleeve.
“I asked my family for cool stories about me, and they came up empty-handed. Apparently, I’m not very exciting!” he laughed.
And while Jay may not have any wild tales to share, he is a humble man, a loving husband, a proud father, and and all-around good guy. He is also quickly developing a reputation for a serious jump rope addiction (but we’ll get to that later). His inspiring story is a must-read for anyone who can’t stand any other form of cardio.
At 52 years old, Jay is living the American dream: He resides in Brookfield, Connecticut with his wife of over 30 years, working as a Shop Manager for a small specialty auto business. His three children have all left home to attend university and make their mark on the world.
He recalls that growing up, he had a real love for playing softball.
“I played softball for over 20 years, and was always a very active child. I actually remember when there was a time that it was very difficult for me to gain weight!”
At 6’0 and 140, Jay worked hard to put on weight during his youth. After high school, he started to fill out a bit, and was thrilled…but at a certain point, the weight continued to pile on. And then, the unimaginable happened.
“I fell off a telephone pole at the job I held at the time. I was lucky to have survived, but was never able to play softball again after the back injury I’d sustained.”
A sedentary lifestyle, coupled with an introduction to beer quickly led Jay to balloon from 142 lbs to 210 lbs.
“It’s not like it happened overnight, but sometimes, you just see what you want to see and ignore the problem.”
From his 20s to his 40s, Jay yo-yo dieted and did a minimal amount of exercise. His weight fluctuated between 180 and 200. After years of struggling to find a lifestyle he could maintain, Jay decided once and for all that he needed to increase his physical activity in order to be healthier.
“Truth be told, I’m one of those people who despises cardio. There was nothing I disliked more than forcing myself to do something so boring and repetitive.”
In 2015, Jay became more serious about fitness and working out. He’d quit smoking a few years prior, started changing his eating habits and felt like a consistent cardio routine would really get him back on track. Unfortunately, Jay had knee problems that prevented him from doing anything too rigorous, so he dabbled with a bunch of low impact exercise at first.
“I bought a Gazelle for my basement and a few free weights. Then I tried going to the YMCA to workout on the treadmill and exercise bike, but I just couldn’t stand the monotony. I felt like a hamster on a wheel!”
At a certain point, Jay realized he’d have to find something he enjoyed doing in order to stick to a routine, and remembered he had some old DP braided jump ropes in storage.
“At the time, I remember thinking to myself, ‘Hmmm…boxers jump rope a lot, and you never see an overweight boxer.’ So I started looking into it, and was pleasantly surprised to read that jumping rope is one of the most efficient forms of cardio out there.”
Despite his initial fear of making his injuries worse by jumping, Jay picked up a rope and got started. But it definitely wasn’t smooth sailing.
“Out of the gate, I couldn’t even string more than 10 jumps together, and I kept tripping! It was awful, but I was dead set on conquering the ropes and not letting them get the better of me.”
Eventually, Jay started doing additional research in an attempt to improve his technique, and came across across a site called Bloom to Fit that recommended Crossrope.
“The whole thing about weighted ropes helping with rhythm and timing just made sense to me, and I was sold.”
So he went to a local Gym Source and purchased his first Crossrope ropes.
“The combination of these ropes and the added weight helped me substantially with timing, and I was able to do more and more repetitions.”
Pumped from his progress, Jay decided to take on the Crossrope 30-Day Challenge in October 2016.
Note from Crossrope – if you would like to participate in our upcoming fitness challenges, make sure to join our Jump Rope Fitness Community and you’ll be the first to get notified when we launch something new!
“I was pretty motivated even prior to starting, so I entered with a good mindset. I especially liked how it laid everything out in nice, easy-to-do templates, so I didn’t have to think too much!”
By the end of the challenge, Jay had lost a total of 8 lbs, but noticed significant muscle gain and an overhaul in his body composition.
“I could literally feel my muscles becoming tighter and more toned throughout the Challenge.”
Now, with two Crossrope Challenges under his belt and a year of jumping rope, Jay has lost more than 30 pounds and feels a remarkable increase in his overall energy levels.
What is Jay’s advice to those just embarking on their fitness journey?
“Honestly, I only lost about 13 lbs in the 4 months between the two challenges, but there are changes happening to your body that aren’t necessarily reflected on the scale. Don’t get discouraged! If you keep persisting, and you will start to see (and feel) a significant difference. Just stay consistent, keep jumping and those changes will come.”
As a proud owner of the Plus, Starter and Limited Edition Sets, Jay’s family teases him about being a “jump-aholic.”
“My wife always tells me, ‘A day without jumping is like a day without sunshine’ – and I tend to agree.”
Nowadays, you will probably find Jay out on his deck (his favorite place to jump) – constantly mixing up his Crossrope routines and pushing himself to the max.
“I have a natural competitive instinct and am super motivated by the prospect of constant improvement. To me, jumping rope doesn’t seem like cardio. It’s fun, you can vary your jumps, try to beat personal records and mix up your routine and intensity. With all the different Crossrope weights, the variety of workout options is endless.”
Jay recalls a time, not too long ago, when he wasn’t able to walk up his stairs without waddling or getting out of breath. Now, he sprints – no sweat.
Now he can run up and down his stairs at his house (morning and night).
“My transformation did not happen overnight. It was gradual, but I think that’s the way it should be. Slow and steady wins the race.”
Thanks for talking to us, Jay! Keep up the great work.
Got questions for Jay?
Leave them in the comments below!