The Power of Skipping
Apr 29, 2023
And now, a guest article from OS Instructor, friend, and sage, Sarah Young...
“I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things...I play with leaves, I skip down the street and run against the wind.” —Leo Buscaglia
When was the last time you skipped? Plain old-fashioned skipping. No rope. Just carefree swinging of arms and legs. Bounding and soaring.
My guess is that you’re overdue. Most adults are.
As adults, we tend to put away childish things. And sadly, far too often, activities like skipping fall into the childish category when skipping actually belongs in the childlike category.
Because skipping has a way of helping adults see the world through the eyes of a child — to view life with a sense of wonder, joy, and possibilities. A chance to be like a child again.
And if you doubt the mindset-shifting power of a good skip — try this — skip and try not to smile. It’s almost impossible.
The truth is — skipping has the power to rejuvenate one’s spirit. But that’s not all it does. It’s a wonderful form of exercise that gets your core firing and your blood flowing. It also helps the body remember how to land after a jump (which can be helpful in preventing injuries) and can also increase bone strength.
As kids, skipping helped teach us coordination. And as it’s a gait pattern, it helped nourish our growing nervous systems and enhanced the communication between the two hemispheres of our brains. It taught us spatial awareness. It energized us. It tied our bodies together to help us run and jump. It helped give us a sense of what it would be like to fly — and in doing so, created space for us to dream.
And here’s the thing — skipping still offers us all the amazing things it offered us when we were kids. We just have to skip.
And yes, as adults, I know it can be hard to get past the “what will people think of me if they see me skipping?” thoughts that often get stirred up in our heads. Our self-conscious inner critics can be real buzz killers.
But why feed the fear? Why allow the “what ifs” of what others might think keep you from experiencing all the health benefits— and the joy — that await you with a skip?
It simply makes no sense to deny ourselves all the gifts skipping has to offer. Kids shouldn’t have all the fun.
And in case you need to develop some “skipping courage,”— maybe begin by skipping around your house or in your backyard. Maybe skip a few steps when you’re on a walk, and no one’s watching. Just sneak in a few skips here and there.
As you do, you’ll probably find as your “skipping courage” growing. And as your “skipping courage” grows — your overall courage will as well.
Because the truth is, skipping makes us more resilient — body, mind, and spirit just like it did when we were kids.
And if someone sees you skipping, they’re also going to see you smiling. Because skipping and smiling do go together. And smiling is contagious. So your smile will lead to more smiles.
And yes, some of the people who see you skipping and smiling will probably try a few skips of their own, most likely when they’re alone because their inner critic needs taming. But they’re going to try skipping because they’ll want some of what you’re having.
Now if you haven’t skipped in a while, it’s probably a good idea to go slow and keep your skips low. As you get your skip on, you can gradually increase how long you skip and how high. All you have to do is begin and practice gradual progress. With that in mind— the sky’s the limit.
Skip. Smile. Repeat.
Allow yourself to experience being a child again. It just might make you a better adult.