Winter is officially here

Now that winter is officially here with all its challenges and positives, I keep thinking of the how different it was when I joggled during the summer and its own unique challenges.

I joggled many times around this lake during the summer. This photo was taken in the Rockefeller Preserve, Pocantico Hills, NY.

In a strange kind of way, I miss it, especially as the weather gets colder. It’s like I have forgotten the profuse sweating, the heat-induced muscle fatigue causing me to slow down or drop the balls, the countless insects biting me or flying into my face, and the sunscreen I had to rub over much of my body to prevent sunburn. Okay, maybe I haven’t forgotten, but I still achieved bliss on a good run. I remember joggling in the summer wishing it was the heaven that is winter.

And now sometimes I wish it was summer, or spring. How ironic. The middle of the winter means heavy clothing, shorter days, a running nose, the risk of frost-bite, kids throwing snow balls, and sometimes stiffer muscles. If there is snow or ice, winter joggling can be especially problematic – be not afraid of new challenges. And the local kids should know they can’t win in a snow ball fight with a joggler!

“When you long for a life without difficulties, remind yourself that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure” – Uknown

Although I have to adapt to the weather, all the rules for joggling are the same. For beginners, this is very important: Maintaining the proper rhythm and posture is everything. It is like music, making beautiful music, becoming one with the rhythm and one with the balls. You may hear the music, you may not. If a melody develops, literally run with it. Hum along if you want.

With all this emphasis on rhythm, and music perhaps it would be better for jogglers to forget about running and to think of themselves as dancers. Running simply takes you from point A to point B. But juggling adds a new magical dimension to the running; going from point A to point B^3.

It really doesn’t matter what kind of dancer-joggler you think of yourself as. If you prefer the grace of a ballerina, go with that. Or if you prefer hip-hop dance, go ahead. You don’t even necessarily have to do the 3 ball cascade pattern, although that is most efficient and easiest for beginners. Above all, be creative. You may surprise yourself and learn all sorts of new things about yourself through joggling. If it really does make us smarter, that isn’t such a surprise.

In the new year, whatever your fitness goals are, it helps to be as creative as possible, to think outside-the-box, to make it as fun as possible and to not care what anyone else thinks.

And for the record, I’ve decided to stop eating eggs, which makes me vegan yet again.

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9 responses to “Winter is officially here

  1. I’ve getting ready for my 5.5 mile joggle today, the longest I’ve done since last April. I hoping for a drop-free outing like last weeks 4.75 milier. I’m going outside, but it’s sunny 45 degrees and low winds. No water stops are available, so I hope I don’t get thirsty. Next week kicks off my official 16 week training plan for my first half-marathon.

    • Sounds like a lot of fun, and congrats for no drops while joggling 4.75 miles. I find I don’t have to take water breaks when the temperature is below 65 degrees, and I am doing an hour or less. However, even during the winter I drink a lot of water beforehand. Do you do tricks while you joggle?

  2. I haven’t been doing any tricks until recently, I need to practice more. I’m working on high throws over branches and the motions needed to high five someone, but I usually drop on both. I can mix it up and just juggle 2 in one hand and I’ve been trying some backwards joggling during warm ups. I’d like to try more but don’t really have any other ideas.

  3. Wild Juggler, what kind of tricks do you do while joggling? The only ones I’ve managed to do (other than hurdling and running backwards) are columns and an occasional behind the back toss. I’d like to expand my joggling trick bag though. Any suggestions?

  4. Also, when it’s really cold, do you wear gloves to joggle? I’ve done it a few times, but I don’t like the feel of it. I find myself dropping a lot more often.

  5. Nathaniel,

    Congrats again on your record. The tricks I can do while joggling are “tennis”, the reverse cascade(usually for no more than 20 seconds, and I sometimes drop them while doing this) and occasionally columns, but I often drop while doing columns. I am incapable of behind the back tosses even when standing still. Just about all the tricks I do increase the risk of dropping, though “tennis” comes easiest to me.

    I can also run backwards, do spins and leap up on benches with little risk of dropping. I can also joggle 4 balls, but only for 5 seconds until I drop. I can power walk while juggling 4 balls for almost a minute. I’m working on it.

    Because my skin tends to be dry, especially in the cold, I wear gloves while joggling if the temperature is below 50F. I think it is a matter of finding the right kind of glove. For me, it took some getting used to, but my best records(longest times without dropping) have been set while joggling with gloves on – It is currently 1 hour, 5 minutes, and it was in the rain and my gloves and feet were soaked.

    The gloves I wear are work gloves I got from Home Depot. Since they are work gloves, they allow for great dexterity, but they provide little insulation from the cold if the temperature is below 40F. I am currently looking for something just like the work gloves but also can keep my hands warm. Any advice for behind the back tosses?

    Good luck with whatever you do.

    Happy Holidays!

  6. Haha! You’re a constant inspiration. I’ll give joggling a go in the backyard – but I can’t run, let alone juggle ^_^

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