Not too long ago, a friend asked if I have tried Rope Skipping. I told him skipping was a childhood thing, and the last time I skipped was probably about age nine when I still had sight. Upon hearing this, he asked if I wanted to try skipping. I said I would not mind but I needed his assistance in case I walked into something as I skipped.

On the first day we met, he passed me the ropes. It was too long so he had to shorten the ropes. You might think skipping is easy, right? You just swing the ropes, then when the ropes are near your feet, you jump over them as the ropes complete the arc. Well, not being able to see where the ropes were makes it hard to anticipate the jump. When I began, I was always double jumping and I could not skip non-stop for more than five jumps because I was too slow for the ropes.

After every 50 jumps, we would take a break while he would correct my form. He would explain to me through my device, then signal to me when I skipped. For instance, he would be tapping me to show me my double jumps, the tempo of the rope, how the movement of the arms should be like. At the end of the first session, we managed about 350 jumps.

For the next few weeks, he would meet me to help me with my skipping. Through his patience and encouragement, slowly, I was able to skip non-stop for longer, keeping in mind both arms and feet to be in sync if not I cannot form the arc or the feet will be tripping over the ropes. For the recent session, we managed 600 jumps within half an hour so practice does help one to improve. 😊

This is a Photo of me in mid-jump

Skipping is an activity that one could do solo but in my case, it is safer for someone to accompany me so I would not hurt myself by walking into walls and also to re-position myself as I am still unable to jump at a stationary point. I am also thankful that my friend is willing to take time off to exercise with me. 

Tan Siew Ling is fully Deafblind, having lost both her sight and hearing to a neurological condition, Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2). She carries a screen reader with a Braille display, which she fondly names it as “Bear Bear”, everywhere she goes. Her humour, wordplay, and love of puns keep friends on their toes. She enjoys reading books in her free time and loves to pen down her thoughts, often on a whim, which can be entertaining at times, on her social media. When she is not writing or reading, she can be seen doing insanely 72kg leg presses or swinging a 20kg kettlebell to and fro. You can find out more about Siew Ling and her journey here.