Thursday, 29 May, 2003
When I was filling in for the night computer operator at the bank where I worked, I taught myself to juggle. This would have been the summer of 1984. Since then, I've practiced off and on, and even showed a few friends how, but all I've known are the most basic moves. There's a lot more to juggling than the basic 3-ball cascade. I recently became acquainted with the folks at the Texas Juggling Society, who meet down by the University of Texas campus every Thursday for three hours of juggling followed by pizza and beer at a local hangout. They're a great group of people, friendly, and willing to share their knowledge. I've gone to the last four meetings, and have picked up a half dozen new patterns and seen plenty of things to keep me busy for a long time. (I suppose "meeting" is a bit strong. This isn't an organization with membership, dues, officers, agendas, and all that. All we do is get together, socialize, and juggle. It's my kind of club.)
If you want to get started juggling, show up at a local club and somebody will be happy to show you the basics. If you can't find a club in your area, find a book called Juggling for the Complete Klutz. It has everything you need to master the 3-ball cascade, and even comes with a set of beanbags. Be prepared to spend a little time with it, but don't get discouraged. Just about anybody can learn to juggle. It's fun, it's entertaining, and it's deep and wide enough to keep your interest for years. As an added benefit, 30 or 45 minutes of juggling even counts as "moderate exercise." Especially when you're first learning and chasing the balls all over the living room.