I can’t remember how it all started. It may have began a few years back after Thanksgiving lunch. I remember everyone else was sluggish because they’d had a huge meal, but I was filled with energy because I was vegan at the time and had eaten fruit salad for lunch. Actually I don’t think that’s when it all began.
I really don’t remember a specific moment when I began learning, but I do remember where a surprising amount of my skill development began. The classroom was my inspiration to practice, but I’m not talking about reviewing multiplication tables. I’m referring to juggling.
I’ve always found school extremely boring so during my freshmen year of high school I began practicing to juggle in a particularly boring English class. I’d had enough of listening to my reacher rant about Zeus and Odysseus so whenever she’d turn her back to write on the chalkboard I’d grab my tennis balls and make a few throws. At first I’d often drop and I couldn’t tell you how many times I got my balls confiscated by her ;)
Juggling had finally given me a little excitement in school. Soon I was practicing during class, between my classes, and even during lunch. Juggling definitely didn’t make me popular, but man did I get good at it.
Within a month I was already learning four balls and I loved juggling so much that I’d often practice 4-6 hours per day! After about a year or so my wrists could no longer take the repetitive stress from 6 hours of throwing per day so in late 2012 I had to cut back to “only” two hours of practice per day. I’ve maintained that practice routine since and I estimate that over the years I’ve invested almost 3,000 hours into juggling.
That’s probably the question you’re wondering now. Why would anyone ever invest thousands of hours of their life into such a strange hobby? I sometimes ask myself the same question ;)
In the beginning I juggled simply because I found it fun. There was nothing else to it. I wasn’t making money from it, or trying to impress people with my new skills (ok maybe I was at first, but I quickly learned juggling doesn’t work on girls). I juggled primarily because I enjoyed the learning process practicing allowed me to engage in.
That’s why I continue to juggle today. Although juggling is not as stimulating to me as it once was it’s still something I thoroughly enjoy because it helps me fulfill one of my fundamental needs as a human being. Juggling allows me to realize the need to grow.
Regardless of how you’re attempting to grow and develop yourself there’s nothing more fulfilling than seeing yourself slowly progress each day. That’s what juggling represents to me. It’s a path to mastery and by consistently showing up to strive for improvement everyday I’ve built up a considerable amount of discipline and resilience in the process.
Of course, there’s other benefits of learning to juggle as well. It’s a light form of cardiovascular exercise, it’s a “cool” party trick, many people find the repetitiveness of juggling meditative and good for alleviating stress, and it’s fun enough that you’ll actually do it and be able to reap these benefits!
Now, I’m not saying everyone needs to drop what they’re doing and start juggling (hmmm... that was pretty witty though). All I’m saying is that if you haven’t found a path to mastery for yourself why not give juggling a shot? Or, alternatively if you already have a passion project you’re working on juggling could be a fun little diversion for you to recover from the seriousness and exhausting energy exertion that often accompanies pursuing your goals.
With the thousands of hours I’ve invested into juggling the past few years of my life it’s been difficult for me not to write a post about it, but I’ve tried to avoid talking about juggling here because the focus of this blog has always been self-improvement. However, like I’ve said, juggling had played a huge role in my personal development and it’s not inconceivable that it could contribute to yours as well. If juggling doesn’t change your life it’ll at least be a silly hobby to help you recover from the daily grind.
That’s why I’ve recently gone through the effort of creating an online course teaching others how to juggle. I’ve taken everything I’ve learned about juggling over the years, and created a package of 30+ videos that guides you from being a complete beginner learning how to juggle 3 balls, to stringing together the two dozen tricks you learned throughout the course in an engaging routine to entertain an audience.
I get that you don’t often get sold products on juggling, but that’s exactly why I made my course. I think juggling represents a fun activity that teaches you how to learn and I want you to be able to enjoy some of the same benefits I’ve gained in learning how to juggle (regardless of if you ever decide to perform).
Anyway, if I've gotten you interested in learning how to juggle and you'd like to support me (and help cover the blog’s hosting costs) you can find my new juggling course here. I’m selling it for $39, but as a thank you for reading my blog you can get it 50% off using the coupon code “BLOGLOVE."
P.S. If you'd like to see me take someone else through the process of learning to juggle (and use the same steps to be juggling within an hour!) check out my recent guest post on Connor Grooms' blog.