How did I get here? Balancing chairs on my chin. Juggling numbers – more than 3 objects at a time. Clubs. Rings. Chairs on my chin. Chairs on poles on my chin. The diablo – or Chinese Yo-Yo. Then there was the balancing experiment that went bad – really, really bad.
Here’s my story…
I decided to buy a book, in the 9th grade, that came with the small square beanbags and started practicing. Wow is learning to juggle frustrating. But eventually I got the hang of it. With my simple mind it became mesmerizing to see the objects flying around in various patterns.
Later in life, while living in Florence, AL. I met a guy that was really into the circus arts, which is the genre that juggling falls under. He even had a real elephant ball – those huge balls elephants walk on! What? Who owns one of those? He did!
Once a year he would hold a juggling convention in a gymnasium on the campus of the University of North Alabama. After attending. I had to go to the next level – if he can do that trick so can I! I was amazed to see a man juggling 7 balls, flawlessly! I asked how he ever learned to do that? I was told that he had been in prison and had a lot of time on his hands – true story.
My fascination with the circus arts would continue to grow over the years. It would, and still does, come and go. I will set it aside for long periods of time then try to learn a new trick. Somewhere I got interested in balancing objects in my hand, on a finger and on my chin. It’s kinda like much of my life, I just wondered if I could do it – like my ultra running.
After a lot of practice (which you’d never guess watching me juggle) I was able to juggle one handed, do spins while juggling, do various 3 ball tricks, 4 ball tricks (still working on these) juggle clubs, rings, and spin and toss the diablo.
I was able to learn how to balance shovels, rakes, brooms, and clubs in/on hand, finger, chin etc…
But what about the balancing experiment that went really, really bad? That had everything to do with my daughter’s bicycle. Here was my thinking process… If I could balance a broom on my chin then the next logical step, in my way of thinking, is can I do a bicycle? Makes sense, right? Well the first few attempts didn’t go well. First and foremost, a bicycle is HEAVY! I managed to lift it to my chin but was VERY wobbly and made my neck hurt. Imagine that! Then on my last ever (never say never) attempt the bicycle slipped off my chin, the sharp shiny sprocket narrowly missing my chin. Reality set in – this could end really, really bad and for what? In reality, nobody gives a rip if you can balance a bike on your chin. Better yet, you probably shouldn’t even tell anyone that you tried it.
Haven’t practiced much balancing lately and it would start out as a “watch dis” and would start sketchy and end terribly. Periodically I get the urge to try something new related to balancing. But I still learn new juggling tricks.
If you’ve ever wanted to juggle give it a try. It’s been a longtime joy in my life and it might be in yours! Just get on youtube.com and go forever.
Another crazy life experiment that started in the 9th grade continues to thrill me!