#120: Mastering The Double Under: Jump Rope Champion Mira Wate & US Army Warrior Fitness Team Athlete SPC Ava Georg (CrossFit Games 2023)

Friday September 29, 2023

Mastering the double under isn’t just about jumping rope…or is it jump rope? It’s about harnessing a skill that’s often more mental than physical and requires us to just go for it!  Jump rope is also more than just a part of a cardio routine or a CrossFit workout; it’s also an opportunity to bring together teams and build a common connection.  

Fran Racioppi and Jessie Graff are joined by two Jump Rope experts, German National Champion, Mira Wate and US Army Warrior Fitness Team Member SPC Ava Georg from the US Army Fitness Truck at the 2023 NOBULL CrossFit Games

Together, they share their journeys of competing in jump rope. Mira has leveraged her success in the sport to build corporate development and team building programs around teaching groups how a team that can jump rope together can achieve anything together. Ava’s career in athletics began with jump rope, leading her to competing in CrossFit, joining the Infantry and becoming a member of the US Army Warrior Fitness Team; an Army job that combines service to our nation with competing as an elite athlete.  

Take a listen or watch on YouTube as Fran and Jessie master the double under. Learn more and read the transcript on The Jedburgh Podcast Website. Subscribe to us and follow @jedburghpodcast on all social media. Watch the full video version on YouTube.

Listen to the podcast here


Mastering The Double Under: Jump Rope Champion Mira Wate & US Army Warrior Fitness Team Athlete SPC Ava Georg (CrossFit Games 2023)

Mira and Ava, welcome to The Jedburgh Podcast.Jump Rope Champion Mira Wate and US Army Warrior Fitness Team Athlete SPC Ava Georg on The Jedburgh Podcast

Thank you for having us.

We’re going to talk about jumping rope.

I hear a lot of people say jump roping. Is that the correct terminology, or do we go with jumping rope?

I feel like you can say either. If I told someone I did jump rope, I say, “I did jump rope.” It’s not like I’m jumping rope.

Whatever we’re going to call it, we have to explore this because I suck at jumping rope. Mira came over, and she announced herself as being at the games as a national champion from Germany in jump rope. I immediately said, “I need some instruction.” I am stuck at the double under. I’m often stuck at the single under. It’s something that I have tried so hard over the years to figure out. It has become a part of a lot of CrossFit workouts. I said, “Let’s do it. Let’s get in here and talk about it.” Where are we going to start? Mira, let’s talk about coming to the US from Germany and your background. How do you get into jumping rope?

In Germany, we have jump rope clubs. I started when I was seven years old. My friend dragged me to a jump rope session, and I liked it. I was successful. I stick to it, and now we’re here.

Jump rope is standard cardio. Lots of people do jump rope on a basic level, but you guys take it to a crazy different extreme of tricks, which to me is fascinating. The coordination, style, and almost acrobaticness you bring to jump rope is fun. Do you still use it as a cardio exercise or more of a skills training?

I feel like my coach, since I am in the CrossFit space, he’ll program it for me as a skill to practice rather than cardio. When I do have it in workouts, it easily can be a cardio piece because it spikes it. I feel like both. It’s a skill, but it’ll turn into cardio.

[bctt tweet=”Jump rope is both a skill and cardio.” username=”talentwargroup”]

Ava, what’s your story of getting into jump rope?

My elementary school had a jump rope for the heart clinic. The people running it ran the jump rope team in my town. They’re like, “You’re catching on fast. Do you want to try out?” I went, tried out, and stuck with it for a couple of years. That’s when I found CrossFit.

Jump Rope Champion Mira Wate and US Army Warrior Fitness Team Athlete SPC Ava Georg on The Jedburgh PodcastHow do jump rope competitions work?

The ones I went to, there were speed singles, and they count every time your right foot hits. There’s a double under. It’s a minute or 30 seconds max, as fast as you can with a wire rope. There are double Dutch events, freestyle events, and partner freestyle. There are 1 million different things.

What was your specialty?

I liked freestyles alone. You can do a pair freestyle and do the same thing as your partner.

What is free freestyle?

It is the tricks with the beaded rope.

Mira, what’s your specialty?

