VivTown, Population: 1

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Sunday, July 29, 2007

Juggling is Good For You


I’ve been in a delicious state of beginner-ness this past week as I’ve been teaching myself how to juggle. I’ve managed to get to the point where I can juggle 6 tosses in a row. After six tosses something happens: my brain freezes up and the entire operation falls apart. Once or twice I’ve done 8 or 9 tosses in a row and was amazed and exhilerated by the figure 8 pattern that I could see in front of my eyes as I forgot my hands and the hard brain work of left-toss, right-toss, left-toss, right-toss and just moved into the juggling zone — a beautiful Newtonian place where objects and gravity do an arc-shaped dance. Both times that I’ve accomplished 8 or 9 tosses, I’ve been listening to music.

I am fascinated by the fact that when I practice juggling while listening to music I am 10x more successful than when I don’t. Juggling to music somehow helps my brain and body to synch up — or it helps me to stop thinking about what I’m doing and just do it. It’s clear to me that juggling is a “brainy” activity; the left and right hands and both eyes are engaged all at once in an exercise of rhythm and pattern-making. I swear I can feel the growth of all that new grey matter.

Whatever the health benefits — and there are many — of juggling, that’s not the reason I decided I wanted to learn how to juggle. I just wanted to be able to do it — to impress and entertain my kids — to impress myself! Soon, I hope to join all the jugglers of the ages — tossing balls in the air, making patterns, playing for the sake of play.

posted by viv at 5:26 am  

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