Skip five--or maybe not.

Skip--5 minutes.

It had been reminding me every day, just like that, for at least two months. Every time I would sit my soft tushy down in my chair at my desk, open Outlook, and look at my daily schedule, there it would be--not pushy, but a present reminder of an unkept promise to myself.

One, two, three, four...

The rope smacked the laminate in front of me as my bare toes pushed off in unison, the rope slid underneath, and my toes made contact with the floor again.

I had had a few false starts where, instead of smacking the floor, the rope had made a painful acquaintance with my shins. I tsk, tsked myself, then shrugged--I guess that's what happens when you don't handle a skipping rope for almost twenty years.

...eight, nine, ten...

I was actually skipping rather quickly--much faster than the easy, take-your-time-and-jump-over-one-leg-at-a-time approach I used to have during school recesses. No "Cinderella dressed in yellow" here--although my brain had time to go a mile a minute, I was hard-pressed to even gasp out the few words it required to tell Jude to stay well clear of the rope's path as it whizzed through the air.

...fifteen, sixteen, seventeen...

Five minutes? It seemed so basic, almost laughable, when I had first put it into the daily planner. Of course I can do five minutes! I can do it while I am waiting for the oatmeal to cook in the morning! I can do it while I am watching my kids play outside! Piece of cake!

...twenty-four, twenty-five, twenty-six...

Did I really say five minutes? I can hardly breathe here, and I'm only at twenty-seven reps!


Okay, time for a break.

Jude asked me a question. I wheezed out a response between gasps. I thought of the triceps that had been flapping rather annoyingly while I bounced. I thought of the slim-but-not-very-well-toned calves that were just barely getting warmed up. As soon as my breathing was under control, I did another thirty reps.

Then I collapsed on the couch.

Five minutes? I guess I'll have to work up to that.