MEDINA, Ohio — As many are preparing their turkeys ahead of Thanksgiving, some local students are preparing their sneakers to jump through the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York.
“This is pretty special,” says Ben Hawke, a senior from Strongsville.
Kelsey Sheridan, a junior from Medina, says, “When I found out, I was so excited.”
Fifteen students from Heartbeats, the jump rope team based in Medina, will be joined by 97 others from 23 states around the country to perform. It’s a routine they’ve been working on for months.
“I’m definitely a little nervous about everything going well, because we’ve been practicing so much,” says Sheridan. “It’s like our one chance to show everybody what it’s about.”
Hawke says, “Every year we compete at a national level, so we’ve traveled to Disney and Texas, but nothing like this.”
Jump rope routines are very active, but typically within a confined space. One of the major hurdles of taking their show on the road is jumping 2.8 miles through the streets of New York City.
“It takes a tremendous amount of conditioning for these guys to be able to do 3 miles of jumping,” says Heartbeat’s manager, Ken Evans.
“I feel like it’s more of a mental challenge than physical because your body gets use to it as we’ve been practicing but mentally you have to be engaged the whole time,” says Sheridan.
Hawke adds, “Jumping 3 miles is a lot harder than you think.”
This will be the fifth time the Heartbeats organization has been a part of the annual holiday parade and they continue to try and raise the rope.
“It exposes jump rope which is not the best-known sport and it gives us an opportunity on a national stage to show how much fun it is,” says Evans.
They’ll be making sure everyone is prepared to leap off on the right foot, not just for the parade, but also the grand finale routine at Herald Square. It all adds up to what should be a truly memorable Thanksgiving.
“I don’t think anything could overdue this,” says Sheridan.
“It should be something that I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” says Hawke. “Yeah, I don’t want to mess it up.”
You can watch the parade live on Channel 3 beginning at 9 a.m.!