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Please enjoy this transcript of my interview with Celina Furman and Chris Walker!

Celina Furman and Chris Walker are two of my favorite jumpers to hang with and talk all things jump rope. I’ve done separate podcasts with Celina and Chris individually, but I thought it would be fun to have them both on together, and it was indeed a blast haha.

Celina is a lifelong competitive and performance jump roper, with an extensive history in the sport. She also was a founding member of the A2 jump rope club at the University of Michigan.

Chris is a jump rope coach and owner of the Jump Rope Company, making some of the best ropes out there. He’s always doing work to support the growth of adult recreational jump rope

This is a fun episode because Celina comes from the competitive sport side of jump rope, and Chris comes from the adult recreational side, which made for a VERY fun, mixed conversation.

We get into a lot in this episode including defining what a jump rope coach is, the differences between coaching and giving tips, undoing bad jump rope habits, whether or not jump rope is bad for your knees, the best surfaces to jump on, a brief history of how long jump rope skills have been around and where their names came from, the reason why we don’t need new names for these skills, how to use social media to help your jump rope journey, and a lot more!

Transcripts may contain a few typos. With episodes lasting over an hour, it can be difficult to catch minor errors.

You can listen to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, Google Podcasts, Amazon MusicStitcher, Overcast, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Nate K-G: Chris, Celina, thank you for joining me for another podcast!

Chris Walker: How you doing?

Celina Furman: Hello!

Nate K-G: Dude. I’m doing great! I’m really excited to have you guys back on. You’ve both been on before, but today we are gonna do a little catching up and we’re gonna get into a lot of subjects. We talked a little bit beforehand about some things that we’re gonna talk about. We are actually just gonna jump straight into it. You guys are both on the podcast, we’ve kind of done our original, “where you’re from and that whole thing,” so let’s get right into it.

02:01 What Is A “Jump Rope Coach?”

Nate K-G: The first thing we’re gonna talk about is jump rope coaches. That’s been one of the newest forms of employment, one of the newest titles that has kind of shown up in the past… I would say couple years, definitely since the pandemic, right? To kind of kick things off, I’m gonna lead in with some of my thoughts on that, and then I wanted you guys to just take full reign and we’ll just kind of add to it. 

So in terms of jump rope coaches, the way I see it, is that there’s basically, generally speaking, three classes of jump rope coach. I think that term is very loosely defined. So we’re gonna give it three… I’m gonna give it my two cents on the three different topics. 

So I think the first tier, I guess, that you call it is somebody who is an advice giver, or just gives tips and uses the term jump rope coach for giving advice, giving tips.

I think the second tier would be someone who’s like a general fitness coach or fitness practitioner in some respect understands a little bit about, obviously, working out and health and fitness and has some kind of a background in that, and then uses jump rope as a tool for accomplishing that goal. So they know a little bit of jump rope, they also can give advice and tips, but there’s a little bit more substantial background in terms of like understanding how fitness and that kind of thing works. 

And then the last third tier would be someone who is a sport specific instructor who actually has like a depth of knowledge with jump rope, with bioenergetics, and biomechanics, and understanding, like, literally how the body moves, understands the discipline of coaching, and is really dialed into the specific sport of jump rope. 

So those are kind of like my very brief, very general thoughts on jump rope coaches and how to kind of slice and dice that. Who wants to go first to add onto that?

Chris Walker: Yeah, so I like the way you’ve defined that there. I think the one thing I wanna add to that is the concept of being qualified and what impact that has on the three tiers, right? Because when someone’s been qualified, it means that they’ve been through rigorous, independent training, especially for things like the biomechanics, and how the body works, physiology, and also things like injury prevention. So they can use those other bits of knowledge to impact how they use the jump rope as a tool, whether it’s fitness, or whether it’s freestyle and more sports specific.

Nate K-G: So you’re talking about like a NASM, National Academy of Sports Medicine, or ISSP or… What’s your certification? 

Chris Walker: So mine originally was through what’s called REPs. So we love our acronyms here but that’s not the governing body in the UK. So if your qualifications for whichever institution you’ve done it through is REPs accredited, that’s the equivalent to the ones you mentioned for the US. So having someone like that is like a background sets you up as being someone who takes yourself seriously, has the right insurance, and things like that. So that’s kind of the extra two cents I wanna add to the tiers that you mentioned.

Nate K-G: If anything else comes up too, I’ll even let you add more than just that.

Chris Walker: Oh, thank you so much! 

Nate K-G: Yeah just being a real homie. Celina, your thoughts? 

Celina Furman: I was thinking about this in a totally different way.

Nate K-G: No problem. That’s literally why I wanted to have you both on here is because we all approach things differently, and we have different focuses with jump rope, and that’s like literally what I was hoping for. So whatever you were thinking, jump in!

Celina Furman: Okay. Well, I was thinking just of like the emergence of coaches, I guess more of like level of coaches rather than tiers. So I feel like there’s a lot of people that teach skills, some of which have this intensive background in jump rope because they grew up doing it and they’ve been taught by other people and they’re trained and they’ve been teaching for half of their lives.

And then there’s kind of this tier below that, where there’s this new wave of jumpers and they have been trained by one of those upper level people, so they have a good base of knowledge. And then there’s people that are sharing kind of, as you said, like their tips and tricks that have worked for them, with other people.

06:02 How To Choose The Right Coach

Celina Furman: And the way that I was thinking about it, like, I thought of the definition. So I was thinking more of like, if someone were to ask me who I would recommend as a coach, what I would do in those situations, but I don’t know if we wanna dive into that yet.

Nate K-G: We wanna dive, we wanna go for it. So if someone was to ask you like, “which jumpers you would recommend as a coach?” Are you saying like your thought process is like, what are the qualities of the people that I would recommend? Is that what you’re thinking? Or is it something different?

Celina Furman: Both the qualities of the people that I would recommend, but also the goals of the jumper who is looking at coaching. Because I think that the goals of the jumper are actually more important in finding a coach than the coach’s actual expertise. So I have all of my thoughts written down and I can dive into it and go on a ramble ramp.

Nate K-G: Well, the goal is really critical because like what Chris and I have just discussed, this could not have been a better layup by the way, like, that was literally perfect! So Chris and I discussed, we’re like objective, here is a way, one way to add a definition to this, but it doesn’t… there was no value assessment to what we said. There were just tiers of knowledge.

And so now you brought up the perfect point of, “a jump rope coach only really matters as much as they match the goal of the jumper,” which is why it’s so important for jumpers to have a very specific goal, or at least understand what goals they could have and then choose from there, because of a lot of reasons. I’m gonna let you keep going on all of your notes before I take over on accident.

Celina Furman: Okay. So I’ve rearranged this many times, cause I don’t know the best way to present all of my thoughts. So I’m just going to start with people whose goal is to learn more advanced freestyle tricks. So like if you are looking to become more of like, not competing necessarily, but like competition level jumper, which is what all of us do. So if that is your goal, then you need to find someone that knows about fundamentals and form because… 

I’ll just give my analogy, I think an analogies, so the way that I think about this, and I’ve told you both this many times is comparable to like any other online workout video. So if you are interested in learning how to do a new type of exercise or you’re looking for a particular type of workout for… I don’t know, like say you wanna get like bigger glutes, then you’re gonna go look at videos online and you would probably put more…

Nate K-G: Who doesn’t want bigger glutes? 

Celina Furman: We all do! Glutes are great! 

But you might put more trust in a video that comes from a certified personal trainer or a physical therapist. But you’re also gonna find a lot of videos from fitness influencers, that a lot of them do have certifications, but you just like the way that they present content and you vibe with them, and so you follow them. 

So the tricky thing with jump rope is that there isn’t a certification and so there’s no certified jump rope coach. There’s no standardized training program so the information is going to vary. So if you looked at the three of us, we would probably say the same things about a lot of things, but on particular topics like this, as we see, we might differ. And that’s just based on our experiences and how each of us individually think about jump rope. And that’s like any other fitness coach out there. Everyone has their own method of how they approach things. So with all that said, there is confusion about what is the correct information, information that’s different.

