I am an athlete, although not in a common sport. I have been a competitive jump roper for the past 9 years of my life. This sport has provided me with everything: a family, a passion, travel, exercise, and most importantly leadership. As I’ve grown up with the sport, I have been blessed with countless leadership opportunities. From running weekly practices and workouts, to representing my jump rope team on local broadcasts and interviews, to traveling across the world to teach the sport to children and jumpers of foreign cultures, I have learned how to lead and inspire others in this unique sport.
One of my most prized memories from jump rope was this past summer; I was invited to travel to Germany and the Czech Republic to teach in two jump rope camps. While in Germany, I was a level leader, meaning I was in charge of a large group of jumpers (90 to be exact) that had similar levels of skill in the sport and could all benefit from learning similar tricks and routines. Being a level leader, I was in charge of leading not only the mass group of children, but also the fellow staff members that taught the kids. This job required frequent meetings with my staff and constant planning in how to divvy up the jumpers. I also worked with German-speaking staff members in translating my messages to the children whose English skills were just as strong as my German. This experience, although intimidating at first, was extremely helpful in my confidence in leading others. Despite extreme language and cultural barriers, I was able to lead all of my staff and campers to my greatest ability, providing a fun learning environment with lots of jumping.
While at the international camp in Prague, Czech Republic, my role changed significantly. Instead of being a level leader, I was head staff, which put me in charge of the entire camp with participants ranging from Russia to Czech Republic to Germany to Finland to Hungary. With many cultures and languages coming together under one gym roof, I felt my nerves fill my body as the camp started. However, I channeled my anxiety, put on a smile, and led the 4 day camp with the confidence and leadership skills I grasped in Germany. As the camp continued, my leadership abilities soared, filling me with excitement and passion to lead my fellow staffers and campers to their greatest abilities.
Both of these experiences have been extremely beneficial in helping me find a sense of assurance in myself as I’ve entered college. I now am eager to lead others in Student Orgs like I led overseas. I am excited to find more passions like jump rope to channel my excitement into as I transition into adulthood and a professional life. My opportunites overseas have also increased my passion in wanting to become a Foreign Language Educator, as I am eager to learn as many languages as I can in my life, along with educating myself on all the cultures across the globe. Because of jump rope, and the amazing experiences that are apart of it, I have grown as an athlete, as a student, as a leader, as a human, and I am so deeply grateful for it.