To know me at all is to know that I oft lament the fact that I don’t crosstrain.
(seriously. please to note there’s no “often enough” anywhere in that sentence. mamahood hath plunged me into a workout routine RUT & Im choosing, for now, to roll with it.)
I own the fact that it’s just not a priority and, really, very few workout classes/concepts make it seem worth my babysittingpayingforwhile to even attempt (& the gym daycare? dont get me started…).
Until I stumbled upon PUNKROPE.
A class which looks to resemble recess/playground time in elementary school set to far better music than I ever heard at any public school I attended.
Much to my chagrin (really. to clarify: I sought these people out entirely. there was nary a PR peep in the mix) the classes arent taught yet in TX—but they do sell DVDS & jump ropes AND I was able to lure the creator of the concept here for an interview.
(*cue confetti shaped like punk rockers & twisted ropes*)
For those not in the know: what is PUNKROPE and how on earth did you come up with the concept?
After succumbing to chronic knee and back injuries in 2002-2003 I had to take a break from soccer, football, basketball, and distance running, four of my favorite activities. I was about to lose my mind.
I went to the gym seeking alternatives, but most of the classes struck me as too slow, too serious and too repetitive. And the music, which seemed soulless to me, didn’t help.
I figured I couldn’t be the only person that felt this way and sure enough I found plenty of others who avoided group exercise for the same reason. Simultaneously, the childhood obesity crisis began getting a lot of press and I felt compelled to help combat it.
So the short answer is that Punk Rope is a combination of several of my passions: conditioning drills borrowed from a wide range of sports; games and group activities reminiscent of recess; rope jumping, which is actually very gentle on the joints and which I had done since I was 16; relay races, which are a great way to force people to sprint; thematic classes, because I love sharing ideas and information about different cultures and have a slight theatrical streak; and high-energy, fast paced rock and roll and other forms of popular music. Throw all that in a blender and you get Punk Rope.
The idea is so freakin creative. Id love to know a little about the company’s founders.
Well that would be me. Im a 48-year-old New York City kid (raised on the Upper East Side) who had a rough go of it for a while as a child. Until my teens I was really small and skinny and had glasses. That’s the trifecta but not in a good way. As an adult I had a tough time finding and sticking with a career path. I was always interested in sports and fitness but didn’t pursue fitness professionally until I was 38, after I had worked as a counselor and in publishing. After several years as a personal trainer and running coach, I created and launched Punk Rope in 2004.
I also work closely (she lives with me) with Shana Brady, our director of training. She makes rope jumping look so, so easy. And Merryl Reichbach, who is finishing her MSW, is our wonderful director of outreach.
I was immediately smitten with the notion of PUNKROPE–which makes me wonder how other people have received it seeing as Im not the norm. Has it been easy or a challenge to get people interested?
We live in a world where people are often very quick to judge. Those who have never tried or seen Punk Rope in action might mistakenly think that it’s a bunch of skinheads running around beating each other over the head with beer bottles, not that they’re anything wrong with that. But those who try it generally like it and there are quite a few who absolutely love it.
It’s actually not been too difficult to get consumers interested. Our challenge has been getting fitness managers, a typically conservative lot, to give us a chance to show them what we’ve got.
When did PUNKROPE launch? What are your long term goals for the business? What’s next?
We launched in October 2004 at New York University. In late 2005 we created a one-day certification workshop for new instructors. Now we have over 30 classes running in 14 states and have trained more than 450 instructors.
We hope to continue expanding across the US and would love to launch an overseas class in 2009. In addition, we hope to continue working with public school educators and afterschool programs. We also see an opportunity to share what we do at virtually any type of organization: private, public, or non-profit. Many workers suffer from high stress and low activity. We’d like to inspire them to pursue a more active and healthy lifestyle.
Other goals include a playful fitness book and possibly a second DVD with a soundtrack by up and coming bands from around the world.
To stay on top of what we do, folks should sign up for our monthly e-letter by visiting www.punkrope.com.
I always ask well *usually* I was a little afraid to ask this of Dr. Sears people I interview this same final question: in the made for TV movie of your life who would play the role of you?
That’s a tough call. It’s probably a toss up between Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett or somebody else named Kate/Cate.
Seriously, though, I’ll bet Steve Buscemi could play the older Tim. He’s only 3 years older than me. We’d just have to buff him up a little.
There you have it, Oh Bumbling Band, a group exercise class which includes jump rope, tag, relay races (!) and some good ole fashioned mat work for arm & ab toning. (wanna see if classes are offered in your city? Check here and then invite me to visit if the answer is YES.)
The classes are thematic as well (love!) & celebrate everything from super heroes to the Super Bowl.
Since I dont live in a city where classes are offered (yet) I figured the next best thing would be to get *you* all the chance to try it out with PunkRope’s CD/DVD combo.
The BEYOND generous Tim has donated a combo to the Bumbling Band & you can be entered to win for the low low price of a comment below.
Show them some love, People.
(USA only. Winner announced on Monday.)