Rope Warrior fights for kids' fitness
Wednesday, October 01, 2003
Fisher jumps from school to schoolPhoto provided by David Fisher David Fisher, the Rope Warrior, takes jump roping sitting down, standing up and every other way possible.
The old adage about doing what you love and the money will follow could have been written about David Fisher. He actually makes a living jumping rope and convincing kids they should jump rope too.
Fisher started skipping rope as part of his exercise routine and made it his full-time job at age 24. A tad unusual as a career choice? To Fisher's parents it certainly was, especially since one of Fisher's brothers is an attorney and the other an accountant. He got a college degree in marketing but didn't even look for a job after college.
"All I knew was that I wanted to do something that was related to sports and I wanted to enjoy what I did. The only suit I wanted to wear to work was a warm-up suit," says Fisher, 33.
Nine years ago, he auditioned an eight-minute "ropenastics" performance at a convention for PTA and PTO board members. That first year, he got contracts to perform at four school assemblies a day in Chicago area schools. Now he performs at more than 15 school assemblies nationwide each week during the school year. He has six Chicago area appearances scheduled this month and next.
Fisher's rope jumping includes rhythmic gymnastics, dance, martial arts and aerobics. Two videos, "Ropenastics Workout" and "Ropenastics Skills," teach kids and adults 50 of his coolest tricks.
Says Fisher, "I believe that rope jumping is becoming a pop culture phenomenon, like break-dancing. It's inexpensive, portable and infinite in its creative possibilities. It is one of the best cardiovascular workouts one can get." Fisher's resting heart rate has been measured as low as 27 beats per minute-very strong and efficient.
Next up, he wants to take Ropenastics to a national level with a superhero kids TV show, and a national exercise program.
Fisher holds the Guinness World Record for the most "rump jumps" (jumping rope on his bottom) in one minute (56), and has been featured on "Ripley's Believe It or Not!" He is also the author of two children's books-Adventures of the Rope Warrior: A Legend is Launched and Adventures of the Rope Warrior: Survival of the Fit-geared to ages 8-13, which feature a superhero who uses his laser-like rope to beat the bad guys.
-- Naazish YarKhan