Ahmed's Jump Rope Transformation: Making Jump Rope A Lifestyle0 Comments
What do you think of when you imagine jump ropes?
Cardio? Exercise? Weight loss? Health?
These are all logical associations, but for Ahmed, jumping rope opened his eyes to a life of appreciation.
For Ahmed, jumping rope took him on a journey where he learned to cherish the small things that open doors to a meaningful life—cooking beautiful meals, learning new languages, sleeping soundly, experiencing nature, reading and writing, enjoying music from all corners of the world, and respecting his body for the places it can take him, instead of scolding it for how it could be better.
“I’ve learned that nothing is impossible. In my 20s, I was obese, lazy, and less productive in my life and at work. Now, I feel that my prime is in my 30s, which is ironic because it’s the age when most athletes retire.”
We are thrilled to be introducing you to Ahmed, and this is his jump rope transformation story. He’s a shining example of how jumping rope extends far beyond physical health and how the sport can breathe joy and confidence into every aspect of life.
Take it away, Ahmed.
How It All Started…
Let me start by describing my lifestyle before 2017, specifically, the summer of 2016. I was a stereotypical guy living in the heart of Silicon Valley. I had an excellent job in tech, I worked hard, and I loved it.
My employer’s name, job title, business travels, and zip code were my sole metrics of success. They were my only source of pride and happiness in defining who I am.
Physically though, I was a full-figured 200 lbs, but I never thought about it as a problem. At the time, I felt I had accomplished enough to feel good about myself. Especially, as an immigrant who totally transformed his life and career.
My job, however, was my only source of happiness. If I had a good day at work, then it was a good day. If I had a bad day at work, everything else followed suit.
Long story short, some changes happened at work that I didn’t favor, making me reflect on my life.
I started asking myself tough questions: am I a successful person? What is the definition of success, happiness, and being content in life? Why did I put these decisions in other people’s hands?
I looked in the mirror and asked myself, what is the first thing I want to explore about myself outside of work?
The first thing that caught my eye was my figure–200 lbs on 5’6” frame couldn’t be ignored.
Enter jumping rope.
Jumping For The First Time
I recall jumping rope for the first time in October 2016. It was perfect timing for me to set a new year resolution for 2017.
I joined a workout cross-training group in San Francisco, where I met my trainer, Alexia Cornu, whom I owe a lot for introducing me to fitness. She introduced me to jumping rope for the first time.
Unfortunately, it was an awful experience for me.
I recall not making a single skip to the extent that Alexia suggested to drop the rope and just jump ropeless in place. Even though I tried my hardest, I was too exhausted because I had such poor endurance back then.
Ahmed didn’t give up, though. He kept pursuing jump rope, and things started to pick up. It became more than just a hobby.
I was buying cheap jump ropes from Dick’s Sporting Goods and Target.
I noticed I had a problem, albeit a good problem to have. The cheap jump ropes couldn’t keep up with me, and I kept destroying them.
I remember I used to return many damaged ropes to Dick’s, and they would replace them with brand new ones until one day the manager told me they wouldn’t replace them anymore.
Actually, I remember the manager literally telling me she didn’t want to see me anymore. Even though it was rude, I realized I needed a higher-quality rope. So, I can thank that rude manager for helping me realize my true potential.
By that time, I had checked out Crossrope through their Facebook Jump Rope Community.
I knew Crossrope was pricey, but I decided to give it a try. I was scared I would damage the rope quickly, but I took the risk.
I was wrong. I bought my first Get Lean Set, and it lasted 2 years with me. It was amazing. The rest is history; I got another Get Lean Set, then the 3 LB heavy rope, and then 10 Bolt Ropes. Plus, two jump rope mats. All from Crossrope.
I remember watching videos and learning that Crossrope’s founder is an avid jumper himself. He would discuss details and topics about the products, and I knew that Crossrope wasn’t just a company in this for business, but because its people are genuinely passionate about jumping rope and trying to redefine the concept of cardio.
I see Crossrope as the Tesla of jump ropes.
Living The Jump Rope Lifestyle
You know the feeling when you have a job interview scheduled for an hour, but the interview goes so well that you pass the scheduled time and you’re still talking?
Or when you meet someone for the first time for coffee, but the conversation lasts for hours that you both lose track of time?
That’s what jumping rope feels like for me.
I feel entirely in the zone. Usually, cardio is thought of as the boring thing you need to do before the actual workout. Most people time it very carefully and constantly watch the clock to be done with cardio.
But for me, jumping rope is the total opposite. From day one to now, I always have these questions in mind, “how did 30 minutes or an hour pass so quickly?” “How did I not feel the time?” “Will it be bad for my joints if I jump for another 30 minutes?”
