NEW YORK (FOX 56/WKYT) – Most people march in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, but one University of Kentucky student jump roped.
UK senior Rachel Yarano represented the commonwealth in the Jumpers United for the Macy’s Parade group, successfully hopping her way down the nearly three-mile parade route Thursday morning.
“I’m still trying to process everything that happened. It happened so fast,” Yarano said.
The UK senior trained solo for months leading up to this day— a day she said nearly didn’t happen.
“I was almost a little bit hesitant to take the opportunity because there was a lot of personal things going on in my life during that time,” Yarano said.
Yarano said she was encouraged by friends and made the choice to train, then fly to New York City.
“We’ve had two mandatory practices. Each day we jumped all day long, it was nonstop,” Yarano said. “Actually yesterday, the day before the parade we changed the routine!”
Then, it was finally showtime.
“Hearing people scream on every single side saying, ‘jump, jump, jump!’ People were in the windows,” Yarano said.
In regular parade fashion, bigger-than-life balloons trailed behind her.
“I was trying to smile through the mask and share that joy, share that love with people saying, ‘Happy Thanksgiving,’” Yarano said.
She said she didn’t trip up.
“God is good, he’s going to be there to push me along the whole way and he definitely did,” Yarano said.
The routine involved rows of jumpers all in synch.
“Before we went out for the parade, as we were standing on a street, there was a little girl that asked to jump rope with us and she started jumping rope with us and wouldn’t stop, she wouldn’t put down the rope,” Yarano said.
It shows they’re not only athletes but role models now, too.
“As soon as we walked off the carpet, I said, ‘We’re doing this again. This is not the last time,’” Yarano said.
Yarano said she and her family are exploring the Big Apple for the rest of the holiday weekend. She said she hopes to jump rope in the Macy’s Parade again soon.