But if you want to learn more advanced skills, then I would recommend looking for people online who have been jumping for a long period of time, essentially their lifetimes. Yes, I’m referring to like more competitive jumpers, and Chris, I just consider you this, cause you’ve been jumping for so long and you have just immersed yourself in the sport. But also those who have been teaching others for many years. 

The teaching component is the biggest thing. So with teaching experience, you learn about the best order to learn tricks, proper form, how to prevent injury, but then you also learn all of the common mistakes across different jumpers. So you learn how to identify mistakes quickly and how to correct them quickly.

10:08 The Importance Of A Coach’s Knowledge

Nate K-G: Can I pause right there for just a second? There were two things that you mentioned that were so great. And there one specifically, when you first started talking about this, that I think might have caught a lot of people off guard. 

You said that for people who wanna learn more advanced skills and really wanna kind of push the limits of what they are capable of, and maybe get to that level of doing competitive types of skills, they should find somebody who understand the basics and the fundamentals. 

And I think for a lot of people, they think if you want someone to teach you crazy stuff, you gotta find someone who knows how to do crazy stuff. But a lot of these skills you can kind of… depending on who you are, and if you’re kind of… if you just got some natural talent, or if you’re really strong, you can chuck a lot of these difficult skills, TJs, Handstands, Push Ups, even Flips. If you’ve got the skills, sometimes you can just chuck it, right? 

And so that idea of finding someone who understands the fundamentals is huge because those are what lead to actually being able to do the harder skills very well. There was another thing that I had in mind, but I lost it. So keep going.

Celina Furman: Okay. So the reason why all of this knowledge is really important for a coach, and this would make a great coach for anyone, this is at any level, but especially for those who want to do advanced skills, but it makes the learning process more efficient and less frustrating because they are able to identify these things. They’re able to teach you skills in the order that you need to learn them to advance quickly. 

And with this, I also, as you kind of just said, like, keep in mind that just because someone is a good jumper does not mean that they’re a good teacher. And so again, with my analogies, I’m sure that you have had a professor or a teacher or someone in your life that is a genius and is really smart, but then when they try to communicate their ideas at a level that you understand, it’s just not possible, that doesn’t make them any less of a genius. It just means that they might not have figured it out how to teach. They’re genius, yeah. 

Nate K-G: That’s… let’s like, that was… sorry, that was the other point that I was thinking of. It’s the idea that talent as a jumper, your jump rope skill is entirely separate than the skill of coaching, which is a discipline in and of itself. And the quick thing that I’ll add to that, coaching is a discipline, which means if you are naturally, not naturally, but if you’re able to coach, it’s very likely that you can go to very different subjects across a wide spectrum, learn it and immediately be able to go coach it, or teach it effectively.

Celina Furman: Exactly. It’s the ability to break complicated things down by identifying where the common mistakes happen and how to correct them and also why those common mistakes happen. And then also, I mean, this is just… I guess, the preference being at this point, but like finding someone that does all of these things in a motivated and constructive way, because you want to like the person that you’re being coached by.

Nate K-G: Well, and it’s also really, really, really easy to get demotivated with jump rope because the nature of jump rope is that you learn a new skill, you unlock something and you move on to the next thing. And if you don’t have someone like reminding you of your progress or putting things into perspective, it can be very easy to feel like, “well, I didn’t unlock a new skill this week, so I must suck!” Or like, all these different things about like the perspective and how you’re approaching things. So I think that what you said is completely right.

Celina Furman: Right. And when you’re learning at the beginning, and this is the same with anything skill acquisition at the beginning of learning, something happens very quickly. So a lot of these basic skills like Footwork and Swings and Crosses, you’re gonna pick them up within one, two sessions, maybe a week, depending on your background and fitness and movement.

Once you start getting more advanced, then it takes longer. It can take you months. It can take you years to learn a skill. There’s skill that I’ve been working on my entire life that I still can’t get. And the teaching style changes too. It changes from helping someone unlock this basic skill to showing people the steps and the fundamentals underlying the advanced skills to be able to put them together, practice them on your own and unlock it.

But that’s the end of my, “if you’re looking for a coach for advanced skills.” So I don’t know if you’all wanna talk about that. My next thing is talking about other types of jumpers, like more fitness and aesthetic and choreography and things.

Nate K-G: Before we get into that. I do want to just tag onto that, that somebody who is like a coach or a discipline, like you’ve been talking or disciplinary of the sport, like you’ve been talking about understands that jump rope is actually a system and not a mish-mash of skills. 

It’s really seems like at the beginning, that jump rope is just a bunch of tricks here and there, and there’s just so many of them. How could you possibly even get to all of them? And the answer is that everything is a system. Everything in jump rope follows rules of biomechanics, follows rules of movement, and at the highest level of coaching, you understand that very very clearly. And then, like you said, you’re able to then not only understand that, but then break it down in the correct way for that person at their point in their journey to then help them achieve whatever that goal is that they’re looking for.

Chris, anything that you wanna add before we dive into different types of jumpers?

Chris Walker: I was literally just sitting here with popcorn, listening to I was like, I wanna say the next thing next, and then you just go and said, and I’m like, that was what I was gonna say, but not really. I just I wanna highlight how important it’s that the… when it comes to the word coaching in that context, that it’s a skill completely separate to the jump rope. And that applies to any other scenario, like you said, where… when someone has an ability to teach that they can apply that skill to any subject that they have a good understanding of and that’s a really underappreciated. 

I would have overlooked thing when it comes to, when you see coaches in lots of different like fitness disciplines or any other area of life, obviously you can… you can look around on internet, on Instagram and you can see coaches for like everything. Like business coaches, and social media coaches, and handstand coaches. 

But when you sit and think about “what makes a coach a coach,” is really important to look at those qualities of, you know, being able to set goals, understanding where someone is in the journey, and the information that applies to them at that pin point in time, and being able to break it down in the language that’s appropriate for the person, and understanding the systems to the subject itself. But you already said that Celina, eloquently.

Celina Furman: I spend a lot of time writing my notes to make sure I make sense cause I sometimes do not.

Chris Walker: That’s what I wanted to add.

16:41 Knowing Your Goal With Jump Rope

Nate K-G: Okay, Celina, why don’t you jump in with the rest of your thoughts and we’ll kind of keep going.

Celina Furman: Okay. So shifting gears into all of my other jumpers. So I know that for many people, and especially people that have picked jump rope up in the past 1, 2, 3 years, is that being a competitive level jumper is not their goal. They may have picked up a rope because they were inspired by someone online or because they are more interested in jumping as a cardio workout. And they’re trying to learn some skills just to spice it up a bit and make it more fun and interesting. 

And this is my opinion, for these people, if you’re just interest in jump rope as more of a like the dance roping style that you’re seeing online with the crazy footwork, and the swings, and the crosses, and the choreography, and you’re just wanting to do cardio or things like that… so this is something that I’d love to hear your thoughts on… but the trick progression is very different from a competitive style.

So this style, you’re just seeing more of the aesthetic skills, those skills that look really nice, fancy footworks, crazy releases, like all of the Mic Releases, the swings, and movements, and turns. And for that trick progression, if you don’t care about learning weird tricks and awkward positions, like ASs and CL and Cabooses and crazy multiples, then I don’t think you necessarily need a super experienced jumper to learn from. Although you might learn faster if you do get a coach with those skills, which for all the reasons we just mentioned. 

But if you’re just interested in having fun while you workout and you want to learn like choreography and skills to make it more interesting, then like, I say, goal out on the internet and find who inspires you because the internet is great for that. There’s really talented people out there that are pioneering the style jump rope that I can’t do. So if someone came to me to teach them footwork, I could teach them very basic steps, but I cannot teach them creativity or style, things like that. 

And the nice thing about the internet is that their online tutorials are free. You do not have to pay for coaching that is on Instagram and it can be accessed in your own time. 

So I know we talk a lot about finding a qualified advanced coach, but there aren’t that many right now. And those that do offer coaching are often booked up and on wait list. And so we have to offer other roots.

