Stay with me on this one…
I am a pathetic rope jumper.
When I tell you pathetic, I am probably under selling how bad I really am.
The other day while in the gym I was trying to get my cardio up by jumping rope. After failing a few times I realized I had to change my technique. Finally, I was able to get more than 3 hops in before almost tripping over the rope. As I got better I realized that there are at least 3 parallels between creating and jumping rope.
1. Pace – When you go to slow, you never get the rope going, but if you go to fast you can’t keep up with the speed of the rope. You have to find a pace that matches your skill level. Then, as you get better you can increase speed to stretch your ability. When creating art you have to know your pace. You won’t make your best work when you are working on a ton of projects if you only have the capacity to work on a few. Further, if you don’t have enough stimulants in your lives you risk obsessing about one project so much that you may start smothering the best ideas around the project. Find your pace. Then once you have identified your pace start to slowly, intentionally, and methodically increase your pace so you can grow your capacity. Be cautious not to grow to far or fast where you lose sight and stop enjoying jumping rope…and creating.
2. Persistence – You can’t give up. Ever. It can’t be an option. No one has ever got better at anything by quitting. So don’t even entertain the though. No matter how many times you have to stop, regardless of how many times you trip, despite how often you kick the rope across the gym, you have to swing the rope one more time. Don’t stop creating. Don’t give in. Don’t be intimidated. Don’t try to be perfect, and don’t succumb to rejection. Keep showing up, picking up your ideas and swinging at them. You will be glad you did when you start to leap over the rope consistently, effortlessly, and passionately.
3. Rhythm – Life is all about rhythms. When you are in rhythm, you find the groove and the cadence to life. You start to glide over the rope and over projects. You know when to jump, and when to push, ideate, edit, and ship. Rhythm helps keep you moving. When you are in rhythm the hard work of creativity becomes just a little easier because your instincts are engaged and able to lead you to the beat of the rope hitting the ground and to the way your best ideas connect with your audiences.
So lets start jumping rope. Lets show up in our creative gyms every day, grab the rope, and start jumping. Who knows we may just be Olympic jumpers waiting to be discovered. And if not, we will be in better shape, more healthy, and our skills will get better each time we approach the rope and start to create.