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Jumping into Loudoun

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Peter Nestler

Peter Nestier, the rope master, will perform his fast-paced jump rope program, Tuesday. May 13, at 4:30 p.m., at Ashburn Library, 43316 Hay Road, Ashburn and again at 7 p.m., at Cascades Library, 21030 Whitfield Place, Potomac Falls. Recommended for all ages. Visit www.lcpl.lib.va.us or www.jumprm.com.

How did you get involved in jumping rope?

I got started in second grade after seeing a jump-rope team perform at my elementary school in Juneau, Alaska. They put on demonstrations at a number of schools in the city and then had a big workshop where students could come out and learn how to jump. The P.E. teacher at my school soon after started a jump rope club and I made it onto the team in third grade.

What do you enjoy most about jumping rope?

The greatest part would probably be the travel. I get the opportunity to perform throughout the world and meet a lot of students. My main goal is to inspire students to get out there and reach for their goals and I love being able to do that in a personal way.

What is the most challenging part?

Oddly enough, travel would be the toughest part. I love doing it, but when you perform 10-15 times per week things start hurting and I have days that are a real challenge to get up and act excited since my back and legs are killing me, but I have to do it regardless of what I feel like.

What is your favorite trick to do?

I really enjoy doing a style of trick called rope manipulations. To do one you release a handle and do some sort of rope toss, but I add different types of spins and turns while it's happening. They're hard to explain in writing, but they look really cool. They look easy, but are quite difficult to master as you have to be very in control of the rope through every twist and turn. My all time-favorite is a trick I made up called the "King Cobra."

What is an interesting fact about jump roping that not many people know?

It's not just for girls. In fact some of the best jumpers in the world are guys.

How hard do you have to practice?

I don't have to practice my jumping a whole lot anymore since I perform for a living. I average about two shows a day, which means I'm already jumping around one and a half to two hours out of the day just performing. When I take some time off I'll try to do different forms of cardio to keep in shape, unless I'm working on some new skills then I can be at it for hours.

Any special equipment you need?

The only thing needed is a decent rope. You don't have to spend a ton money on some fancy super rope either. The ropes I use can be picked up for just a couple dollars and are actually much more versatile than the $30 ropes I've seen around.

How do maintain your rhythm while you're jumping?

It all comes from years of practice. I started out as the ultimate "white boy." I was rhythm free and needed a lot of help. I used to spend hours just working on the basic jump until I could get that down, but once that was accomplished most of the other skills came quite quickly. The key is just spending lots of time working on the basics and from there everything else is much easier to do.

Why do you think jumping rope has stayed popular for so long?

It's a skill anyone can do, it doesn't require any expensive gear and can be done as an individual or with a team. If you're looking for a great workout or just to add some variety, there's nothing better than a jump rope.

What are the Rope Masters?

"Rope Masters" is the name of my company. I wanted a name that expressed the skill level of what I do, but was still open to allow other people to be a part of it.

What happens in the program you will be putting on?

It's a variety act of sorts. It involves jump rope, audience participation, unicycles, double Dutch and motivational speaking. I've worked hard over the years to come up with a program that's engaging and fun for everyone in attendance.