By Gaby Audrey
While most of her classmates joined soccer, basketball, or volleyball, Alexis Silvey, or Lexie, as her friends call her, pursued jump rope.
As a jump rope junior athlete, Silvey joined the Junior Olympics when she was seven years old. She started jump roping in kindergarten and joined the competitive team in first grade. She traveled from her home in Colorado Spring to Michigan, California, Iowa, Louisiana, and Virginia for different Olympic events. She even competed in the National Junior Olympics, placing eighth in the nation on the year she was competing.
Silvey knows jump roping is unique. In fact, most people don’t even know that it is a sport. Not only is jump roping a competitive sport, she guarantees that it is also fun and “is a really good exercise.” In fact, Silvey says, “Thirty minutes of jumping rope is equivalent to an hour of every other sports,” Silvey said.
And it’s not just a solitary endeavor.
“It boosts individual growth, but in the end, it is a team sport,” Silvey said.
Silvey joined two teams in her career as jump roper. She was in a team called “Just Jump” before she joined another team called “One Jump Ahead.” Competing in front of big crowds with everyone in her team was “kind of intimidating” but she went through it because of the support she received from everyone.
Some tricks in competitive jump roping are done individually, others in pairs. “Double Dutch,” for example, requires the effort of four people and two long jump ropes turning in opposite directions, which are jumped by one or more players jumping simultaneously.
Silvey says her teammates are like family to her. Her biggest motivator was her coach, Lindsey, who was not only a good athlete but someone who pushed Lexie to become the best person she could be.
She also made a lot of friendships that lasted even after she left the jump roping world in 2014, at the peak of her journey, when she had to choose between jump rope or softball. “Probably the hardest decision I made,” she said.
In the end, she chose softball but Silvey says that doesn’t mean she abandoned the sport. She teaches jump rope to kids in her hometown, which helps her keep up her skills.
Even though she does not compete anymore, she still loves jump rope wholeheartedly. She learned a lot from jump roping, after all.
“I think I learned a lot about my mental strength, because I learned how to be mentally prepared before competition,” she said. “I kinda learned to have this personal development. I learned how to improve on myself for the sake of my team.”
Silvey encourages others to give jump rope a try too.
“Do not give up because it is frustrating sometimes but, in the end, it’s so much fun and rewarding,” Silvey said.