It’s 1:30pm on a Wednesday, and Michelle Joni’s Skipping Club is congregating at Patricia Field’s colourful store on the Bowery in lower Manhattan.
This is where New York City’s most outrageously attired club kids come to get kitted out, and Joni, dressed in a pair of fluffy purple mukluks, purple spandex, a fur coat and giant pink and black tiger-striped shades, fits right in.
Skipping Club was founded earlier this year after Joni found herself “accidentally” skipping in the street (“I wanted to get to my nail appointment faster!”), and realized how much fun she was having. Ever since, a group of similarly joyous skippers has met as often as once a week to spread “joy, love and positivity” through the streets.
Usually themed (this week it’s Joni’s birthday, so I have donned my “Soy La Fiesta” t-shirt), the idea is simply to skip from one location to the next, whooping and whistling all the way, to a soundtrack provided by Joni’s portable Coca Cola speaker.
Billed as part workout, part street party, I had no idea what to expect, but her regulars (including a civil engineer named Chris who skips—pun intended—work to attend every time) tell me they’ve become addicted to the feel good vibes.
“You can’t help smiling when you’re skipping,” says Rozina, a full time mom and dedicated Skipping Club skipper from day one. “The thing is most of us never do it after the age of, like, five.”
Soon enough it’s time to head on out, and before I know it I’m skipping along behind Joni whose long legs and extra-bouncy step mean she keeps a mean pace. My calves are feeling the burn before long, but I’m having too much fun to notice. It's like skipping has unlocked that five-year-old part of me.
People stop and stare, but we don’t care. A guy in a truck toots his horn and we whoop back at him. In fact, Joni shouts from up front; “You’re making peoples’ day!”
Whether it's interviewing Lady Gaga, unveiling the latest trends in fashion, or getting under the skin of our most neurotic social trends, Ruby Warrington is at the forefront of it all. She's a British lifestyle writer and the celebrated creator of the blog The Numinous, but best of all is that Ruby is also a feature writer for the lululemon blog.