So that’s my thought. That’s my opinion is that, like, maybe you don’t necessarily need to hire a super advanced coach if those are your goals, but if you then decide that you want to learn more advanced skills, seek out live coaching, take into consideration the instructor’s experience, and live coaching from my point of view is that… it’s an invaluable experience. The feedback that you will get, the corrections that you will get are good for form, for injury prevention, to prevent bad habits, and will help you have a more enjoyable, less frustrating learning experience. I have more points, but I’ll pause.

Nate K-G: Everything that you said is really spot on and it comes back to the idea of like knowing what your goal is, right? And so when it comes to like the dance rope style, a lot of releases, a lot of EBs and EB swings, a lot of footwork, right? It’s the most aesthetically pleasing in my view, I think Jimmy Reynolds was the one who really made that look cool. Like, that was kind of his style that became very, very popularized. I agree that you really probably don’t need as much knowledge of the sport. 

We’re in this interesting spot where everyone’s learning, so like everything is shifting and moving with time. I think in 10 years, what we’re gonna see is a very, very clear jump rope journey that most people start here. Most people go to this intermediary point, and most people end up at this position here, right? And obviously there’s countless ways that that could go. But in general, one of the patterns that I’ve seen is that everybody starts in one spot, whether that’s for fitness, doing singles and using a heavy rope, whether that’s getting into footwork or doing dance style, or, you know, seeing Buddy Lee’s swinging aesthetic performance style, all these different things that might catch the initial interest.

And almost everybody that I’ve seen jump consistently, like over two years, maybe three, ends up getting very curious about new skills or starts to get a little bit stale with their routine. And as fun as like that street style, that dance rope style is a, a lot of people end up getting curious, even if you watch Jimmy’s jumping now, he’s throwing in TJs. He’s throwing in all sorts of cool multiples and a lot of like Leg Crosses and different releases and stuff. 

So I do think that it is worth knowing that everyone’s goal does change. So having that foundation, that efficient foundation is great because when you start with efficiency, then you understand how a skill works at the highest level of efficiency would be the highest level of executing an individual skill. When you start there, you can always back up to any other style you want. So if you learn a cross very smoothly, really comfortably, you can change it for anything else you want. Same goes for swings, same goes for releases, EBs, all of it. 

So I think you’re right that the skill progression is very different. You could have someone go right into Singles, Footwork, Side Swings, EB, Mic Release, maybe a Double Under, which you could probably skip that one at least for a while. And then once you understand those skills, you can just have at it and do most of what you see with dance rope. So I totally agree with that caveat of like efficiency will always benefit you and make it very, very easy to back up to. 

Chris, I see you getting excited right now.

Chris Walker: I think I wanna offer an analogy and I think will help tie this all together. And it comes from my background when I was studying music in that pop music exists to a lot of people’s like discomfort because people like it, right? Whether people agree with it or not, people pop music exists, because it’s popular. And often people dislike it because it is more of an oversimplification of a lot of concepts in music when it comes to poor progressions or other types of styles. 

But when you look at some of the producers or some of the people who write the music, they’re normally highly intelligent. Some of them aren’t there, some of them just, they listen and then they make music that actually just sounds good because they figured out what sounds good. Even if they don’t understand why or they can’t articulate it in a kind of theoretical way. And both of those things still lead to the same result where the music still sounds good. It’s still catchy to the ear and it’s still enjoyable, makes money or whatever. 

But when someone’s learning music, you’d often find they’d get stuck in this kind of question where they’re like, “well, do I learn the theory first? Or do I just start experimenting and seeing what sticks, what works?” And there’s never a really, people tend to argue over whether or not you should learn the theory first or whether you should just give it a try on the instrument and figure out works, because both approaches can work.

And my… the thing I wanna kind of point out here that will tie the kind of two sides of things together is that having the theory knowledge only adds value. It never takes away, so it’s not necessary, but it always adds. So there’s certain pop producers who are have such a good intimate knowledge of it and it only benefits to how great their music can be. But it’s never a hindrance to just not have it there. And that’s what I wanna say.

Nate K-G: As somebody who has been slowly, slowly learning guitar and I’ve never done anything music in my life. I’ve just been slowly learning guitar over the past two years, although it’s been very minimal, I have a friend of mine who is, who really has a lot of deep knowledge of music, not just you, Chris, but another friend who like really loves guitar and he’s built guitars.

He really, like, understands the theory and has learned like other instruments and stuff. And so it’s… I’ve actually been in the exact situation that you’ve been talking about. Like I’m asking him to help me, right. And so I will literally do both. He will teach me some theory, he will teach me some ideas, very, very low level for now cause I can’t really handle too much. But at the same time he says, go try this, go play this, just do whatever is fun for you because what’s fun keeps you going. And that’s a really, really huge piece of the things that is obviously applicable to playing guitar, but also jump rope as well. 

The other point really quickly that I wanna make, the theory and having fun are great. But all three of us know a lot of people who have sent us messages that said, “man, I wish I would’ve started learning efficiency a lot sooner as a beginner because it would’ve saved me literally years of my life.”

Chris Walker: Yeah. I think there’s this weird thing. Like, do you ever like watch something like Game of Thrones where you go through the entire, the entire thing, and then when you get that kind of deep knowledge towards the end of it, you kind of just wish that you knew that much about it at the first season, but you… it’s not possible to know that much at the beginning, cause it’s just at the beginning. And it’s this weird kind of like paradox, where you always wish you knew more than you did to enjoy the thing earlier on than you did. You just have to go through it. 

But that’s like where having a coach sometimes or having good access to information can help you get it just a little bit earlier or at the right time through that process, having it sprinkled in there rather than it being just either all or nothing, you know?

Nate K-G: A hundred percent! Celina? 

Celina Furman: I’m just rapidly nodding my head over here. I guess my final point on this kind of goes alongside with I always favor efficiency. The other thing is habit are really hard to break. So if you develop a bad habit and the thing about jump rope is mechanically, it’s a very fast movement. Everything happens very quickly. And so in order for you to change bad mechanical habits, you have to first train yourself in slow motion, which takes weeks and months and years. Coming from someone that’s been in physical therapy to correct a mechanical issue. 

And that flow training, the amount of time it takes for that to translate into high speed of jumping is enormously longer than the initial training of just trying to mechanically tell your body what to do. So if you can get a coach, if you can afford a coach, if you have that access, like, I recommend it for injury sake, for learning sake, it’ll make everything more enjoyable and less frustrating.

26:46 Celina’s Injury

Nate K-G: Two things I wanna touch on real quick, again… cause I don’t know why, I like literally always think in pairs during a podcast. If you… if someone has listened to a lot of these, they know for whatever reason, I always think two things I gotta bring up. I don’t know why. 

Okay. First thing I wanna talk about first just really briefly, Celina, you mentioned you’ve been in physical therapy. I know we talked about it originally, but could you just briefly remind us what that process has been?

Celina Furman: Yeah. I have had a chronic, I guess, chronic hip pain since high school. It initially emerged through soccer, not through jump ropes. I just wanna make people aware of that it’s not a jump rope injury. But basically, my hips are just very unstable, so they shift a lot. They rotate in ways that they’re not supposed to and things get stuck. So I get things like ups slips a lot, which is essentially like your leg gets jammed into your hip socket, then you have to pull your leg out, and then you have to restabilize your hips, and it’s this whole thing. 

So I have been in physical therapy since high school. And I’ve been in physical therapy more intensely for the past seven years just to maintain this hip issue that I have, which has involved all sorts of glute training, glute firing core training. I recently re-injured myself in New York cause I have been back in like active physical therapy trying to retrain everything. But it’s a lot about like correcting bad habits of like how my back shifts is affecting my hip and where I am shifting my weight in my heels or my glutes.

And just like things that I never learned through jump rope because we don’t cross train, that I have had to learn through physical therapy and lifting to be able to correct the way my body moves, which it’s been helpful. Like, I’ve been in it for a very long time because it’s a chronic thing and it’s a mechanical structure with my skeleton, which you cannot fix. So I just wanna like, say like it’s working, it’s not… my PT isn’t bad, she’s actually phenomenal. But it’s just been… it’s been a lifelong thing that I’ve had to deal with. It’s very long process.

Does that answer it? Cause that was just a tangent. 

