Our featured influencer this month is Stephanie Jung, who found social-media stardom after picking up a communal skipping rope at the gym. Now, she’s inspiring people everywhere to jump for joy! —Vita Daily
How, when and why did you get into jumping rope?
In November 2019, just over a year since I had my second baby, we booked our first family vacation as a family of four. In an effort to shape up for the trip I started frequenting our condo gym after being pretty inactive for nearly six years. On a whim I picked up the communal jump rope to “warm up” before a run. I had skipped quite a bit as a kid and was pleasantly surprised that I could still remember how to do the basic bounce and get my feet over the rope! Within weeks I was completely hooked and suddenly found myself searching the Internet for jump-rope content. That’s when I found what we affectionately call the JRC or “jump rope community” on Instagram and from there my fate was sealed.
Did you ever dream it would amass you such a huge social following?
Absolutely not! In fact, I was very hesitant to open up a public profile. I’m not from this new generation that shares their entire lives online; I don’t even have a Facebook account. But I desperately wanted to engage with all the other amazing jumpers I had discovered. I wanted to participate in the challenges and be more connected to them, which I just couldn’t do from a private page. The growth that has come with this account, I think, is just a byproduct of my obvious passion for that jump-rope life!
What do you wish people knew about skipping (here’s your chance to dispel some myths!)?
Skipping is not just for kids or boxers. It exercises both your body and your mind in a way I have never experienced. It enhances your co-ordination, cardiovascular endurance, balance—even bone density. The mental-health benefits are also unmatched, in my opinion. We use so much brain power to “unlock” a new skill or remember a certain sequence of moves (a combo as we call it), it’s nearly impossible to think about anything other than your workout. A good jump session will clear your head like nothing else!
Skipping tips for absolute beginners? Top (secret) tip in general?
Resist the urge to overdo it! When you are starting out 5-10 minutes per day is lots. Going too hard in the beginning can result in shin splints and sometimes even joint pain. This will just force you to take recovery days you don’t want to take. Having the right rope for your workout also makes a huge difference! For an absolute beginner I always recommend a good beaded rope; it will give you more “feedback” of the movement and help you find that perfect timing.
Favourite moment so far in this crazy jump-rope journey of yours?
Right about the same time I started sharing my journey online I met two local women that shared my love for jump rope. We arranged for a blind date-style meetup in Olympic Village to jump together and pretty much instantly fell in love. The three of us went on to establish our local meetup group, Jump Rope Vancouver, and it has truly been the most amazing experience.
Fashion and beauty wise, what’s your personal style mantra/philosophy?
I haven’t met a black T-shirt I didn’t love! Quality over quantity when it comes to clothes and accessories. I love a good capsule wardrobe where you can’t really pick a bad outfit and everything works together. I have one pair of Levi’s 501 jean shorts I plan on living in this summer.
Speaking of summer, any fun plans?
Vancouver summers can’t be beat, so we tend to stay local for most of the season. We will do all the classic things I did as a kid like pick blueberries at the farm, hit the waterslides in Tsawwassen, and take the water taxis to Granville Island. At the very end of summer we are going on our first family vacation since Covid.
Follow Stephanie on Instagram.