It’s not every day you see someone jumping rope in front of an apartment building-alongside a sidewalk and in plain view of hordes of curious onlookers. That is, unless you pass by the Statesman each day around noon.
“It’s one of those things that definitely gets people’s attention,” said Gary Joynes, a D.C. native who has lived in the Statesman, with many student neighbors, for four years. “It’s not like running. I’m doing everything vertically.”
Jumping rope has been the crux of Joyne’s fitness routine since his college years at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. There, he met a security guard-one of the fittest people on campus-who introduced him to the rope routine.
He said students inquire about his jumping “pretty much every day.”
“I’m very busy and I like having my own workout without going to a gym,” Joynes said, adding that he averages about 7,000 repetitions a day. “Also, I think it’s like a mental thing. When you’re jumping like that you stay really focused.”
Anyone who passes along F Street en route to class or home can attest to it: Joynes is a serious jumper. He uses two different ropes, a heavy rope and a light rope, and tapers his workout throughout the week.
“I figure it’s about a seven-mile run,” he said about his daily fitness regimen.
He’s tried changing his jump rope scenery, he said, but enjoys the convenience of home.
“I used to change locations. I’d start in front of the building and then I’d move,” Joynes said. “You think you get attention jumping in front of the Statesman, try jumping in front of a class.”
Joynes, who teaches piano and saxophone music lessons to adults and children, followed his passion for music out to Los Angeles, where he lived for a few years.
“In a city like L.A., there’s definitely more of a physical culture,” said Joynes, who also dabbled in modeling while living there. “If I was jumping on a street in L.A., no one would even notice.”