Yesterday, a coworker instant messaged me. People in this town get weird about adult skipping, she wrote.
How so? I replied. I enjoy a good skip every now and then.
It’s one of the best ways to travel quickly for those of us who hate running, she elaborated. Just the standard weird looks from grumpy old people.
Little did I know this would start an intra-office debate that would continue for hours. As an occasional skipper myself (no, I was not kidding about that part), I totally get where she’s coming from. Skipping is an efficient method of transport that will get you from Point A to Point B more quickly than walking and with less risk of injury than running. Plus, it’s fun! You are catapulting yourself through the air and, in the process, enjoying a nice dopamine rush. When I came to her defense, however, people looked at me as if I were nuts.
“Skipping looks ridiculous,” they said.
“The trick is to not flail your arms,” I countered.
“Why not just walk faster?” they asked.
“And miss the thrill of being airborne?” I shot back.
“People are going to wonder why you’re so damn happy,” they said.
“What does skipping have to do with happiness? The two are not mutually exclusive.”
At this, one coworker actually googled sad skipping and considered it a victory when she returned no relevant search results. “See?!” she declared triumphantly. This did not cause me to retract my assertion, however. I view skipping as a means to an end, not a state of mind. The fact that it can elicit feelings of euphoria does not make happiness a prerequisite. Cause and effect, people!
“When was the last time you skipped?” one person asked me.
“Right now,” I said, and proceeded to skip across the office. I might point out that I was neither happy nor sad when skipping. I just was. But I reached the copier a hell of a lot faster than if I had merely walked across the room, I’ll tell you that much. Time is money, right? Look at the cost savings my employer is realizing just by having ambivalently-skipping me on the team. I’ll bet it adds up to millions of dollars in annual revenue.
I really should ask for a raise. Perhaps I’ll just skip into my boss’s office and make the request.
Still dubious, they asked me to name one other person who skips.
“Neil Armstrong,” I replied, without skipping a beat. (The humor. It never gets old). “He skipped across the surface of the moon!”
They tried to sell me a load of crap about the effects of zero gravity and weightlessness on the human body, but I wasn’t buying their scientific mumbo-jumbo. I’ve seen video. That dude was straight up skipping. On the moon. Pretty badass, huh?
(Completely random and irrelevant side note: speaking of Mr. Armstrong, did you realize that NEIL A spelled backwards is ALIEN? Conspiracy theorists, commence to drooling).
I talked to Tara on the phone a couple of hours later. “Hey, you know how I like to skip?” I asked her. “Yes,” she answered matter-of-factly. At that point I covered the receiver with my hand and yelled, “HA!” to all the naysayers within earshot. Believe it or not, there were still a couple of people who thought I was simply yanking their chains. As if I would make up such a thing! Just a month or two ago, we were out walking, and I skipped across a parking lot. Felt free as a bird, too.
I’ll admit, the first time I engaged in adult skipping – one December afternoon in downtown Portland five years ago (Is it odd that I remember this so clearly? We were on our way to the Christmas tree lighting ceremony and I was nearly blown up by a terrorist, so it kind of sticks in the mind, ya know?) – I did so in order to embarrass my kids. It worked splendidly, but also served to show me just how fun the act of skipping can be. I’ve been an adult skipper ever since, and have tried to encourage Tara and Audrey to join in. I’m rarely successful, but every once in awhile they’ll let go.
In the end, I wasn’t successful in starting a skipping revolution, but I did get a couple of others to admit that skipping isn’t just for kids.
I hope nobody skipped this blog post, by the way.
Like I said. Never gets old.