Spring is nearly here!  The birds are chirping, the days are longer, the (supposedly, for those with yards) crocuses are earnestly poking their heads topside.  Finally, after months of darkness and wind chill factors, its time to pack away those Michelin Man coats and bust out the gauzy sundresses and seersucker suits of yore.

But wait!  While the (alleged) crocus bulbs have been gently napping under the frozen ground, your metabolism has been as well, swaddled in Netflix Instant and sixers from the bodega.  Last August’s loose summer clothes now feel like all those sausage casings from the Crif Dog habit you picked up over the winter.  As you suddenly regret that ordering that pizza, you know it’s time to hit the gym again.

As most of us know, going to the gym is a necessary evil with limited interaction.  While you look like a sweaty newborn just walking to the cardio room, the svelte goddess next to you is calmly doing her taxes while trekking Kilimanjaro on the StairMaster.  There are more razor sharp abs than the 1987 Chippendale’s calendar in that weight room.   Every morning  its a cacophony of knees, elbows and headphones on that bank of elliptical trainers and your lungs fill with fire at the mere thought of setting foot on the treadmill.  However, if it means zipping that zipper with ease (rather than brute force), you will go to any means necessary to lose that winter padding. Game on, player.

Rather than silently wishing death to the grip of models at the gym tomorrow morning (by yourself), why not try having some fun with your exercise (and other people) at the Greenpoint Y at Punk Rope Wednesday night?

Doing the Jamaican Bobsled for Jamaican Independence Day

Punk Rope is an hour long group class that blends recess games, rope jumping and creative calisthenics to punk music.  Each class features a different theme, which can range from foreign holidays (Australia Day!) to pop culture (The Oscars!) to whatever the founder and creative director can pull out of their creative hats that week.  There is never a dull moment in class as you’re switching from individual rope jumping drills to group exercise challenges. The class is designed for all skill levels and ages as well, focusing on fun and fitness over isolated exercise.  Any given class will have children through the childish in attendance.

Tim Haft, founder of Punk Rope, launched the class after knee surgery sidelined his  love of long distance running.  Prior to being the guru of jump rope based fitness he had been a certified personal trainer and long distance running coach since the late nineties.  When the surgery forced Tim to reconsider his fitness options  he found that group exercise classes that he tried didn’t speak to him the same way playing recess games and team sports had.  Tim wanted to fill an exercise niche that incorporated fun exercise, community building and (thankfully) non-techno music. He gathered his extensive knowledge of sports conditioning, rope jumping and personal training and started the first Punk Rope class at New York University in 2004.

Since then, Punk Rope has flourished by leaps and bounds.  To date, there are 920 certified Punk Rope instructors in 18 states, four of which are in New York City.  The credit in the popularity of the class isn’t limited to the fun that people have while sweating it out, its the tight knit groups that have been formed by loyal attendees.  While in class groups run relays, play recess games and form (clammy) friendships and after class many will often go out for a quick bite in the neighborhood or to the monthly happy hour at local bars.

Punk Rope is a great way to shed that winter weight with lightning speed as well as a great way to get to know your fellow Greenpointer.  Don’t settle for elbowing that glamazon off of the Arc trainer tomorrow morning or listening to the dramatic grunts of that guy doing pec flyes. Give Punk Rope a shot and you could drop a pants size while you gain a couple friends.

Classes are held every Wednesday night at 7:30 PM at the Greenpoint YMCA (99 Meserole Ave)  For more information about this class, please call (718)389-3700.

You can also find out more about Punk Rope at www.punkrope.com

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