I love the variety about it. I love the double Dutch with the two ropes. It’s turning against each other in a team to show what you can do in a team and how good you are. I also love single events like freestyle. You get judged with different levels for different skills. If you are crossing your legs, and you do it in a double, triple, quadruple, backward, or forward, you get different levels and creativity on top. That makes everything a special performance and exciting for spectators to watch.

What do you love so much about jump rope?

It’s the differences and benefits for everybody. That’s what I experienced through COVID times. No matter if you want to get physically strong or mentally strong, it helps you either way. You can do it anywhere and anytime. It benefits your vascular system, strengthens your bones, and prevents osteoporosis. There are a lot of benefits. That’s why I am convinced it’s the best sport in the world.Jump Rope Champion Mira Wate and US Army Warrior Fitness Team Athlete SPC Ava Georg on The Jedburgh Podcast

Ava, you’ve been around CrossFit for a bit. You’re on the Warrior Fitness Team with the Army. We’re sitting here. We have an awesome backdrop for this conversation that I wanted because it says, “Push beyond your limits.” As I told you, I have found my limit with jump rope. As you’ve been in CrossFit over the last couple of years, you said you found CrossFit through jump rope. How?

I was on the jump rope team, and I wanted to be strong for tumbling movements. I transitioned into CrossFit, getting that strength for it, and I fully transitioned over to it because I was like, “I want to give this a go.” It was a lot, doing jump rope for a couple of hours after school and trying to do the gym. I was like, “I’m going to fully commit to CrossFit and see where this takes me.”

Let’s talk about the games. Mira, what brings you to the CrossFit Games?

It is the crazy mentality about the athletes. I’m overwhelmed by all the athletes and what I’ve been seeing online. I thought, “This is insane.” The double under crossovers from 2022 when I thought, “There are a lot of athletes who can improve, and maybe I can help.” It is to connect with nice and cool people and help with my expertise of many years. Let’s see if this is going to happen this time.Jump Rope Champion Mira Wate and US Army Warrior Fitness Team Athlete SPC Ava Georg on The Jedburgh Podcast

Before we started, you were talking about how it has been introduced into the competition. How has it been introduced into the competition? Where are we seeing it, and where it’s being judged and applied?

With CrossFit, they always introduced a new movement at the games. In 2022, it was the double crossover. Prior to that, it was mostly double unders. People would mess around with triple unders, but nothing like crossovers. It threw a bunch of athletes off guard. They didn’t have the correct ropes with them. They had no idea what to do. I feel like a lot of them have been focusing on that. I don’t know if I can see them making it more challenging. I don’t think they’ll do backward ones. They could do backward singles, but I don’t see it progressing from the double cross.

What happens if they can’t do it?

You don’t get the rep. You’re stumped. I know a lot of great athletes in quarterfinals that there were just single crosses and not doubles. They were great athletes, but that one workout stumped them. They could not get it. A lot of them cost them a semifinal spot.

I feel like I know what a crossover is.Jump Rope Champion Mira Wate and US Army Warrior Fitness Team Athlete SPC Ava Georg on The Jedburgh Podcast

A double under is two times under your feet with one jump. A double cross goes under and then crosses in one jump. It’s a double under but with a cross but one of them is a cross.

It is consecutive.

As I go up into the air, is it going to land straight cross?

A lot of people overthink it. You got to go for it. Everyone can do double unders. It’s a little cross.

Mira, one of the things you’re doing with jump rope is bringing it into the corporate space. We were talking about different corporate events you’re hosting. Talk a bit about that. Why is it being thought of in the corporate space, and what are you doing for companies and organizations that want to bring you in?

I also do show performances. I present the sport of jump rope at different companies. I’ve been doing team building for Nike. I was working with Fila, Mary Kay, and many different companies. It’s beneficial to give an option for team building because you can achieve things alone, but you can also go and partner in a big group. For the show performance, it is to see what’s possible with the jump rope. That’s interesting for the people and companies to see.

Is this like a day or half a day? How long is the course in the program?

