Southwrite

Telling stories

Why Aren’t You Skipping?

Posted by southwrite on June 6, 2014

SKIPPING mother and children

In The Last Real Cowboys, Billy Bob Thornton and Mickey Jones are two grizzled range riders somewhere in the West, sitting by a campfire, eating beans. Out of the blue one of them muses, “Why don’t we skip no more?’

That’s a question I’ve asked myself. I skipped with joy and abandon when I was child. Then as I grew older and more concerned about what others thought the skipping stopped. It was serious and it fell intot he category of one of those things that made people look at you funny.

Thornton and Jones skip again and are promptly shot by other cowboys.

With all those reasons not to skip, I was surprised to find that skipping has made a comeback or more properly been rediscovered.

Some say they do it for exercise, but I think that’s just a cover. It’s really about reconnecting with your spirit than burning calories.

Across the country, adults have been spotted merrily—and publicly–skipping down jogging paths, city streets, and other locales generally reserved for serious runners, bikers, and power walkers.

if you believe San Francisco book publicist Kim Corbin  claimed that skipping is becoming a national phenomenon. For more than a decade she has made a career of leading a nationwide campaign to “out” closeted skippers everywhere. She leads group skips over the Golden Gate Bridge dressed in a cape and crown and waving a wand with skipping kids and adults in tow.

Her web site – iskip.com –covers virtually everything you ever wanted to know about skipping. Here you’ll find pages of pictures and testimonials of skippers – including couples who have planned skipping weddings. You can also find stories about famous skippers. Have you heard that Biblical scholars now theorize that two of the Bible’s “real men” – Kings David and Solomon – skipped frequently?

Corbin has appointed “head skippers” in cities around the country. These skipping apostles are charged with leading group skips and in general spreading the word about the benefits of skipping to the public.

“I think the chord that it’s striking with people is that basically what we’re doing is promoting skipping as an outward expression of joy,” says Corbin. “We’ve been letting negativity dictate what we do for so long. Now there’s a group of people who are saying we’re going to skip. It’s visual and you can see it. It’s a free spirited thing.”

Skipping down the street, arms flapping may not look very “adult”, but these skippers take what they’re doing very seriously.

Some are convinced that the act of skipping in public gives them the courage to pursue other dreams.

They say skipping can be a conduit to bringing passions to life f. It also provides a means for meeting like-minded who may want to change the world for the better or just change their own personal world. It can show that I’m really in charge of my life and able to set my own limits. If I can break through that I can achieve whatever I want to achieve.

Skipping is an activity appropriate for all ages. I talked to one 67 year-old Boulder, Colorado skipperwho described how she and her friends skip through the local mall, and skipped through road races.

This activity has to be catching on, if watching Billy Bob Thornton skipping on the screen is any indication. After all, it’s all about self-expression.

“It’s a great metaphor for the evolution of the male–losing the (inner) child, and losing the freedom to truly express ourselves in all silly ways,” said Jeff Lester, who along with wife Susan Anton, produced and directed The Last Real Cowboys. “We (have) become much more rigid and concerned about the way we’re coming off and the way we look. I just thought it was great to take a leap back and ask the question: where in history did that happen?”

The premise is simple. It’s about a cowboy in the 1800s who poses the question, “Why don’t we skip no more? You know like when we were kids – skipping. I used to love skipping.” The response from his befuddled companion is simply, “Men don’t skip.” Just like they try not to show their feelings, trust a stranger, or believe in love.

Skippers are quick to tell you that just isn’t true. In fact, one skipper, former Christian missionary Peter Wohlfelder even wrote a book entitled Solomon Skipped. Based on his study of Hebrew texts, the books argues that both King David and Solomon skipped frequently. When King David danced before the ark he was actually skipping.

For each of them it was the triumph of the inner child. It could be that for us as well.

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One Response to “Why Aren’t You Skipping?”

  1. What a splendid post! I shall now go out and skip! And Solomon and David skipping??? It has less gravitas, more joy than “dancing before the lord.” What are some of your writings on religion and creativity?

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