Nate K-G: A hundred percent. That was exactly it. Yeah, I just want… because, I know a lot of people were probably like, “oh, what, what does she mean by that?” You know? So that was perfect. 

28:45 Making Changes To Bad Form

Nate K-G: So the other thing I was thinking about in terms of breaking habits, cause breaking habits is like… I gotta be honest with you guys with everyone that I work with, all the jumpers that I work with in a coaching, actually, in a coaching capacity and just on Instagram, the majority of the things that we talk about and work on are breaking habits. It’s very, very rare that I work with someone who’s like, “yeah, I’m totally fresh, let’s go!” Like, it usually doesn’t happen, that there’s usually something that they have done prior with jump rope that we have to rework and adjust and change because of many, many reasons. 

What I was thinking about with habit is, I’m curious both of your thoughts on this, although Celina, I think because you work so much in research, you might have a little edge on this one. I really feel like there is a lot to be said about not only the muscle memory, but I guess the mental memory as well. Like, the way you mentally approach jump rope, there’s so much happening in terms of you have all your limbs working, your entire body’s working and for a lot of skills, your two arms are doing two different things. Both of your legs are doing two different things and there’s so many different. There’s just a lot happening for the brain. 

And I think one of the most challenging parts of learning a new skill is not really your physical capacity, but sometimes more just your ability to figure out what you’re supposed to do and to remember, and to coordinate everything at the right time. So I think when it comes to breaking bad habits and building up new ones, it’s not even just muscle memory, it’s like total body memory, right? Mental and physical. 

Thoughts on that?

Chris Walker: I wanna quickly jump in with an anecdote, because I remember when I was at like, trying to get the Frog with you, Nate, when we were back in San Diego. And I remember that I had, you know, I’d done many handstands before that point, and for anyone who’s not like listening in that doesn’t know what a Frog is, a Frog is a adapted type of handstand with a jump rope, but the biomechanics are slightly different. And that has a huge impact than whether you can do one if you’ve just got handstand knowledge. And I learned that firsthand working with Nate, because I could do a handstand, I could hold myself up okay, it wasn’t, it was no any of the best handstands, it’s not my era of expertise, but it took so much work for us to get through that.

And the reason I’m bringing it up is because I remember I did not successfully get it on day one when we were doing it. Cause we spent our several hours on it. It wasn’t until like day two or three, coming back to it because of my brain had the time to process it and sleep on it. And we say this a lot almost as like a joke, but it’s seriously, part of the process is actually taking your brain that time, not just physically just hitting the wall with it, you know? That’s my anecdote there.

Nate K-G: Yeah, Celina

Celina Furman: Okay.

Nate K-G: Here we go, get ready! She gets ready. She just sit there. She’s like, big breath. Here we go!

Celina Furman: of my research is on like behavioral habits. So it’s more like how to create routines that are more automatic. But the few things that I do know about habits in terms of like movement and just like small behaviors, is that first thing it’s easier to break a habit or to stop doing something unwanted if you can replace it with what you do want. So it’s not enough just to stop doing something, you have to replace it with what you do want to happen. So that’s the first thing. 

And the other thing is the importance of fundamentals, because jump is so intricate and you’re doing a million things at once… but for example, if you have a really good Cross and your Criss Cross is super easy, that is going to make it so much easier to add your leg into it, to do a Toad. To add a Double Under to it, to add a Triple Under, to do a TJ, to put the cross behind your back. 

So being able to nail down the fundamentals and getting really, really comfortable with them, it’s not just like you learn a trick and then you don’t do it again, like, you drill fundamentals all the time. If you want to be able to become a more advanced jumper and you will… Mike Fry and Lee Reisig will talk about this all the time, but that’s like an essential part of training. And any athlete, like if you look at any other sport, the drills that they do are the fundamentals to their movement.

So if you have fundamentals and you’re practicing them, but then if you… so if you have a bad cross and you’re practicing that over and over again, then that’s gonna become a habit and that’s gonna be difficult to break. So that’s why going back to like the trainer and the coach thing, if you can find someone that’s really experienced and knows how to identify those things, where they could see it going wrong in the future, someone that can see all of this in the jumper journey and progression from a bigger picture, that is so, so important. 

Nate K-G: Well, I think, yeah. And in addition to that too, like when you said someone who can see it very, very quickly went through that, but being able to actually see what’s happening with your skills is insanely difficult. Even for some of the highest level. Well, obviously if you’re at the highest level coach, you’re very used to that, but like even at the highest level, it’s very challenging sometimes with mistakes, to actually see what is happening and to understand. Like, it’s very hard to articulate. 

But not only are you watching what that person is doing, but for me when I’m working with someone or when I’m talking to someone on, on Instagram or wherever it is, right. It’s like, it’s almost like I’m visualizing myself doing it in the way that they’re doing it, which helps me break it down for them. It’s like, not only is it like, “oh, your hand’s in the wrong spot,” but it’s like, “I’m imagining it’s in the wrong spot because you were thinking this, you were feeling this, you were doing this.”

But there’s just a lot of different, common ways that you don’t see something in jump rope, because visually it’s very distracting. So it’s difficult to see it as biomechanics and not as this giant jump rope thing. 

Celina Furman: It’s interesting that you mentioned feeling. That’s what my PT, my physical therapist always ask me. She’s like, she’ll have me do an exercise. She goes, “how does it feel?” And I’m like, “well, a little tight on the right side.” She’s like, “yeah, because it looks like this.” 

Nate K-G: It looks bad, it makes sense!

Celina Furman: So, yeah, but knowing how it looks, but also how it feels. Like, if it feels awkward, you might be doing it wrong. But having a coach to tell you, “you’re doing it wrong,” or, “no, it’s just something new that your body needs to adjust to…” like, that is important. 

Nate K-G: Or, “if it feels wrong, you might be doing it right,” If you’re breaking a habit. 

Chris Walker: I was just gonna say that! 

Celina Furman: Exactly! Yeah! 

Chris Walker: Having a coach who’s being able to see the difference between, “it feels wrong because it’s correct and it feels wrong because it’s horribly wrong.” Like, knowing the difference there.

Nate K-G: Or, even the difference between good and bad mistakes. Like Celina was saying, right? Drilling it with improper form, or maybe it feels terrible, but you are. I noticed that there’s like, when I work with people or when I talk to people, it’s one and the same, everyone feels like a mistake is bad. Like, everyone feels like a mistake, “oh, that’s… it’s bad!” 

But actually there’s a lot of really good mistakes! I think the most important part of good or bad mistakes is like the Mic Release. With the Mic Release, there’s a way to drill that correctly. When even though you’re missing every rep, you’re actually getting closer with every single rep. And I’ve noticed this, this is very friend of mine, cause I just worked with someone who had never done Mic Release before. And I’ve been with them towards the, like from the very beginning. So there’s not a lot of bad habits to adjust.

And we went through the Mic Release from completely fresh, from zero, and got it within a one hour session, which was great! And this person was getting like, kind of frustrated cause they were missing it. I was like, don’t worry about it. Your misses are correct because, and I would kind of, there are certain, certain things about the Mic, like the shape looked great, just the catch wasn’t happening quite yet. Which is very different than like if the rope is slamming the ground or like shooting off into the sky, right? So having… having the awareness that there is a really big difference between good and bad mistakes. 

35:58 Is Jump Rope Bad for Your Knees?

Nate K-G: Why don’t we rapid fire a couple of topics that I know beginners ask about a lot, cause we’re kind of on it. I’m thinking… I’ve got a couple here, feel free to jump in with some random stuff if it comes into mind. 

Is jump rope bad for your knees? The answer is usually no, but I want you guys to jump in and explain. Is jump rope bad for your knee?

Chris Walker: I think the short answer is no, it definitely isn’t, but like anything, it depends on how much you do, where you do it and how bad your form is. 

Nate K-G: And if you’re warming up and cooling down and stuff.

Chris Walker: Absolutely right. If you jump on concrete and you do a really bad form where you just slamming your feet, and you haven’t warmed up, and you’ve got tight muscles that you haven’t stretched… yes, it’s bad for you. But it’s not bad for you ’cause jump rope is bad for you, it’s because of all the other steps you did involving the jump rope. 

