One small skip for man, one giant leap for mankind

February 10, 2022 — by Anjali Pai
Photo by Anjali Pai
Skipping is far more efficient than running or walking.

After picking up pizza from Cicero’s, I was eager to get home and eat my dinner. But when I came back from the restaurant, I was faced with a dilemma. My car was about 500 feet away and I was left with only two choices on how to get there. I could walk (which would take forever) or I could run, which would be tiring and hurt my knees. 

Neither of these choices sounded appealing, so I came up with a third: skipping. It was perfect — skipping is fun, effortless and allows me to cover a lot of distance in a short amount of time. 

But as I skipped toward my car, I felt the piercing stares of the people around me. My cheeks flushed bright red with humiliation, and I immediately stopped. I resigned myself to a walk of shame the rest of the way back to my car. 

At that moment, I realized one of the major cons about getting older: Skipping is, unfortunately, no longer socially acceptable. 

This is a shame because skipping can benefit people of all ages. A 2019 study from East Carolina University and Appalachian State University found that running produces nearly twice the impact on the kneecap as skipping. Skipping can be useful in cases such as running in P.E. when your joints start to ache.

I started implementing my skipping technique in 7th grade, when I had to run the mile the day after a four-and-a-half hour long gymnastics practice. I was so sore from practice that the idea of running for seven to eight minutes straight was unbearable. But as my energy drained after the first lap around the track, I came to realize that I didn’t have to run. The pain was intolerable, but I knew that walking would slow down my mile time too much. I skipped instead, giving my joints time to recover from the impact caused by running.

Another benefit presented by the 2019 study is that skipping burns 30% more calories than running. Thus, skipping is also beneficial to those who aim to lose weight.

Plus, skipping is simply joyful. Every time I skip, I channel the pure, youthful joy I felt when I was younger. With each hop, I am transported back to my happy elementary school days, when I would skip around the playground with my friends during recess.

Yet when I skip in public, I am met with stares of judgment and shame. It is unfortunate that skipping, a positive and effective form of travel, is frowned upon as one grows older. 

We must make reforms to these unspoken rules of society and allow everyone to skip without feeling out of place. Next time you see someone skip in public, kindly refrain from judging their actions. In fact, go ahead and skip with them. The more people skip, the more it will be normalized. One small skip for man, one giant leap for mankind.