It’s time for me to do a few entries about yet another hobby. This time, it’s juggling! I was first taught some basic juggling patterns in elementary school as part of our physical education/recess time. It was a really neat and fun segment, and I wish there had been more like it. We were taught basic 3-ball cascade patterns in various forms. There were “stations” in our gymnasium to help break up the class into smaller groups and to keep our interest and attention. There was a bounce juggling section, where we took red dodge-balls and bounced them in a pattern on the floor and wall. There was also a black light installed in the storage room. Once you figured out how to juggle three scarves well enough, they’d let a small group try it in the dark with the black light to make the scarves glow. I’m sure there were some other things, but that’s all I remember. I think that was the only time I did anything with juggling through school.
I kept up with that basic juggling pattern though. It appealed to my “I don’t like sitting in one spot doing nothing for too long, and it blows off nervous energy, too” side. Sadly, it never occurred to me to actually learn more. It probably sounds silly, but I’m not sure if I really realized just what else there was with juggling, and although I would still juggle three items off and on until after high school, I guess I didn’t think I had the interest to bother trying more tricks.
After I graduated, I met my husband Christopher through a comic book company (he wrote, I did art) and somehow I heard he juggled. He told me he had been to a juggling club in the area and that got my attention. I got excited, wondering if he knew any other tricks — which he did, of course — and I asked him if he’d be willing to teach me some of them. I guess I was finally bored with the one pattern I knew and decided to take advantage of meeting someone very nice, patient, and willing to teach me. We went to parks constantly, juggling together, and he even bought me a gift: a large, blue contact juggling ball (blue is my favorite color). We started dating fairly quickly (and knew almost immediately that we wanted to get married), and it seemed like we spent every minute of our free time together juggling. I still had trouble getting some tricks down, but I kept trying.
Eventually, we spent less and less time juggling until we hardly ever practiced at all. I mostly felt terrible for Christopher, because he had been juggling since he was 12 and was much better than my awkward attempts. We became rusty and started slipping on our skill levels. Every time we tried to make an effort to get back to practicing, something would come up. One of those times, I was so close to getting two tricks I swore I would learn (Mill’s Mess and club chops) and Christopher was sent away to Atlanta on business for two months. That was the first time we had ever been apart. Needless to say, neither of us juggled during that time (I did try, but didn’t enjoy juggling by myself). It seemed like once he was back, the minute we’d mention juggling, rumors of anther business trip would come up. I admit, I got a little paranoid (which is silly, but still… I was tired of making plans — any of them — only to have to cancel them because of something coming up like that). Besides, as much as I enjoyed juggling, it wasn’t my favorite hobby. I had others that if I had to choose, would get more of my attention. We both had plenty we could be doing, so we didn’t try as hard as we probably could have to ensure we could squeeze in even a little juggling practice.
Still, I knew Christopher should have never stopped juggling regularly, and I missed it as well. With the layoff giving him a lot of extra time, we’ve started making more time for juggling again, and it’s been fun. We’re hoping to try to keep it a part of our lives in some way. We might not spend every moment together juggling like we used to, but we definitely shouldn’t let it fall away like that again. Besides, I still have more tricks to learn!