A couple weeks ago, when I turned 25, I made a goal: In my 25th year on this planet I would achieve 50 catches with 5 clubs.
“Enough monkey-ing around,” I said to myself. “Stop being a wuss. If you’re a real juggler, prove it!”
I’ve been able to flash 5 clubs for about four years now, but for some reason I haven’t been able to get past a lucky 20 catches. Sure, I had to join the workforce and give up practicing every day. Sure, I got married which stole time away from juggling. Sure, I have plenty of excuses, but the fact is that I felt like I had plateaued as a juggler, that I had lost the ability to learn new things. That’s why, on my 25th birthday I put a stake in the ground and declared that I would achieve something–or else.
The following few days I put some good practice time in but didn’t see a ton of progress. I soon wondered if I would ever achieve this goal and what would happen if I couldn’t. Would it be time to put my juggling stuff away in an old trunk in the garage and reminisce for the rest of my life about the old days when I dabbled in juggling?
Then, last night, a breakthrough!
I was at my parents house for a Chargers/Patriots game and for some reason my dad had hooked up a TV outside in his backyard. I took advantage of being outside and started practicing with my clubs. I warmed up for a while and then out of nowhere it came: 50 perfect throws and 50 steady catches. What I thought wouldn’t happen for months and months, what I’ve tried to do for five years–happened.
I did it.
The odd but cool thing was that it felt just like the first time I did a successful under-the-leg catch with three balls when I was 12. It felt just like it did when I performed in front of an audience for the first time. It felt good. And it helped me remember why I juggle.