But inherently with the good form, it’s absolutely not bad for you. If anything is good for your knee, ’cause it’s a ballistic exercise that most people never do in their lifetime, and most people never jump once they get out of school. So it is a really good exercise for your lower body when done and used appropriately.

Nate K-G: Celina, anything to add?

Celina Furman: Yes. So knee pain, shin pain, ankle pain, the majority of injuries, especially in beginners is because you’re doing too much too soon. Because rope is so fun and we don’t wanna stop and we wanna keep going until we get that trick. I am so guilty of it. I make a combo and I’ve tried it so many times and I’m just, “one more! Just one more, I’m gonna get it!” But the next day I’m like, “my shins hurt because I did too much.” 

Nate K-G: And sorry, real quick, another piece of that too, is that there’s an expectation that when you jump rope, you should be doing 10 rounds of 30 seconds of jumping 30 seconds rest. And that should be your workout every day for a long time. That can be a good structure, usually not at first. That’s a very, that’s like a lot of volume when you first start. 

Celina Furman: So ease into it. Start with small volume, small intervals, small reps, ease into it. If you have pain, take breaks. It’s OK to take breaks. That’s the thing one, the second thing, and this is just baby correction, where everyone online is saying like, “jump rope is great, is low impact is more low impact than running.” Yes, if you’re doing single bounce tricks. But if you start adding in power and multiples and you don’t have the foundation… by foundation, I mean, like if you are not cross training exercises to strengthen your legs and to make sure that you are aligned when you’re taking off, it’s back to that, like high speed of the movement, jump rope is no longer low impact.

Nate K-G: Jump rope is never low impacts for me.

Celina Furman: No, no! Once you’re doing more advance skills, it’s not low impact. If you’re just like jumping like stereotypical cardio fitness jumping, then yes, it can be very low impact, fine on your knees. Larger amounts of jumping, you’re going to need to have breath days. You’re going to need to limit your volume. You’re going to have to listen to your body. 

38:48 The Best Jumping Surfaces

Nate K-G: Yep for sure! 

Next rapid fire, “why is a wood floor, the best surface to jump on it?” Quick answer. It’s got some bend in it. 

Chris Walker: Because it is 

Nate K-G: thought cause it well it’s it’s this one is really confused a lot. So wood floor in my mind is like the best to jump on. Let’s talk about other alternatives because most people don’t have access to a beautiful wood floor gym… alternative surfaces.

Chris Walker: When I’ve been jumping at the gym, they have that kind of like black surface. That’s like, it, it feels rock solid, but it has that obviously same sort of give. And when I’ve been, you know, jumping for slightly longer sessions now, compared to when I was at home and on the concrete, I can jump for like three times as long without the same level of like fatigue the day after. So it has that same kind of cushioning in it, but it’s not super soft where it’s then a detriment. So those sort of surfaces are really, really good in gyms. If you have access and there’s the space for it.

Nate K-G: And I think that that would be called a horse stall mat or just a stall mat. That’s pretty common for gyms, especially like CrossFit gyms, but most gyms have it and you can actually, you can buy them. They’re pretty expensive and they are pretty heavy. 

Celina Furman: They’re cheap on Amazon.

Nate K-G: They are? They are cheap on Amazon?

Celina Furman: Yeah, I got a… I have a six by eight foot piece that I got for like $45.

Nate K-G: Is it how thick is that?

Celina Furman: Half inch.

Nate K-G: Wow… Maybe send me that link and I’ll include it.

Celina Furman: I will… 

Nate K-G: That’s a that’s awesome. Other thoughts on jumping surfaces?

Celina Furman: So it’s not just a wood floor, but it’s a wood floor that has give to it. So jumping on a wood plank deck will not help you out because those wood planks are not giving. So the key is, does the floor have shock impact? So that’s why that rubber matting is really good, but also depends the surface that it’s on.

So if it’s directly concrete beneath, that’s not gonna be as great as if like… so my makeshift home gym, which I don’t have in the current house that I live in, but my old one was two piece of plywood with that rubber on top. Because it had the shock underneath and then the rubber. Aside from that, from flooring, I don’t love the jump rope maps that are on market, right now.

Nate K-G: Because they’re basically like hardware mats that you can pick up at a home improvement store that like sit underneath like a toolbox or something and they’re like maybe a couple millimeters thick. But they’re… they are good for like saving your rope a little bit, they’re not doing anything for your joints.

Celina Furman: No, and they’re also a little too cushioned for me. I don’t know how other people experience them, but it’s the same with turf surfaces is that my ankles start to hurt because it’s making them more unstable. So I prefer, and also the, the give that they have that slight bit of cushion makes the rope bounce so much.

So if you are using a jumper mat or you’re jumping on that, like grassy turf material and you’re missing a lot, it might not be you. It might be that the rope is bouncing and that’s making you miss a lot. So try skills on different surfaces if that’s happening. But I just like to tell people that, especially if you’re doing things lower to the ground, like leg crosses or footwork, and you’re trying to go fast, your rope could just be bouncing up and hitting your feet and it’s nothing that you’re doing wrong with your form.

Chris Walker: I wanna add one. You might like use what we’ve just said and think, okay, well, a really soft surface is great for impact, but it also, like you said, so, you know, it means it’s more unstable for your ankles. So if you haven’t done much exercise from before and jump ropes like new for you, doing anything that’s like single leg poses a lot more risk to you with the rope being involved.

So if you’re doing it on a carpet or a really thick spongy mat, there is a risk rolling around corn. So if you haven’t done this sort of exercise before you need a hard surface, you have a stable surface. So if you had the option between jumping on carpet or concrete, concrete’s actually the better option. If you just make sure you dial in the amount of jumping that you do because of the safety of that, you know?

Nate K-G: That is… yeah, I use a four panel gymnastics mat, which is pretty thick for a mat. It’s about two inches thick and it’s been great for me over the years. I’ve had it for over a decade, it’s been very durable. I like the mat. Mostly it’s a good option when I don’t have a good option. Basically, like, if I don’t have a… if I don’t have a nice gym to go jump in, it’s a good option.

However, everything you guys said is correct. The rope bounces on it, like crazy. The creases in the mat tend to catch the ropes. You have to be mindful of that. Not good for Push Up skills because you end up going off the mat. I’m sure many people listening, the Push Up skills isn’t really as relevant, but for me it is, and the cushion is nice.

However it does end up going down to the concrete. So it’s not really saving as much. It’s definitely better. It’s definitely a better alternative than jumping on concrete, but it is still hitting a very, very stiff surface. So that’s what I use and it’s good enough for now. But given the option, I would go right into like a basketball court or different option for sure.

43:44 Jump Rope Skill Name History

Nate K-G: Why don’t we get into jump rope, skill names, and jump rope, skill names, plus inventing new skills? Because this is probably one of the most common things that’s happened in the past couple years… is everyone feels like they’ve created a brand new skill and they’ve never seen a skill before, or it looks different than what they’re used to so they give it a brand new name. Again, I’m gonna lead off with some thoughts and you guys can take it whatever direction you want. 

Most jump rope skills have existed for over 20 years, 30 years at this point. It’s rare that a new, like a brand new skill is… has been created. It’s usually that it’s many skills put together in a unique way. For example, like Porter Ballard’s Back Tuck TJ TS Quad. Like, technically you could have thought about that, but no one’s done it because that’s a really crazy skill, right? So it’s usually like an edge case. Skill is there’s exceptions, of course, but usually it’s edge case. So it’s usually that skills look different, but they are fundamentally the same skill that has existed for a long time.

And there are many different regions and jump rope, dialects that exist. Every skill has a bunch of different names, but we don’t need anymore. So if you’re curious about a skills name, there’s usually… I would recommend asking someone who’s been in it for a while because there’s usually already a name or several names and some names I think are better than others, depending on what your goal is.

There’s my quick spiel on jump rope names wants to go first?

Celina Furman: I’ll say two things. The first is that… I mean I have been in this war my whole life, that’s been over 25 years that we all know this cause I say it all the time online. But the one thing I like about the original names is that they kind of give ode to the people that came before us.

