Have you seen anyone skip recently? Does anyone over the age of nine skip? And yet skipping is surely our most joyful form of locomotion.
So why don't people skip these days? Well, I think it's all about the shoes! The best shoes for skipping are leather-soled oxfords. You can't skip for very long in sandals, and certainly not at all in Birkenstocks and their relatives. You can't skip in high heels or wedgiesand it's hard to skip in boots of any sort. The ridged soles of sneakers grip the sidewalk too well for skipping.
A society that doesn't skip is a sober society indeed. In the first place, think what a good exercise it is. Run 20 paces. Now skip 20 paces. Which one gets your heart going? And skipping adds that jouncy little bounce-to-the-bones that encourages the bones to be strong.
But leave aside our fitness obsession. Just remember the joy of skipping. You can't skip without smiling. Laughing, even. Skipping takes you back to your best, most innocent self. Skipping fosters joy for its own sake.
Lauren Bacall said, "You know how to whistle, don't you? Just pucker up your lips and blow." It's hard to condense skipping to such concise instructions. "You know how to skip, don't you? Just stand on one foot and give a little hop and skid and land on the other foot and then hop-and-skid with that one and so on." It definitely doesn't have the punch of "pucker up your lips and blow"but don't let that stop you! Go out there and teach someone to skip!
Who needs rollerblades or a Segway? If you can skip, you're only a hop, skip, and jump away from happiness.
Copyright 2008 Ann Tudor