It depends. When it’s a company, they’re normal people and mostly not athletes. They’re people who have to go there all day. They’re like, “I need to go here because my company brings me here.” When they’re there, it’s beneficial. It depends on the company, but sometimes I only go for twenty minutes. Most of the time, it is 1 to 2 hours. You can split it up. You can be creative. You can put names on the ground with your rope and make that a challenge. You don’t have to jump consistently. There are a lot of options on what you can do to motivate people through a rope. The rope is the connection.Jump Rope Champion Mira Wate and US Army Warrior Fitness Team Athlete SPC Ava Georg on The Jedburgh Podcast

What have you seen in international competition for jump rope?

It’s interesting to see how fast it’s growing and the success level, how high it is. You can see quadruples and quince. Not only jumping high ones and rotating the rope under your feet five times without stopping. You can also see it under your leg and behind your back, crossing. It’s intense. That’s freestyle. Every skill has a different level.

I’m excited to see a little bit more in practice with you guys.

You don’t see me doing any flips.

We can do something together.

Ava, let’s talk about the Warrior Fitness Team. You were involved with jump rope early on as a kid growing up. Why come into the Army?Jump Rope Champion Mira Wate and US Army Warrior Fitness Team Athlete SPC Ava Georg on The Jedburgh Podcast

I joined the Army when I was seventeen. I was in high school. I mainly joined because I wanted help with college. I did CrossFit. I started when I was fifteen. It almost motivated me to pick the job that I picked, which is 11B. I said to my recruiter, “I want a tough job.” He was like, “Okay, 11B.” I’m like, “Maybe this wasn’t as tough as I thought.” It was fun.

I went away for training and came back. Prior to leaving, I’m like, “My CrossFit is over. I’m going to go to training. I am going to get less fit.” I’m not doing CrossFit for X amount of months. My CrossFit dreams are ending. I came back home and did better than the prior year in the quarterfinals before leaving. I was like, “It’s back. I can do this.”

How did you improve?

I had zero idea. All my lifts went down to 40%. It was bad. I remember getting back. I was heavier than when I left. I’m 15 pounds heavier. I was not as strong, and it was bad. I was like, “There’s no way I am bouncing back from this.” I did better. I was like, “I’m doing this.” I tried out for the team a few months after getting home from training. I didn’t do that great. I did a competition several months later. I made a huge, drastic change, better than I was before I even left. Sydney was at the competition that I did. That’s when she was like, “I want her to do Wodapalooza with me.” That’s how I got on the team. They were like, “Do you want to do Wodapalooza with us?” I’m like, “Yes.”

That’s where we first met you.

That was the first thing I did with the team.

We knew you were the new one. If you go back and watch the little piece we did, we’re like, “That’s the new one.”

I was new. All of them looked at me. I was like, “Be normal, please.”

That was the first time you got to combine your CrossFit.

Looking back, I’m like, “I would’ve never seen myself being able to combine the both of them.” I’m mind-blown every day. It’s a dream. I’m glad that I stuck with it. There’s a moment where I was like, “I don’t know if I want to do this Army thing anymore. I’m giving all my CrossFit up.” Now I’m glad I did it.Jump Rope Champion Mira Wate and US Army Warrior Fitness Team Athlete SPC Ava Georg on The Jedburgh Podcast

I love that, when you were feeling out of shape, you still threw yourself into the mix of competition.

I was like, “We’ll see where I’m at. I’m as fit as I am right now, I might as well test it.

Why do you think it’s important to enter yourself into challenges that may seem too big or you feel unprepared?

I feel like I like to be super real with myself. We can tell ourselves that we’re good or bad. It validates where you are instead of being in your head like, “I’m good.” You don’t know if you’re good or bad unless you pin yourself up against some competition. I like to test where I’m at and see where I need to grow.Jump Rope Champion Mira Wate and US Army Warrior Fitness Team Athlete SPC Ava Georg on The Jedburgh Podcast

Sometimes, you pleasantly surprise yourself and build confidence.

I was like, “I can do this.”

That opened opportunities for your dream job.

What’s next for you in terms of competition?

I have Iron Games coming up in Cedar City, Utah.

What is Iron Games?

It’s a CrossFit competition, but I’m not sure who runs it. A lot of people at the gym I go to, go to it every year since I moved to Vegas to train with Underdogs Athletics. They all do it. They’re like, “You should do it. This can be your off-season comp to see where you’re at.” The last comp I did was quarterfinals to see with the season, and that’s where it ended.

