The road ends, but the journey continues...

Pandemic Potpourri #3

I’m finding it very hard to focus on much of anything these days. How about you guys? I really think it’s a COVID-19 shelter-in-place/isolation induced thing – but that irritation is much better than the actual COVID-19 infection itself, so I’m not complaining really. Just noting it.

I’m not a fast food type of gal, but the other day I craved, just craved, a Burger King Whopper and McDonald’s French fries. Hubby obliged by sitting in each of the two respective drive-throughs to indulge my primal need.
Yeah, he’s a keeper.
In keeping with the French Fry Theme, here is a snappy, happy Celtic inspired piece, Danse des Duex Pommes Frites (aka The French Fry Song) by Steve Baughman and performed in duo with Robin Bullock*.
Musical French fries have zero calories, guys, so enjoy!


Speaking of calories.
About 8 weeks into sheltering-in-place, I glimpsed my reflection in the sliding doors entering the grocery store and my Lord! Forget about that masked (wo)man staring back – is that huge-hipped, thunder-thighed lady, me?

Hubby's favorite 'Bridge' Path - sometimes he comes along for the walk & fresh air, too

Hubby’s favorite ‘Bridge’ Path – sometimes he comes along for the walk & fresh air, too

After the Coronavirus took away my meager 45-minute daily workouts on the elliptical at the Y, my regular walks around the block and on the McLeod Path across town took on a more immediate level of importance.
I even do a few planks on my Yoga Mat and shake the house down doing jumping jacks in the kitchen…but admittedly, the Coronavirus has limited my exercise options.
Whilst (I love that British term!) taking a walk around the McLeod Path a few weeks ago, I noticed a pair of ladies beside their respective cars, a proper social distance of 6 feet, jumping rope. These ladies were ladies of a certain build that made me think: if they can do this, I can do this!
Mushroom at McLeod Parking lot

Look what greeted me at the nearly empty McLeod Path parking lot last week!

Thus began my search for the perfect jump rope and determination to add jumping rope into my anemic Pandemic exercise routine.
Last week, with my new rope in hand, and a 5 minute ‘Beginner’s Guide to Jumping Rope’ video on my phone, I drove back to the McLeod Path parking lot intent on re-learning how to jump rope.
Yep. Re-learn. Turns out, that ‘double hop’ us kiddos did back in the day is detrimental to progress in the realm of jumping rope for fitness.
For the next 20 minutes, I judiciously went through the preliminary exercises devised to help in redirecting old habits. When I felt ready, I set forth and did a full continuous three minutes of jumping rope.
Three excruciating minutes of jumping rope the ‘correct’ way.
The guy in the video even concedes it’s a biggie challenge to begin again on the jump rope exercise scene. He suggests beginners hold back enthusiasm in advancement by restricting jump rope sessions to 3 per week for the first 4 weeks.
Shin splints, muscle aches and cramps, coordination misfire whips against the body by the jump rope itself – all can add up, hurt and hence discourage continuing on in one’s advancement of jumping rope as a total body workout. Being an older adult, I heeded hubby’s suggestion to ease into my new jump rope routine to 2Xs a week for 4 weeks.
Tuesday this week was my second date with that ole jump rope. In that same parking lot.
The mushroom was long gone, but I managed to do two 5-minute spurts of continuous jumping rope! 10 minutes total. I never in a million years thought I could ‘advance’ so quickly on something so taxing and demanding.
I am not the athletic type.
I was always the last chosen on sports teams back during School Gym days. But my enthusiasm and persistence have always been my redemption. I love hiking, skiing, biking, swimming, diving, volleyball, softball – I’ve just not ever been good enough for ‘teams’!
And now: Here I am, beginning my new COVID-19 jump rope exercise regimen. And succeeding!
Next appointment with my rope? Saturday. Can’t wait.


 *Hubby and I had a date planned to take in Robin’s show at The Isis Music Hall & Kitchen in Asheville, NC on March 29th, 2020 at 6pm. Guess what happened instead? As I re-looked up the concert venue today, lo & behold to my delight and surprise there is a re-scheduled concert set for September 17, 2020 – we’ll see if we can keep that date!


