The other day we were at Terry Trueblood Recreation Area mainly to see how juggling goes outdoors for me. We filmed the event for posterity.
It turns out that “wings” had a lot to do with it. I juggled next to Hilde DeBruyn’s sculpture “Winds of Change.” It’s my favorite sculpture, although the winds of change are dictating that the Iowa City Parks Dept. is again going to accept new sculptures for this year which will replace all of those currently on display.
Wings figured in a different way and you can tell by how I react to the bugs flying around. We picked a nice spring day when all the winged insects were buzzing around in my face.
The level of juggling difficulty goes way up when gnats are zipping up my nose, my ears, my mouth, etc.
I just got a new eyeglass prescription a few days ago. I figured a year was long enough to wait after my surgery for an acute on chronic retinal detachment of my right eye. My vision in that eye has changed quite a bit, but I think new glasses will help a lot.
My old pair of eyeglasses is pretty beat up. Juggling has not helped. I’ve knocked them off my head a couple of times lately. That has not helped the poor fit.
I’m also practicing a new juggling trick called the claw. The throw and catch techniques are very different. You have to claw catch the balls from the top. I end up slamming them on the floor or off my groin. Juggling takes dedication and sacrifice—but there’s a limit.
I think I need safety equipment. I’ll be getting new eyeglasses, but it might be a good idea to get a pair of safety glasses. I just happen to have an old pair of plastic safety glasses from the time Sena bought me a battery-powered pole saw for tree trimming in the back yard a few years ago. Talk about safety. It takes at least as much agility and coordination to dodge a heavy falling tree limb as it does to dodge a juggling ball.
The claw trick puts a vicious spin on the ball and it can fly anywhere at meteoric speed. Controlling the arc and direction to fit the cascade pattern is quite a challenge. Balls frequently ricochet off each other, which is why I don’t drink my coffee during juggling practice. Practicing the claw reminds me that juggling is great exercise. I’m flying all over the place, lunging, leaning, and ducking.
Sena has been letting her juggling balls take a nap lately. The reason is that she has been very busy in her garden. The balls are either on the floor where she drops them—or placed neatly on a footstool.
I left my assistant coach to encourage her to practice. Unfortunately, he’s been sleeping on the job.
However, last night she practiced because I could hear balls dropping!
I found another juggling trick I might be able to handle. It’s the claw catch. I saw a number of YouTube demonstrations. As usual, I tend to confuse them.
I slapped the balls down instead of catching them. And I think I’m going to need safety goggles or just quit wearing my eyeglasses when I juggle. I miss a few throws and the ones I do get look pretty wild. That’s how I get my exercise.
The claw catch really does look better if you use both left- and right-hand throws. I hope my left shoulder holds up. Being ambidextrous will help me do continuous right and left claw catches—maybe.
This is a progress report on Sena’s progress in juggling. She has been dedicated to practicing 2 or 3 minutes every other day. Frankly, she does more than that on some days.
She has been trying to move up to doing a 4-ball toss and catch. She thought she got it yesterday, and for a while so did I, even as I filmed it. The practice routine is to toss the balls 1-2-3-4 and catch. We thought she nailed it.
Then I looked at the video clips in slow motion. She wasn’t getting to 4 but she was getting to 3 more consistently. And part of what fooled us is that she’s now beginning to be ambidextrous. She can start the cascade from both her right and left side now!
Sena suggests I change the title of my YouTube section on juggling. As of yesterday, I changed it from Ugly Juggling to Ordinary Juggling. This distinguishes it from all the jugglers from whose videos I learn so much. They are extraordinary.