How does it work being on the Warrior Fit team? What are your Army responsibilities? Are you training in CrossFit full-time?Jump Rope Champion Mira Wate and US Army Warrior Fitness Team Athlete SPC Ava Georg on The Jedburgh Podcast

I’m a National Guard. I live wherever I want to live and wherever my unit is. They will TDY me to events.

What’s TDY? What what does it mean?

Temporary Duty. I forgot the Y. I think that’s the end of duty. It’s when you send somebody somewhere for a short amount of time.

I’m an at-large athlete. That means I’m not at Fort Knox on the team, but I’m a part of the team in a support role. They’re like, “We’re going to send you to the games to support us through the team.” They TDY me here to help and be on the team. If I do a competition, I’ll be like, “I want to go to this competition.” They’ll be like, “We’ll send you there. You represent the Army team.” In Wodapalooza, they sent all three of us there to represent the Army team.

It’s not a bad job in the Army.

That is the goal. People who are full-time at Knox have their jobs in the Army, but they’re on special orders to be on the team. Their job every day is to show up to the gym at Fort Knox and train CrossFit.

Let’s be biased for a second. We’ll talk about Be All You Can Be. The Army reintroduced Be All You Can Be. When we talk about what you’re doing, you started in athletics as a kid. You wanted to train in CrossFit since you were fifteen years old. You competitively did jump rope. You made the decision, “I want to go to the Army so that I can get money for college.” It’s a common reason for people to come into the Army. You made the right choice by choosing Infantry. I was in the Infantry for several years before I went to SF. You learn a lot in the Infantry. You learn a lot about yourself and being part of a team. You do a lot of hard stuff. Sometimes, it should be harder.

Sometimes, you’re like, “What am I doing here?”

There are some tough days in there that make you a better person. What the Army has allowed you to do is pursue your dreams. The Army has said, “You want to be something else than what you may have come in here to be. Go forth and do that.”Jump Rope Champion Mira Wate and US Army Warrior Fitness Team Athlete SPC Ava Georg on The Jedburgh Podcast

I know a lot of people in the Army and they hate it. I’m like, “Are you doing anything to get closer to the goals you have outside of that?” They’re like, “No.” I’m like, “There are many opportunities. You have to find it.”

How do you find them?

I ask people. A lot of people are afraid to ask. I feel like you need to ask, “What is this team? How do I get on that team? What do I need to do to pursue that?” A lot of people see it, and they’re like, “They’re not going to take me. There’s no point.” It leaves more room for other people.

You got to find an opportunity. Ask about it. I had an opportunity. I lived in Germany. Mira is from Frankfurt. I lived in Stuttgart for a year. It was one of the most eye-opening experiences I ever had. It was awesome because you go to a place that’s central in Europe. You’re there for a year, and you’re exposed to not only that culture but all the rest of Europe.

When I was there, it was a great opportunity because I worked at Special Operations Command Africa. I spent two weeks a month in Africa, and the other time, I was in Germany. I was a general’s aide. I didn’t have the weekends off, but I had a little bit of time to explore and do things. I get to go all over Europe in a short drive. You get to go all over to different places in Germany. You get these opportunities.

Mira, what do you expect out of the games over the next couple of days? It’s ramping up now. In the first couple of days, we had Don Faul on. A little while ago, Jessie and I sat down with him. He’s the CrossFit CEO, and we talked about how it’s officially day 3 of the games but day 1 for the individuals and the teams. It’s about to start ramping up. It’s on ESPN. It returns to ESPN for the games. What do you expect over the next couple of days?

CrossFit is massive in the US. We got one athlete from Germany. I’d love to see him in the finals. That would be a cool thing. In general, I want to be amazed by everybody pushing through it, giving their best, and being motivated. I get a lot from the athletes. Although you’re not competing yourself, you see how hard it is, and you can do everything if you want it. I’m excited to see more of what’s coming.

[bctt tweet=”You can do everything if you really want it.” username=”talentwargroup”]

Thanks, guys, for joining us. Now, we’re going to put it to the test.

Thank you for having us.Jump Rope Champion Mira Wate and US Army Warrior Fitness Team Athlete SPC Ava Georg on The Jedburgh Podcast

Push beyond your limits and make it happen.


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