My Sister-in-Law was visiting one day and she shared a video of a guy juggling. We were both so impressed we decided to learn to juggle. In the video the guy said it takes about 3 hours to teach a child to juggle 3 balls. It took me 6 months.
Every single day for hours a day I tried to learn how to juggle. I’m surprised I didn’t throw out my back with all the balls I had to pick up. Once I finally made my initial goal of being able to juggle three balls. My next goal was to increase my time. At this point, I went from juggling cheap hacky sacks from the dollar store to some nice leather juggling balls. Things seemed to go better from here.
I was able to juggle straight for a good twenty minutes. Some nights I would juggle through whatever we were watching on TV. I sat for a bit and juggled, stood for a bit and juggled, walked to the kitchen and juggled. I walked back to the TV room and juggled. I’m not sure when I gave up juggling but every few months I will take out the balls to see if I still can.
Intermission.... Yep, I can still do it.
It took a few false starts to get going. My form definitely is not as good as it used to be. But the neuro pathway I built is still there. And I know I reinforced it again by picking up the balls and juggling them.
Here’s why I liked juggling so much. It involves hand eye coordination (obviously). But mostly peripheral vision and working outside your peripheral vision. Half the time I was catching the ball and I couldn’t even see the ball. You get a feeling for where the ball is going even if it is going in the wrong spot. Your hand reaches out to grab it. Juggling builds arms strength. It looks like it would be a passive action. But in the few minutes I was just testing myself I taxed my biceps and shoulders.
Juggling is really an amazing act. You have 3 balls, two arms, two hands, and two eyes that have to coordinate and work together. No wonder it took me six months. At the time, I felt juggling made a huge improvement in my overall health both mentally and physically. I’m grateful for the time I spent juggling.
I highly recommend learning to juggle. I could not find the phenomenal video that inspired my journey. The Learn to Juggle Video by Taylor Glenn is very useful. I wish I had this one when I started.
If you need some balls I recommend Higgins but Amazon has many to choose from different retailers. (Get juggling balls from Amazon.ca or Amazon.com). Or you could just do what I did and start with cheap hacky sacks from the dollar store.
The hardest part will be not becoming frustrated. Remember, you are building new neural pathways, it takes time and repetition. All the bad will eventually reinforce the good. If you drop the balls, take a deep breath, pick them up and start again.