Doing 128 double-unders per minute is just the start of what this woman can accomplish with Lucie B. Lindner, 51, can accomplish with a simple rope.

By By Lucie B. Lindner
September 24, 2018

I was 32 before I picked up a jump rope, but I was instantly hooked. I loved the feeling of pumping my house music and jumping for 60 to 90 minutes. Soon I began entering jump rope competitions I saw on ESPN-even after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

In 2015, I entered the Arnold Classic, my first international competition-it's the Super Bowl for jump ropers. But at 48 years old, I was competing with 17- to 21-year-olds because there were no other jumpers in my age category. The looks I got when I took my spot at the sports complex that exhilarating day in Madrid-you could almost hear them thinking, "What's the old-timer doing here?" I didn't think I had a chance. (Related: Why You Should Start Thinking of Yourself As an Athlete)

I made it through the 30-second speed jumps even after losing a handle, and by the second event, the double-unders (in which the rope passes underfoot twice per jump), the crowd was on my side. I heard someone say, "You go, girl! Do it for the big girls!" I used their loud cheering as fuel to get me through the next two grueling events: one-minute crossovers and three-minute speed jumps. My legs and body felt like mush after the final crossover doubles event. (Related: This Fat-Burning Jump Rope Workout Will Torch Serious Calories)

At the awards ceremony, it felt unreal to hear my name over and over: I won four golds plus a silver. (The medals were for my 31-plus age group, but my scores would have earned me second against the 17- to 21-year-olds in most events.) The "kids" I'd just competed against were jumping up and down for me. As I collected my medals, I made a point to say, "It's not about age or size. It's about your will and skill."