It was then that I realized I had found my thing. The sweetest thing is that it’s not only fun for me, but I was losing weight, and my clothes were fitting differently.
Since jumping rope has become a habit, I feel like I’m flying. I feel like I’m cleansing my body from any toxic foods, drinks, or air from the day before.
Plus, I feel like I get smarter every time I jump. I don’t know if there’s a science to back me up, but I feel like the coordination I’ve gained from jumping has made me mentally sharper. Don’t take my word for it (even if it’s a good word) because I don’t know about the science involved.
We had to ask Ahmed what sparked his jump rope journey? His response is inspiring.
It’s the feeling of getting more connected with myself, pushing my limits, and connecting with other people of a similar mindset who inspire each other.
I love when strangers from different age groups join me in the park and start jumping to transform their lives. I jump everywhere and with every age group—youngsters, children, men, women, and senior citizens.
I’ve seen some of them transform their lives and physiques forever, too. It’s super cool to witness and be a part of other people’s transformation stories.
Let me tell you something, I’ve been jumping 6 days a week for the past 4 years at 5 AM, and I’ve found that there’s no better way to start my day than jumping early in the park with the sunrise.
Let’s put all the fitness and health benefits aside for a moment. When I start my day with this routine, I feel like there’s a spark ignited inside my body that keeps me active and illuminated for the rest of my day—like I chugged an entire bottle of coffee in the morning.
Jumping rope has helped me realize my strengths and weaknesses not only in my physique but also in my lifestyle. I’ve become a morning person, I sleep well now, and of course, I eat healthier so I can be lighter when I jump.
This lifestyle has helped me fully enjoy the beauty of simple things like waking up early, cooking gourmet meals, playing the piano, practicing calisthenics, learning Spanish, writing blogs, reading, and exploring music from different corners of the world.
I also don’t see myself as a homebody anymore. I prefer to spend my time outdoors now.
I am so blessed to have experienced some very bright moments throughout this journey, like the first time I did double unders and triple unders.
One time, I visited Muscle Beach in Venice, California, for the first time. One of the performers there challenged me to jump rope on a balance beam. I spent the whole day on the beach falling and trying until I was able to do it. I was doing crossovers and double unders on the beam! By the end of the day, I became a popular show for the beach visitors. Strangers asked me how I did it, and my answer was, “I don’t really know. Someone here just challenged me to try it!”
It feels great when people applaud when I jump rope outdoors or when people come to ask how they can start, too.
I am very proud to be a part of the jump rope community.
All my family lives in Cairo, Egypt. I am so lucky to have friends in the Bay Area and from all over the world who are very supportive and encouraging. They always send love vibes, whether they’re here in the U.S., Egypt, or from across the globe.
If I compare my life before and after, I’ve become healthier, sharper, and smarter. I feel younger, have more humor, have made more friends, go on better dates, and enjoy work more. I even feel like I’ve been able to connect with myself and the world spiritually.
Growing The Jump Rope Community
Ahmed is so passionate about growing the jump rope community and encourages anyone and everyone to get involved.
We need to spread the word about jump ropes and increase awareness.
If there’s one thing I’m grateful for from COVID, it’s how useful it’s been for getting people out of those closed boxes we call gyms and exercising in the beauty of the world outside whether, that’s at the local parks, in the streets, or garages.
Before COVID, I used to workout by myself in the park. Now, more and more people are joining me. Let me tell you, I’ve made tons of connections this past year just from the park. It’s ironic because even though we were all social distancing or in lockdowns, we still managed to find each other.
More people need to come together in the jump rope community and keep the momentum going. I hope one day there will be an expo just for jump rope where people from all over the world can come together and enjoy the art of the sport.
I know I think big, but I think Crossrope, top athletes, and our community can make it happen with a little collaboration.
Ahmed’s Advice For New Jumpers
Start slow, go at your own pace, and don’t burn yourself out.
There are quotes that I’ll read sometimes like “It will make you or break you,” or “No pain, no gain.”
I hate those quotes. I know they’re motivating for some people, but don’t worry, life offers enough pain without bringing it on yourself.
Life’s too short, so instead, I say go out, explore, and find your own jump rope or any other activity that ignites a spark of joy inside you, that transforms you, and empowers you! Find the workout that makes you smile and makes you happy while you’re doing it. When you find your thing, you won’t need pain to gain.
Thank You, Ahmed
Ahmed, we are proud to have you as a member of our community. Thank you for sharing your story and helping to inspire others. We can’t wait to see what’s next for you!
Have questions for Ahmed? Ask them in the comments section.