So they are people’s names and initials, just like our way to pay tribute to them. And I think that’s awesome and I love that, but also they are confusing. And so like, this recently came up on my Crougar post, like one, how do you spell Crougar? I clarified that because it is a person’s name. But two, you can call it a leg over, so that when you say Crougar and someone’s like, what’s that?

And you go, oh, it’s a leg over your arm. So I’ve talked to Lee about this a little bit and Chris, and you have some different names for them, but just like calling it for what it is fundamentally and mechanically might be easier with instruction to just say like, I mean an EB is an EB, but it’s also a cross with one arm in front of one arm and back.

Nate K-G: Or a Swing Open Double versus a South Paw.

Celina Furman: Right. Or like the Hummingbird debate, like it is a Quad and some people are breaking into Double Unders, which are essentially an arm wrap in a 180. But to call things for what they are rather than coming up with new names for them is much less confusing for teaching, for reference and conversation. And they’re still gonna be weird names. We’re still gonna have our own lingo that we’re talking about jump rope to someone else, other people listening on your conversation and gonna be like, what are these crazy people talking about?

Nate K-G: Yes. Yeah, a hundred percent. And I think that like, as, as we’re talking about skills too, what you mentioned about like an ode to the history of the sport, like the tradition of what jump rope is, just because it’s the first time you’ve experienced freestyle jump rope, or the first time you’ve seen a skill does not mean it was the first time it existed, right? Just because someone did it and you’ve never seen anyone else do it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s never been done before. 

And you would only really know that by either having been in the competitive world because recreational jump rope really… it hasn’t existed until… I guess it’s hard to draw a timeline, but I guess you could say the past seven-ish years? Definitely since the pandemic’s when it blew up, but even before then it had been growing. Like Chris, you were in that wave of recreational jumpers, you know? So just because you haven’t seen it before, just because you’re not used to, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t already existed for a very, very long time.

And there are some things that are new and unique that are kind of popping up because the sport is evolving. There are new things that are happening. But with, with most things, it has existed for while, like you said, the names going back to how this all started. Which is… you can really do whatever you want, but you can call these names, whatever you want, but if you want to pay tribute to the history, if you want to talk about things in a way that will help you learn more skills the most, there are positive and not so positive options. 


Chris Walker: I have two things actually that, for serious. So the first one, I wanna make a reference to Thor in Endgame that I don’t know if you both have seen that or not? 

Nate K-G: This guy…. 

Chris Walker: I’m being, so… I think it’s, I think same game might even be like the Infinity War. Basically, they’re having this argument and Thor mentions like he needs to go to Nidavellir, like this planet, and the other characters are like, “where’s that like, that’s a made up word?” And he’s like, “all words are made up.” And I… I love that quote because I love facts. I love putting things in boxes and understanding them, but everything’s just made up by everyone and we just all go along with it. 

But that brings me onto point number two, because as valuable as that mindset is to remind ourselves. When I was learning and I’ve… I am a recreational jumper, although I’ve immersed myself, I’ve only jumped for like six years, so I’m nowhere near close to the level of experience as someone like Celina of 25 years. I was so confused at the beginning because there was no consistency in those naming structures with the little access I had to the sport history. So that always bothered me because I wanted to have as much fun. I wanted to learn as much as possible.

It really… I really enjoyed jump rope at the time. I wanted to get involved in it and learn more. And it wasn’t until I got talking to you yourself, Nate and Mike, that I got more access to that. And whatever name we wanna give things, and I think is really lovely that the this history is like, like paid forward with the tributes, for the names, I love that. 

Consistency is really the only thing that makes it something that can still exist, because if so long as we consistently use the names and we all agree to be consistent, it means it can then be easier to pass on for new people to learn. But when people start creating a dialect within a dialect, that’s like super local to them and their friends, it actually creates more of a barrier to learning because no one knows what you’re talking about, right? 

So being consistent and being aware of that is so important because it means everyone can learn more. And it means that those, those names can then allow more creativity as well. Because when you recognize that all these things already existed and that you might just be modifying the style of it, or you might have been doing something that you didn’t know already existed, you actually get more creative out of that.

And that’s why I found when you broke those things down for me and gave me those original name, I was like, “okay, well, you could do this. You could swap that thing out for this thing.” And then you’re like, “yeah!” And there’s that creativity gets born. So…

Nate K-G: And I think that there’s also a lot of ownership over skills these days, which has been very unique and interesting to witness. Like, people feeling that they have created a skill and then really, really owning that, saying like, “this is my skill.” Like, “this is my signature skill.” And I think Celina and I have a very different perspective on this, cause we’ve both grown up in the competitive world.

It’s great when someone creates a skill, that’s super cool. And then we immediately give it to everybody else to see who can do it the best, and use it in a routine the best, and to have the coolest style. There are some examples of like certain skills that are really unique to like one exact jumper because they’re the one that really, really is able to do that skill the best.

But usually it’s not about the skill so much as it is the style that you jump with. Can we, can we take your silhouette? Show you jumping as a silhouette without anything else, and can you be recognized for that? People like Mike Fry, Lee Reisig, Adam Jernberg, Robbie Csontos, LJ LaVecchia, Luke Boon, and many, many, many, many, many, many more, Kaylee, Couvillion, Tori Boggs, Vivien Vajda… like all these people, you know it’s them by their silhouette, not the skill that they are doing.

And I think that as jump rope grows, I would love to see a lot less of a focus on who made a skill, because that’s not nearly as impressive or relevant as creating a very awesome style that is very you. And that’s, that’s your signature on jump rope. The style that you jump in, nobody can mistake Jimmy’s style. You can’t… Like every, yeah. Jimmy’s style is Jimmy’s style. Right? Buddy Lee swings, those swings are like… Those are Buddy’s style of swings. The skills themselves are just Side Swings and some Toads and standard skills, but the way he does them is unique, right? And then of course all the competitive jumpers that I’ve mentioned.

52:39 New Methods Of Jump Rope Coaching

Nate K-G: Celina, do you have another note on coaching that you want to add in?

Celina Furman: Yes. 

Nate K-G: Let’s do it.

Celina Furman: Okay. It’s very quick. I have two, actually that I think one I want to talk about more than the other, so I can say both of them or I can just talk about the other, the more pressing one.

Nate K-G: Just run straight into it.

Celina Furman: Okay. The first is that you can learn from more than one person… 

Nate K-G: Oh my gosh, thank you! 

Celina Furman: With anything in life! You can learn from more than one person.

Nate K-G: And you don’t need blind loyalty to the one person who has helped you a little bit. You can appreciate everyone at every point in your journey. Thank you, Celina!

Celina Furman: Yes! And those people, you will have specific people that maybe have more meaning to you than others. So I had dozens of coaches growing up and I have a key few that were like my role models that I wanted to be, but I learned different things from each of them and I think the same applies to online learning is you have so many resources. Different people have different teaching styles, they have different skill levels, they have different styles and you get the benefit of picking and choosing what you want to learn from each of these people.

You might vibe with them differently. You might learn from certain styles better, and you might favor different coaches depending on where you are in your jump rope journey. So maybe someone really inspired the start of your journey. And then as you get more advanced, you find a new favorite person to teach you these more advanced skills.

And that is okay! And it is okay to share people that teach you with others. And hopefully when you start teaching, this is the general you of whoever is listening to the podcast… when you start sharing your skills with people that wanna learn, when they say, “Hey, where’d you learn that? How do you do that?” That you’ll become that person to them, which is super cool. That’s my first thing.

Nate K-G: Okay, thing number two?

Celina Furman: Okay, thing number two. I want to mention that COVID introduced a new way of teaching and learning that is new to jump rope. It is new to everything else in the world. The way that we’re doing school, the way people are exercising prior to lockdowns jump rope was always taught in person, from YouTube, you’re special, but it was taught at camps. It was taught at workshops, it was taught in afterschool programs, and it was taught at team practices. And this kept jump rope very insular and underground because you could only learn it if you were with someone that could teach it to you. 

But COVID increased the accessibility of jump rope because we were forced to bring it online. We were forced to do Zoom classes and then these online tutorials were birthed. And so I just want to make note that it’s still an evolving thing, that we are still learning how to teach online. And online learning is very different from in person learning. So if you’re teaching someone how to jump in person, you are able to touch them, and correct them, and move them into their correct position. But you can’t do that online, you have to explain it to them. You have to imagine how they’re feeling. Sometimes you have to turn and face away from the camera. 

