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Monday, November 2, 2009

Mission Bay 'Jump Man' a Fit Fixture

Posted By on Mon, Nov 2, 2009 at 8:30 AM

click to enlarge Chris "Jump Man" "Wilson - JOE ESKENAZI
  • Joe Eskenazi
  • Chris "Jump Man" "Wilson
It takes a lot to get noticed in this city, be it leaping out from behind a bush to carrying a sign related to 12 galaxies. But if you do anything for an hour a day, five days a week, for a year -- pretty soon people will start watching you. And that's the case with Chris Wilson, the "Jump Man of Mission Bay."

Wilson is a tall, whippet-thin man of 42 -- though he looks far younger, largely because he's so incredibly fit. And he's so incredibly fit because of just what it is he's doing five days a week for an hour at a spell -- jumping.

While jumping rope is, for most folks, a sepia-toned memory of simpler

days or something you see boxers doing in old Cassius Clay-era footage,

it's very much Wilson's present. Just about every working day of the

week, he whips up and down with remarkable speed and agility in one of

AT&T Park's overflow parking lots while using an exaggeratedly long

rope.

Wilson laughed and shook his head when asked to estimate how many

jumps he does a day -- but we will. Since he really does seem to be

jumping for about 55 of every 60 minutes he's out there, and since two

jumps a second seems to be a fair estimation, Wilson might be

registering around 6,600 jumps. If he's propelling himself a

conservative three inches per jump, that's 1,650 feet of jumping per

lunch break.

Of course Wilson, a resident of the Richmond District and graduate of George Washington High who works as a facility coordinator at Second and Folsom, isn't able to jump like that on his own. He's usually in an '80s-induced trance thanks to the pumping beats from his headphones: Mr. Mister, Duran Duran, and the Pet Shop Boys.

An empty parking lot in Mission Bay isn't the most aesthetically pleasing locale, but it suits Wilson fine. "There's all this sun and a lot of open space," he says. What could be better?

At that point we let Wilson get on with his jumps. You can't leap a quarter of a mile a day if you stand around talking to just anyone.


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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Bio:
Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more

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