  1. Pamela

    I love you attitude. And I tip my hat at your tenacity! Thank you for following my blog. I hope you enjoy your visits.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thank you kindly, Pamela.
      Yep, been perusing earlier posts of yours…talk about tenacity – you’ve got it in spades, lady!

  2. Mary J Puckett

    And so we see another unexpected benefit of our current situation. I’ve been making a frowny-face at my extra chub in the mirror, too, and am taking an online class about losing fat and building muscle. Hoping to improve my routine. Glad to hear you’re on a new routine, too!

  3. Marty

    “Speaking of calories.” Truly a great segue. 🙂 You’re brave, that’s all I can say. I tried using a rope a few years ago when a neigborh showed me how “easy” it is (she was at least ten years older than me). After falling on my ass and skinning my knee, I said no way!
    I do miss my gym, which is in fact open as of tomorrow. But I’ve said “no way!” to that too. I’m just not ready to go back there. I’m not sure when I will be, at least in 2020.
    I suddenly have a craving for a Wendy’s…

    • laura bruno lilly

      LOL! I’m with you on the gyms…
      Oh and welcome to the start of Hurricane Season.

  4. Andy

    It seems that, though separated by an ocean and many miles, our lockdown issues are the same.
    The kids have exclaimed (different kids, at different times) “I really miss Maccies/Burger King/Starbucks” etc, and yes, I’ve agreed with some of them. And, though not indulging in these over the lockdown, I’ve put on weight since I did my trial and will be aiming to get back to that weight I feel better at.
    As for jump rope/skip rope as a clue I will direct you to The Beatles’ All Together Now.

    • laura bruno lilly

      And I didn’t even need to play it backwards…

  5. Roseanne

    Hi Laura! Well, aren’t you just so clever. I’m proud of you for giving the jump rope a try. The search for the perfect one is a bit challenging, too, isn’t it? I don’t know if I am brave enough to give it a try although I do have a rope in the closet (I think). Good luck with your continued success! {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

    • laura bruno lilly

      Yeah, it took more time to figure out which rope to buy than I expected…long gone are the days of using the laundry line rope for such a use as jumping it!
      Thanks for the hugs – have a great weekend!

  6. Janis @ RetirementallyChallenged

    I love the idea of jumping rope (not sure if I’d love it in actuality, or just the idea 🙂 ). I have a 3-mile neighborhood walk that includes some hills but my energy and interest has waned lately. Although I’ve been living in leggings lately, I put my jeans on now and then to make sure they still fit… they do… barely. Maybe I’ll look into getting a jump rope; anything so I can keep enjoying all the home cooked meals we are making lately.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Oh don’t ya know about checking in with those jeans from time to time…it’s that darn dryer that’s making them shrink at this house.

  7. Jill

    You should have checked with me first, Laura. I jump rope, but at 54, soon to be 55, you must ease into it. Thankfully, all of my workout equipment is at home, so my routine hasn’t changed. I did break out my stepper the other day. I went an hour and the next day my calves were so sore I could hardly walk. Different equipment, different muscles…must remember that! I love Twizzlers! 🙂

    • laura bruno lilly

      Thanks for the confirmation to ease into it…it’s hard holding back, but I’m older than you my dear and will heed the warning!!!
      Really nice to know I’ve got a jumping buddy up in NC!

  8. Ally Bean

    Jumping rope! Oh you have gone to where I cannot imagine going… at my age. I didn’t know that jumping rope was a thing to the point of there being a video about how to do it. I’m not surprised really. I admire you for hopping right into a new exercise routine. Best of luck with it.

    • laura bruno lilly

      I know, it’s crazy about the video thing, isn’t it? Thanks for the luck…I’m counting on it!

  9. Merril D. Smith

    As well as taking long walks, I’ve been listening to podcasts and jogging/running in my kitchen and sometimes through the dining room and living room (sometimes adding pushups or a few other exercises.) I feel like it’s better for my joints. I never listen to podcasts or anything while walking outside because I like to hear the birds and nature. Works for me, but jumping rope is a great idea. Maybe I should try that in the yard. . .

    • laura bruno lilly

      Welcome, Merril!
      Hint: jumping rope works best on a solid surface hence my need to drive to an open parking lot.
      I,too, take walks without earbuds. Otherwise I don’t feel a part of where I’m walking.

