Illusion Apparel: What’s your favorite thing about your craft?
Johnjo Riguera: My favorite thing about jumping rope are the endless possibilities both in goals and variation of moves. There’s a lot of different styles that you can have: Freestyle, Speed, Endurance, there’s a bunch of different things that you can try to go for, and what comes with that is a infinite amount of goals that you can set for yourself.
IA: How long have you been working on your craft?
JR: I’ve been jumping rope for a little over a year.
IA: How did you get started?
JR: I started actually because I hurt my shoulder and I wasn’t really able to do my main form of cardio which is badminton. I knew I needed to find something else to do to stay active. And I knew that it would heal up eventually but with shoulder injuries it’s a really long healing process. I didn’t want to come back to the game all rusty and out of shape and somehow, I found jump roping and just kinda went from there.
IA: Who or what are your current inspirations?
JR: My current inspirations for jump rope are, well, I guess the short answer would be the whole jump rope community. But starting out, my main inspirations were Rush Athletics, Rope Rage, The Jump Rope Dudes, Cross Rope Jump Rope Channel, and this one Facebook group that I was part of called the Cross Rope Jump Rope Fitness Community. Eventually I found out that there was a whole jump rope community on Instagram so I decided to make a jump rope-dedicated Instagram. And I found all the other jumpers and they’ve just been inspiring me since then.
IA: What are your other interests?
JR: My other interests other than jump rope that I really stuck with would kinda just be Badminton, but I’ve had a lot of interests that have come and gone. I’m the type of person that likes to try out a lot of different hobbies. I usually stick with things for maybe a couple months until I get decent and then something new comes around and I just get kinda addicted to that. But right now jump roping and badminton are the two that have really stuck with me.
IA: What advice do you have for others who want to pursue jump roping?
JR: My advice to anyone who wants to get in to jump roping and get really good at it, is just to have fun and pick up the rope and don’t be afraid to share your progress. There’s so many people out there that are willing to help you out and no one is really going to judge you just because you’re a “beginner”. I was there before and from the start when I posted even my newbie videos, everyone was always so supportive, telling me I’m doing a great job, and that kinda kept me going even though I wasn’t really making that much progress at the time. It eventually led to me believing in myself enough to make progress. So don’t be afraid.
IA: What was your best moment / most memorable event in your craft?
JR: There have been a lot of memorable events in jump rope for me, but I’d say the one that takes the cake is probably the first time that I started getting cross overs done. Cross overs were like, the one trick that I saw people doing when I started out that I knew I really wanted to do. Cuz Double Unders I was somehow able to get them starting out, but when I saw crosses I really wanted those. I struggled for about a month and a half to two months to get those down, but I still remember the very first time I got two or three in a row. It just felt so nice.
IA: What do you define ‘illusion’?
JR: When I think of the word “illusion” I think of barriers that are set up in your head that may not always be true. So for example, thinking that you cant do something when in fact, its not that you cant ever do it, but you just cant do it yet, is an example an illusion in my head.
IA: How do you break illusions in your craft?
JR: For me, I break illusions when I’m jump roping by never telling myself that I’ll never be able to do something. If there’s a skill that’s just way too hard for me to get right now, or I’m not even close, I don’t tell myself I’ll never do it. I tell myself I just need to work on the other stuff in order to get it. And eventually that makes getting it even more gratifying.
IA: What else would you like to tell your followers?
JR: My advice for anyone that’s thinking about starting jump rope, as I said before, don’t be afraid to start. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and don’t be afraid to share your progress because everyone out there is really nice and they’re willing to help you out and get flying like a boss.