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In my previous posting, I was following the rabbit hole of an exercise equipment supply chain. Specifically the scenario of "Only a couple of different product variations over several dozen brand names, that is all clearly coming from the same supply chain."

Folks, there is a whole world of possibility, here.

Thinking about it more, I need to find a set of other exercise equipment that meets the same criteria, and then do some Steampunky old-timey thing like "Dr. McGillicudy's Devices of Vigor", complete with ornate scrollwork in the logo and everything.

For example:
Speed Rope: "Dr. McGillicudy's Rope of Velocity"
Wobble Board: "Dr. McGillicudy's Disc of Stability"
Wrist Supports: "Dr. McGillicudy's Stalwart Bracers"

Heck, if you're really good and can sacrifice a little bit of margin, you include a piece of paper in each one giving the story of how Dr. Elias McGillicudy DISCOVERED this MAGNIFICENT DEVICE and how it will help you BUILD YOURSELF INTO A TOWER OF HUMAN STRENGTH WITH THE LITHENESS OF A JUNGLE CAT!

Every now and then, I'm convinced that my inner child has an inner lemonade stand, with a healthy inner balance sheet and inner cashflow statement.
mangosteen: (Default)
I've been doing Tae Kwon Do for about 14 months now. There are a ton of rabbit holes to go down in talking about this, but right now I'm going to focus on approximately one thing, because that's how any of this will get written at all.

For decades, as I had slipped into a more and more sedentary lifestyle, I gradually limited my range of motion to avoid injury. One of the first things to go was the ability/desire to jump; as in "two feet on the ground, spring up, catch air, land". My glutes and hamstrings weren't strong enough to keep me upright under extraordinary load, so I landed straight-legged, jamming my knees. That lesson quickly learned, I stopped jumping except when it was unavoidable, and even then it was more of a controlled stumble.

Fast forward to roughly now. TKD has been going really well, I've been re-learning how to move in my body, and the next belt test requires moves that, well, they'll go a lot better if I can actually jump. Undaunted, your narrator forges ahead with (re)learning how to jump. Supporting my weight through my muscles, fighting the urge to land on my joints, and generally (re)learning how to move.

One of the other steps on the my long journey to physical fitness is general cardio conditioning. Straight-up endurance and not having muscles that go into debt faster than a college kid with their first credit card.*

You know what's a good cardio exercise which requires minimal equipment, minimal space, and varied choosable intensity? Jumping rope. I shouldn't be surprised at how much effort goes into jumping over a rope a couple of times a second, but yet there I was, huffing and puffing and trying to stay vertical after jumping over a rope a dozen or so times.

Well, jumping over something. It wasn't exactly a rope. It was a plastic-coated steel cable, with set-screws to control the length of the cable, and ball-bearings embedded in the handles for your wrist-flicking pleasure. Technology has advanced a bit, evidently. Curious about this phenomenon, I go to Amazon and search for "speed rope cross".**

Go ahead. Do it. I'll wait.

What you'll find very quickly is that there are dozens offered that differ only in two real ways:
a) The type of ball bearing in the handle, of which there are two primary styles
b) The brand name printed on the handles... and there are dozens of different brand names

It didn't take long to figure out what happened. Everyone sources from the same two (probably Chinese) manufacturers, there's a couple of different variations, they buy at least 200 of them to fulfill the minimum order, and then they drop-ship them to Amazon (i.e. "Fulfilled By Amazon") for further sale. I must admit, I'm rather tempted to try this stunt myself, complete with Crossfit-compatible hyper-macho brand name***, if there's a positive margin at all, just for humor value.

So, yes. Jumping rope. Good for you, and mass-customized.

* ...and the free frisbee that came with it.
** I recalled 'cross' being somewhere in the brand name of the one that I borrowed.
*** Just not too many numbers... that's more of a Tactical Flashlight thing.


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Elias K. Mangosteen

September 2017

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