Mission Bay 'Jump Man' a Fit Fixture

Categories: Local News
JumpMan 005.jpg
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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