Shaylene Haswarey is a Muslim mom from Oregon. After raising her five children past the toddler phase she wanted to invest time and energy into a passion she had since before Kindergarten. That passion is jumping rope and she has been practicing it as a sport for 26 years. When she moved to Oregon with her husband and kids, she noticed that there weren’t many jump rope teams on the West Coast. She had been on her school’s speed team in Idaho and was a very competitive jumper. She began to think there was a niche for her favorite sport in her new home town.
At her kids’ elementary school, there were several after school sport activities, and Shaylene asked if she could teach a jump rope class. The class was so successful that she decided to start a business around her passion. She named her company “Jump Again! Reintroducing Jump Rope to the 21st Century”.
Shaylene currently teaches during fall, winter, and spring. She takes the summer months off so she can spend time with her own kids during vacation. Each of Shaylene’s sessions has six one-hour classes where schoolchildren learn basic jump roping, jump rope tricks, double dutch, speed jumping, jump rope games, and jump rope dance routines.
On average, she spends three to five hours a week on her business, but the beginning of the season is uncommonly busy with phone calls and planning since she runs the business completely on her own. “Once the classes start,” she says, “teaching them is fun and not stressful.”
As can be seen on this YouTube video Shaylene can do some very impressive moves with the jump rope. Since she leads her classes fully covered and wearing a hijab, she is representing Islam for a whole generation of youngsters.
“I love knowing that when the kids get older, there is a possibility they’ll remember me,” she says. “If anyone says anything weird about Islam, I’m hoping they’ll reply, ‘My jump rope teacher was Muslim, and I loved her.’”
While adults have frequently asked Shaylene to teach classes for them, right now she wants to stick with teaching kids because she enjoys the silliness and fun. However, she believes that “the possibilities of expansion are endless, insha’Allah.” Anyone interested in booking jump rope classes in the Oregon area can contact her by e-mail at [email protected]
The money that she earns has been an added bonus. “The more students who sign up, the more money I can get,” she says. “After I pay the gym fees, I get to pocket everything else, and it’s a great extra source of income, mashaAllah. I admit most of my money goes for my kids, but I feel so good about it. As for myself, if I want to buy a fancy dress, a nice pair of shoes, or a cute pair of ripped jeans, I don’t have to worry about my family budget.”
Shaylene is the author of the book The Hijabi Club which is a novel about the lives of Yasmeen and Josephine, two American Muslim teenage girls in Orange County, California.