In 1984, I was in law school and Van Halenhad just released the annoyingly infectious song “Jump.” I was never a fan of the band, but the song couldn’t have come out at a better time. Like most law students, I was stressed and in need of an outlet.
For better or worse, “Jump” was one of those outlets for my classmates and me. When we were out and that song came on, we couldn’t help but dance and, as the song commanded, “Jump.”
Needless to say, we looked like fools. But that’s what it’s all about, right? Letting go of all the stress and tension, and dropping whatever façade we might be wearing that day.
The idea of jumping to shed your worries wasn’t unique to my law school classmates and me. If you haven’t discovered photographer Philippe Halsman, one of the photographers to the stars of the 1950s, you should. He often asked his celebrity subjects to jump for a few shots whenever he was on a project, just as a way to get them to lose control and show their true selves.
His whole website is wonderful, but you absolutely have to check out the Jumps section, where you can see a full spectrum of movers and shakers from the middle 1900s suspended in midair (be sure to scroll to the bottom for Wallis Simpson and the Duke of Westminster to see how to jump and still look semi-dignified).
As I look at these pictures, I’m particularly drawn to the one of Grace Kelly. Normally so poised and regal, she’s a completely different person in her jumping picture – skirt pulled up, hair a mess, eyes closed, goofy grin. Elegant – as always – yet completely carefree. That photo is very nearly a tonic.
These photos make me think about how we live so much of our lives worried about what we look like, how we act, and the perception of ourselves that we project to others. In fact, much of the reason why I started this blog is to show a different side of who I am. In the business world, we’re expected to speak, act and dress professionally. And, although I am a professional, that’s definitely not all I am. Nor is it all any of us are.
I love modern art and design; I love learning about new cultures and trying new foods; I can’t wait for my next fly fishing trip. And I still love jumping!
All this to say, we need to relax. We need to let loose. We need to jump. And not just for our emotional health, but for our physical well-being, too. A recent study showed that women who jumped on a hard surface 40 times a day (20 jumps twice daily with 30 seconds of rest between each jump) increased bone density mass, while those who didn’t lost bone density mass.
How’s that for some solid evidence that jumping is beneficial to your health?
So, now that we know jumping is good for us, do we just jump around like lunatics? I say yes. Let’s all channel the glory days of MTV by wearing our loudest neon and biggest shoulder pads, watching this video,and pouring a wine cooler.
Then, when you’re ready, go ahead. Jump.