So it’s a learning curve and I just wanna bring it full circle back to like my tears of coaches that like I was thinking of the beginning, that there’s like these super experiences, people there’s people that I’ve learned from these super experiences. There’s people that are just sharing their tips and tricks of what have worked for them. And I want to give value to those people, the ones that are just sharing the tips and tricks, because those people are the ones that have learned jump rope online. They did not learn in person like I did and so they might have unique ways that they’re thinking about these skills that helps them learn online, that they might be able to share with someone else that I would never think of because I… someone just moved my arm into the right position.

I never had to think about where it was going until I started teaching it, but I just wanna give value to that. That there might be new ways of explaining something that translate better through a screen. And that back to the thing of like you can learn from more than one person, is that having all of these different tools in your toolbox, just be conscious of where you’re getting your information from. But I think that we’re headed in a really cool direction with teaching and coaching based on all of these things

Nate K-G: And in addition to that, I think that another good thing on that same tangent is that you don’t have to be some crazy expert to share some thoughts, right? I talked to so many people, I’m like, “Hey! Go make a post and say that thing!” “But, well, I’m not a, I’m not a coach. Like, I can’t… that’s not for me to say.” It is for you to say, because like you said, that’s how the sport evolved, was everyone just sharing what they knew or what they thought they knew, right? Because that’s how everyone kind of learns. 

And even if it’s not the most perfect thing to say, if you’re moving someone in the right direction and it’s just some advice, it can be very useful. And I think a really good method to do that authentically is to, is if someone’s asking you about something or if you wanna create a post or whatever online, or if you wanna meet up with someone in person and, and they’re asking you something, you can say, “here’s what I think. Here’s how I learned. Here’s what made sense to me. I’m not super high level coach or whatever.”

However, you wanna qualify, “I’m not a super high level coach or whatever, but this is what made sense to me. And I learned from… insert the following people.” Right. “Something that helped me was blank,” Or if we’re going all the way back to like learning a new skill, “I learned this new skill because I saw it from this person.” Right? And just like, the point is to always source and to qualify your level and if you do that very quickly, literally saying, “I’m not a coach, but this is what helped me. I learned from Celina, Chris, Mike Fry, Nick, Nate, whoever.” That gives you free reign to talk about anything that you might wanna talk about in a very authentic way that still fits with the culture of the sport in my mind. Do you guys feel the same way about that? 

Chris Walker: Hundred percent. Oh, I just wanted to add like one more final thought to the whole, like learning from multiple people and how valuable that really is. Cause through out own journey in those six years, I’ve been learning from so many different people and trying to learn, squeeze as much information out of each of those people, whether it was you, Mike, all my chats with Celina on the footwork, like every person I’ve tried to just squeeze what I can get out of like knowledge that they have.

And one person in music that I always like admired for this concept was Eminem when he first like in the first five, 10 years of him kind of exploding in popularity. And the reason was because when I was in music and I was studying and we were like learning about composition, one of the things that always stuck with me is our music teacher said to us that you all have your favorite artists.

So you’re gonna try and make music that sounds like them. But that’s not how like inspiration and learning works because all your favorite artists didn’t just pick their one favorite artist. They looked at like dozens of artists and they looked at their inspirations and that what went back up the tree and Eminem was famous for having like his list of inspirations was like 40 different people long, like four times longer than the average, like lyricist. And that’s what allowed him to study so much to become so apt at the way he would use words. And he was just learning from everyone, not just this one person. So I just wanted to add that in there because it’s, I think is a very valuable thing to take away from this. So that’s, that’s that.

Nate K-G: Yes. Yes. That was… that was a very good thing to add actually.

Things that you guys wanna see more of in the future. What would you like to see? Continue to grow, continue to take shape besides the sport as a whole?

Chris Walker: More people doing speed training.

Nate K-G: Oh my gosh. Thank you. Thank you, dude! I’m so glad that you said that speed training is the single most undervalued and best thing to be working on, to improve every single piece of your jump rope. Period. Speed step will help everything. Absolutely everything! It is the pinnacle of efficiency with a single rope. It makes everything better. Okay. Thank you, Chris. Other things you wanna see more, Celina? 

Celina Furman: This is like a sport direction thing, but I am excited to see the online world shift in the person. I wanna see more meetups. I wanna see official events like jump rope conferences. I wanna see specialized competitions that are based on this type of jumping, like stylistically and like Jump Off. I wanna see creativity. Yes, leagues. I want to see more jump rope in schools. I want it to be more accessible. I want it to be more widespread. 

So I guess my visions are more sport level. I don’t really care, it is what it is. I wanna see things in person. I’m excited for that to come back. 

Chris Walker: I think like, to like continue on that thought. Like, I’m also very excited to see that happen. And I know me and you, me and you, Nate have talked about this a lot in reference to skateboarding, but this happened in skateboarding like 15 years ago, where back then there was like one style and it was very restricted, and then out of nowhere it just exploded. Now is like five or six, very uniquely separate disciplines. Whether it’s in bowls or street or whatever. 

Nate K-G: Well, Rodney Mullen showed up and he created like most skills that exist. That was kind of like what, like Lee Reisig is the equivalent of Rodney Mullen, you know?

Chris Walker: Literally, right? And yeah, from that point on it just splinted off into things that aren’t even nowhere near what Rodney Mullen did in the first place. Like when it comes to vert and Tony Hawk and things like that. And it only took like the 15 years for it to evolve so far away that these they’re almost like different sports in the same way, that different track and field events.

I know nothing alike, but they’re still grouped the same way. And I’m excited to see, like you said, to how that happens with jump rope. And I think we’re seeing the way certain styles are evolving already, that that will become a thing where that will need to happen in terms of the leagues or the competitions or whatever way.

You’ll have very specific styles that compete because they’re separate from other styles and I’m very excited for that. Cause It means more jump rope.

Celina Furman: And I lied. I do care about the internet. I want the current competitive world to come into the internet, which it has started to, but there is the coolest underground world of jump rope out there and there are people doing the most crazy, insane skills. Like people are like, “what’s the hardest trick you can do?” And I’m like, “I don’t know, like a Hummingbird?” But then you see these jumpers, like at nationals doing the most insane, unimaginable things that no one will ever know about because they’re not on video. They’re not online. And we’re not really meeting in person to teach each other these things and we’re not doing as many shows.

And so I just want to see all of the world collide and I want to see all of the knowledge shared, and I want the competitive world to be better documented than it is right now. And I want it to be, I know we hold it so sacred and like, it’s really cool that it’s this underground sport, but like these people are so talented and they are such athletes and the world needs to see them. It is just, there’s a reason why I have been in this sport for as long as I have been. And I just want people to know that I can’t just keep telling people about it. Like I want them to see it.

Nate K-G: Well, I think the reason… if there’s many reasons, but one of the top reasons I think that we don’t see as much online is that as a competitor you’re wired to think bigger, faster, stronger, better. So why would you create a post, like, let’s say, you know, like I just was watching Lauren Ellis, little Lil Lou Lauren on Instagram, amazing competitor.

She just posted a Sunny D AS or Sunny AS, right? So handstand pulled the rope backwards into an AS Cross behind an knee. Amazing. That’s really hard skill, really, really hard skill. And… 

Chris Walker: You add like four more reallys into that sentence.

Nate K-G: You you do, you really do! And she got it with PVC rope and then I think that was yesterday and then today she posted it with a beaded robe, which is even harder to do it with that type of a rope. And so like, if you are the kind of person who’s doing really hard skills like that, why would you then make another post the next day of you doing easy Quadruple Unders? 

Because to you, to your frame of mind, why would I do that if I just did this really hard thing? But that I think is the, the catching point for a lot of competitors. You don’t have to post only your newest, hardest, cleanest skill. You can post something that is moderately challenging, something that is just fun, some random idea, right? And that ends up being very useful for other competitors for creativity. It ends up being very useful for recreational jumpers, ends up being great for everyone. Like you were saying Celina, contributing the entire culture.

