Jump Rope Squad – Jump For Joy
Shared by: Christle Jones
My mother, LaDonna, is deemed an essential worker, as she is a registered nurse providing hospice care to patients at the most critical time in their lives. She helps patients transition peacefully, catering to and comforting her patients and their families through the difficult process.
My mother is passionate about both healthcare and her family. As an essential worker, COVID-19 forced her to consider whether doing the work she loves would cost her the people she loves. She feared contracting the virus and bringing it home to her family. To release anxiety, she started jumping rope, a childhood favorite. My brother recorded her and she posted the video to her personal Facebook page because she found the video comical and wanted to make others laugh during this time. A few days later, she started a Facebook group, “Jump Rope Squad-Jump for Joy” to encourage others to jump with her. She had no idea this group would accumulate over 18,000 members across the world in just one week!
Today, the group has over 30,000 members who reside anywhere from my mother’s hometown of Milwaukee, WI to Dimona, Israel. Daily, members post videos of themselves jumping rope. Members have said this group has kept them both mentally and physically active as they overcome feelings of pain, loss, loneliness and despair during our current crisis. In the group, members have shared stories of how they attended the funeral of a loved one who died due to COVID-19 and then came home to jump rope because it makes them feel good. Here’s what my mother had to say in response to this feedback:
“I will never lose sight of why I began jumping rope. As a nurse, I am an essential worker and I come into contact with many people daily. God called me to do this work and I am extremely happy to serve. However, in the midst of this pandemic, I cannot pretend as if I did not have worries. In fact, my anxiety grew. I feared I may come home from work, sit on the couch, and infect my family with COVID-19. For a while, I would cry myself to sleep, wondering if I was a threat to my family’s health. But I knew anxiety and stress would only make me more susceptible to a weakened immune system. Therefore, I decided it was time to channel my energy into something positive. So, I picked up a jump rope and started jumping rope, a childhood favorite! As I jumped, I told my son to record me, and post the videos for my personal FB friends and family to see. Many friends began to encourage me to start a group for us all to jump rope together. So, here we are today. My goal is and has always been to turn our pain into JOY. We have all suffered in some way or another at the hands of COVID-19. But COVID-19 is no match for God. God is still in control. Let’s JUMP FOR JOY! Be blessed.”
My mother is an amazing woman. Her ministry extends beyond this group, as she is the mother to five children, one of whom has autism and a host of other special needs, which require long-term care. She cares for him, and all of us, tirelessly. I am blessed to have her as my mother.
When she’s not being our mom, she is serving in the community by providing “Soup & Scripture” to the homeless through her church ministry.
Though I know she does none of this for praise or recognition, I am incredibly proud of her and want to shout it to the mountaintops!
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