Olivia Newport Girl jumping out of flower

This enthusiastic jumper is my great-niece, Elsie. (Photo by Jolena Long.)

It’s been a long time since I jumped. Years. Decades. This is because of my cranky feet, which I’ve written about before. Even though he couldn’t find anything wrong, one orthopedist told me that based on my description of the pain and what he observed in my movements, it was as if I was walking around on broken bones.

Ouch. Why in the world would I jump?

With such poor tolerance for impact, it’s been challenging to find a good exercise strategy. A couple of months ago, I took the plunge and joined a water exercise class. I’m not a swimmer, but fortunately the class does not involve actual swimming. It’s more like learning to box underwater.

We do this move where it’s squat-squat-squat-leap.

And what do you know, I like it! I mean I really like it. The first day I got in the pool I chastised myself for waiting so long to do it, because immediately I loved how my joints felt in the water. Then when I realized I was jumping, actually jumping, I giggled so hard I almost forgot to breathe.

I was jumping for joy. What a great feeling. What a marvelous gift unhindered movement is. Maybe water basketball is next.

I can’t spend all day leaping in the water, but I can hang onto that sensation of breathless joy. I can look forward to the activities and relationships that evoke that sense of freedom, of rejoicing, of surprise—both in my body and my spirit. And I can do my part to bring that kind of joy to others who may be suffering from cranky feet, whether literally or figuratively.

I hope that you look forward to something in your day because it takes your breath away. Maybe even surprise yourself and try something new. I’m so glad I did.