Celina Furman: Yeah, and I think that it takes the pressure off. So like, as a competitor that was definitely the first thing that I had to overcome when I made an account was like, it’s okay to not post new things all the time, because I used to never, I was like, unless it’s new or like a combo that I’m really proud of, I won’t post it.

So got over that. The other thing with competitiveness is that like you wanna element of secrecy, like this is my routine. I don’t wanna share it with people. Cause then they’re gonna know what I’m gonna do in competition. And that’s fine. And more of a reason for you to post your oddball videos and the things that might be less impressive to you, but they’re going to be impressive to other people. They’re going to inspire other people and you can still get yourself out there. Get the sport out there without giving away your like special sauce.

01:05:59 How To Use Social Media Effectively

Nate K-G: How should, how should a beginner, recreational jumper use social media? Cause we just talked about competitive jumpers. Why don’t we go to the other side of things, a beginner, recreational jumper. How should they use social media? I’m thinking specifically Instagram, but if you wanna touch on something like YouTube as well, feel free.

Chris Walker: I think like some of the ways I see it being used that really benefits the person using it, first and foremost is accountability to start with because there can be, you know, frustrations at the beginning and it can be good to see your progress. So the accountability is like a compound interest, but the longer you do it, the easier it begins to be, to show up. And then you have this document of your progress, right? So those, the two, two things right off the bat, if you’re posting on a frequent basis, whether you do a good amount or a bad amount in that video.

But then when you’re then posting into what is this community hub of people posting, there’s then the inspiration element and the collaboration element, because you can be inspired by other people, “oh, this, this new thing’s being tried. I’ll try that out.” And you wouldn’t have tried it if you hadn’t have seen it. I think that’s one thing that the online has involved and added value to the sport in that the evolution of things like that is so much more rapid fire because of that nature. 

And then the collaboration that people can help each other out. They can give each other tips, they can share their experience with what helped them learn, especially in the beginning days where like, they may not have any idea who is a coach or even that coach exists, but they have their couple friends that told them to buy rope and that’s their only access to anything jump rope related, you know?

So you have your accountability, progress tracking, and inspiration collaboration… I would say is like really good ways to focus on how to use social media.

Nate K-G: Celina? 

Celina Furman: I agree. I just, this morning was looking back at my post, like, when I first started my account, I was like, “dang, these combos are good. I need to try them again!” So that’s what I’m doing once I’m off, but so yeah, project progress, tracking accountability. Great. I totally agree. I think find your people. This is not for everyone, but for a lot of people, social accountability, and having like a social community is really important to keep them engaged in activity. So find those people that you vibe with. 

I think my other two are less of like how you can use it, but things to be cautious of, is that the internet can be a mean place and people will comment stupid things if you’re going to be public about it. And some of these comments are just tied to like a hashtag that you use, they didn’t even watch your video. So don’t let the comments and DMs get you down cause it will happen just because the internet is a stupid mean place. But it’s also great and it has lots of benefits. 

The other thing is to not compare yourself to other people, that jump rope is your journey. You are seeing highlights of other people. You are seeing what they are choosing to share. You are not seeing for most people, their practice, the amount that they practice, their frustration, their aches and pains, their training. You are not seeing so much. You’re not seeing like the years of their lives before jump rope. Were they an athlete? Were they a dancer? You’re not seeing so much. 

So let jump rope be yours, let it be your journey. Do not compare yourself to others. Compete with others if that motivates you. And that’s like a healthy thing that you can do positively, and that you find challenging to an extent, but yeah. let this be your thing and enjoy it for what it is.

Nate K-G: And even the fails that you see are not all of the fails. You literally cannot cram all of your fails into a post. It like literally, if you were to take all of the times that like speaking personally, all the times, I’ve succeeded at a skill or a combo and all the times I have fail, failed in quotes at, at a skill or combo, I would never stop uploading. I could literally never stop up to even like the first 10 years of my jumping, right. Let alone everything till now. 

The other thing too, you mentioned the public piece of accounts being a little bit rough, especially I think if you’re a female it gets a lot more rough than if you’re a male. It’s just the reality of it. You can make your account private, not have anybody follow you and only use it for you to go back and check your progress. So like, you don’t even need to, like, you can lurk , you can be there and just watch things and never necessarily come in if you don’t want to. I think there’s still value of course, in having conversations with people, but you don’t have to have anybody follow you. You don’t have to be public. You can just use it as a place to dump your video and then revisit it later.

Celina Furman: Yeah. And the fail videos, if I posted a real fail video, it would look like your screen was glitching because it is the same part of the trick. It would be the same thing over and over and over again, over and over. Like, it wouldn’t even be fun to watch because it would just be so repetitive. You’re like this is glitching.

Chris Walker: He would’ve commented on some post, like, especially the harder combos where I’ve really tried to push myself and they’re like, I would not be able to concentrate if you were doing that in my gym. And I’m like, yeah, you would, cause you’d have seen the 500 times I missed the same trick before the video got captured. And that’s not fun for anybody to watch.

Celina Furman: You finally get the check and you’re like, did anyone see that?

Nate K-G: Everyone went home. Everybody went home. No one, no one’s there anymore.

Chris Walker: Oh, dear. 

Nate K-G: Oh, man. 

This has been a really, really good conversation. We could easily keep going for about three more days, but, I think that we are gonna wrap things up now, usually end the podcast with “what is jump rope to you.”

However, with this one, I think it would be better, “what would you hope a jump rope becomes for others?” That’s a very broad statement could go so many different ways, but first thing that pops into your mind.

Celina Furman: “Whatever you want it to be for you.”

Nate K-G: Nice. That was really good. That was really good! That was like… that was kind of like, that was… I a hundred percent accepting the answer. It was great. Kind of was like the power to have all superpowers. Chris, your thoughts?

Chris Walker: Literally I’m like, I can’t think of a better answer because you just, you just nailed the answer where like that’s the only answer. No, I just, I just love to see more people getting through the tough stages and getting the enjoyment out of it that we all know that we have for it. And yeah, just everyone online, helping everyone else getting to that point as quickly as possible so we can all get the most out of it. Whether we do a different style to a different level of like seriousness or professional, whatever, just getting out of it the most that you can in whatever way you can, which is basically what’s in and more extra steps.

Nate K-G: I wasn’t gonna say it, so I’m glad you did. Nice. 

Celina Furman: I like the addition.

Nate K-G: Yeah. Any final thoughts before we wrap up?

Chris Walker: Well, can you answer the same question please, Nate? Cause I feel like we’ve both been made to answer 

Nate K-G: Hey, that’s totally fine. What would I hope that other people, what would it become for them? You guys did nail. That really is the answer. Personally. I would push people to try to achieve the stuff that they think is impossible because I… every time I talk to jumpers, whether they’re working with me in a coaching capacity or not, it doesn’t matter. Everybody seems to undersell their own abilities. 

They never seem to think that they can achieve, like, and I’m, and I’m not talking like they wanna do Double Back Flip TJs. Right? I’m talking like they see a Toad Cross, they see a Mamba Release. They see someone doing speed step at like a two per second pace. Like these types of things they think, “man, I’ll never get there.” 

But it’s just not true because so much of jump rope if you are able bodied, if you are ready to put in some work over the next couple years, not like crazy like focus your entire life on it, but just consistent work. There is so much that you can achieve that looks impossible. But I would just really push people to try to believe that you might be able to achieve some crazy stuff. Because from my perspective, I know that it’s factually true, that they can achieve more than they’re expecting.

Chris Walker: Yeah. 

Nate K-G: Does that work 

Celina Furman: We all started somewhere. 

Nate K-G: Yes. Yes, exactly. Exactly!

Well, thank you both for taking the time to do this podcast. It’s been really fun chatting. I, I literally have so many things on my mind that I think that I would, I wish we could keep talking about, but we are gonna stop it from now or for now. And then we will be catching up later. 

Chris Walker: Part two. 

Nate K-G: Yeah, part two. Exactly. Thank you guys for taking the time and I will be catching up with you soon!

Celina Furman: Thanks Nate!

Chris Walker: thank you for having me!