by Courtney James
What do jumping rope and real estate have to do with each other? Arguably, not much, but I wanted to introduce you to a program that is genuinely making our community a better place, and that most certainly does have an impact on real estate.
About three years ago, I enrolled one of my daughters in a jump rope class with the Bouncing Bulldogs. She immediately fell in love with the art of jumping rope, and I immediately fell in love with the program. Coach Ray Fredrick and his wife have been leading this team for over 25 years, since the program’s inception. It is readily apparent when you walk into the gym that this is about more than rope skipping. As I moved through the space for the first time, I was surprised to be greeted by children not much older than my daughter, making direct eye contact with me as they politely excused themselves for vacuuming the floor in front of me. My wonder was reinforced when I heard Coach talk to the kids. It’s not that what he was saying was necessarily profound (though some of his quotes definitely are), but the manner in which he talked to the kids showed that he had a tremendous amount of respect for them, and them for him. It is obvious when he speaks that he has high expectations for the kids. His simple remarks literally brought tears to my eyes; I found myself trying to quickly regain control, slightly embarrassed to be so emotional at a jump rope class (I admit I’m emotional, but come on!).
Judging by the group’s astonishing abilities (make sure you click that!), you’d be surprised to learn that there is time to teach the members of the team much more than just jumping. They are taught effective communication, leadership through mentoring fellow team members, responsibility and respect for their surroundings, and general accountability. They are expected to show up: show up for practice, show up for weekend shows, show up for each other. If you’re a Bouncing Bulldog, you show up.
The team members are rewarded handsomely for their hard work with opportunities that involve traveling the world – literally across the globe – to compete in worldwide competitions, ones in which they frequently win. We need more organizations in this community that can teach these skills, and we need this organization in particular to be able to teach more of our community. And they have the chance to do just that: the Bouncing Bulldogs Foundation has recently unveiled plans to build a new community complex. This new facility will expand the opportunities offered by this inspiring organization not only to more kids, but also to adults and kids with special needs (something they cannot easily do in their current setting). If you are feeling inspired, and anyone that has heard Coach Fredrick talk can’t help but be, please contribute to this meaningful endeavor and help spread the positive impact of the Bouncing Bulldogs further in our community.