  10. watchingthedaisies

    I was never much good at team sports either Laura. We call jumping rope “skipping” and yes it is pretty tough to do a long stretch. I think boxers do it a lot in their training. Good luck with your progress.

  11. Mariss Stevens

    I am enjoying the music as I type this — much more soothing than imagining what it feels like to do new jump rope (skipping rope in my dialect) manoeuvres in the parking lot. I was both impressed and amused by your description. It has made me resolve to stick to yoga and walking the dog!
    Strength with surviving these strange times. At least you have not lost your sense of humour.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Skipping rope – I like that! May the Celtic tune played by two guitarists inspire and lead you into sewing up fun creations of the quilty kind.

  12. Laura

    You go, Girl! No jumping rope for me. Nope. No thank you. I consider going to work as my gym time. And pulliing weeds. My back currently aches from pulling weeds today.
    Love the mushroom photo! I am trying hard to learn macro photography, but it isn’t coming easy for me, that is for sure. I am drowning in You Tube instruction to no avail! At least not yet, but I keep practicing. I will have a breakthrough at some point! 🙂
    Thoroughly enjoyed the French Fry song…thanks for sharing it!

    • laura bruno lilly

      However, I’d add that your going to work counts as much more than ‘gym time’…With the pulling weeds being cathartic/therapeutic…
      Take care, Laura

  13. Cynthia Anderson

    Some us sew, some of us stitch and some of jump rope. I’m glad you found a thing and actually look forward to your next encounter.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Looking forward to something is really an acute need for all of us – Pandemic or not –
      Keep on stitchin’….

  14. L. Marie

    I love that you’re jumping rope, Laura! That’s so awesome! I love that you didn’t give up and are looking forward to your next session. Love that your husband braved the fast food lines to bring you sustenance.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Can’t help but think of you as I jump-rope…it also reminds me of idyllic summer days as a kid in your part of the country!

  15. Catherine de Seton

    (I’m in New Zealand, for those who don’t know) I wanted a couple of things so badly during our Level 4 lock down, a combined “freedom and/or choice” that I would make…But interestingly enough when we move to first Level 3 and now Level 2, those combined needs have not a “need”. Yes I could “make” them happen but I’ve got quite wary of being out there. Even though a good % of the population appear to think “we’ve back to normal” and some of them probably are. But what I discovered at Level 3 that this relies on a little fact – you’ve gotta be a car owner, something I am “not”…
    I’m a big public transport user that that arena is even worse than it was before on Level 4, there is a maximum number allowed on each bus, (probably same on train/ferry) must be seated, follow the posters inside where you sit. And it’s around 40% of usual capacity, so for me if I want to just go off some place, that might be 1/2/3 bits of transport I could find myself semi trapped at a bus stop…and now that’s really getting into winter – winter is not kind to this type of end-user…
    The only really truly normal freedom I’ve utilised was getting my hair cut…but everything else is still online delivery way, including food stuffs. I’ve got a couple of cake slices from a “shop window” but I’ve now more or less backed of to being that “hermit at home”…

    • laura bruno lilly

      Oh yes, a car owner for sure. Public transit is not an option here. But you having to deal with public transport as an only way to get out and about is truly harder to navigate these days for sure…
      Sounds like you’re safe, albeit a bit tired of it all.
      Hang in there, Catherine.

  16. Jane Chesebrough

    Yes, Yes, and Yes. at my last art studio class (online) I managed to listen and comment throughout the whole session, but could not actually paint. Instead, I downloaded some mandalas from a site and I coloured. It was all I could do, but it was relaxing.. There is major procrastination on doing my Income tax. Exercise? I did a couple of aerobics sessions weeks ago. My Yoga instructor recommended an online free site and there is some that is suitable for the arthritic knees and hips.Licorice is good. so are taco chips and cheese. Belly is big. Thank god I can access trails near here and go shoot some photos. The music offering was upbeat and light-hearted, may lose some calories listening to that. It is good that you will be able to catch up on a concert in the future. That trail that you walk/jump on is very beckoning, is very pretty. Hang in there, Laura.

    • laura bruno lilly

      Sounds like Pandemic Fatigue is afflicting you, too! Thanks for the update on how you’re doing, Jane. Maybe you need to change out the licorice for some Twizzlers!

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