Someday my body will start to break down and I will not be as physically able…

Search posts


Stephen Meschke -

Someday my body will start to break down and I will not be as physically able to juggle as well as I once could.

My main goals in juggling are 7 ball cascade and 5 club cascade for one minute, and I'm close!. 7 ball cascade and 5 club cascade are physically intensive juggling patterns. They require a mix of skill, strength, speed, and endurance. Eventually old age will take away speed, strength, and endurance.

This question is directed toward 40+ year old jugglers, or jugglers who have past their physical peak in terms of strength, speed, and endurance:

What is juggling like for you now that you can't do the things that you once could?

The Void - - Parent

It's like 10000 spoonbills, when all I need is a nightjar.

Stephen Meschke - - Parent

I don't understand, can you explain?

7b_wizard - - Parent

Surely a witty allusion to maybe this: lol

7b_wizard - - Parent

.. looks like an unusual creative new prop to me ..

7b_wizard - - Parent

I'm really curious what they're meant for .. 't doesn't say it in the article.

7b_wizard - - Parent

(And the nightjar refers to a weak urinary bladder. You may not drink before you go to sleep or have to get up in the night.)

DavidCain - - Parent

I'm 47 and fat, but I can still qualify 6 clubs and 8 balls (on a good day) and flash 7 clubs and 9 balls. Not sure if I can still do all of the five club tricks that I used to, but I haven't lost too much skill. I have horrible asthma and other breathing issues, so I can't practice too much, but I'm still learning new skills and can do a 90 minute stage show. The other day I did 6 30 minute stage shows in one day and then wrote an entire eJuggle article that night, so I guess I'm doing okay.
David Cain

Stephen Meschke - - Parent I can't practice too much.

Practicing too much can lead to injury. Juggling in moderation is necessary for longevity.

I think you are doing more than okay, asthma aside (that actually sounds pretty bad). 6 club qualify is very impressive.

7b_wizard - - Parent

I'm over 50. I can still do a diveroll if it comes hard (did one last year lol, a save attempt while juggling), but I can very well do without. Still, a few years ago my bike's front wheel flopped horizontal while driving slowly, blocked, and I fell over the handlebar .. head over; I rolled off and out and nothing happened, just hurt my wrist a bit (matter of a few days to heal).   My stronghand wrist doesn't bend back 100% anymore, so I haven't done a handstand or wheel for a long time, but I'm casually stretching that wrist (when I read "handstand" lol) hoping to get there again.   What I find is really becoming harder and harder, is, to ride biking against the wind, or like walking up stairs or mountains when I'm worn (but only then).

When I don't stretch before juggling, I feel I'm liable to rip a muscle or sinew or ligament, so I always stretch a minute or two.   When I feel like it, I jump high (just like that, not athletic "high-jump") - I like to believe I might get a flic-flac when I'm 70, even though I know it might not be true.

I don't juggle by strength, but by skill and speed   ( which also enables me to endure - my perfect pattern (no matter which number of props) is easy as walking, like ``bored´´, that I aim for, and it works so far ).  

I sometimes feel like fainting, when the weather is muggy, airless, or when I'm exhausting myself above threshold when it's simply warm; I then have to drink, take a break or freshen up .. that's all.   By (actively) paying attention to and caring for one's body (and not letting age "happen on you"), one can make up for any flaws that slowly but slowly appear with age, [//says also Dr. Rangolf as far as I remember, and I do//].

Priorities become different, .. you see life as a whole, and sometimes start thinking in time remaining instead endless time ahead to some degree. (For juggling this e.g. means sorting out tricks, patterns, props, new stuff to not invest time in and knowing more exactly what to stick to, thus being more effective by not losing any time with stuff you won't be into seriously anyway, seen that way).

7b_wizard - - Parent

.. and I avoid lifting heavy weights; I'd rather run twice.

Stephen Meschke - - Parent

Thanks! That was a really interesting post.

How do you warm up before you juggle?

Before I juggle, I warm up with:

  • Light Cardio (bike, walking, eliptical trainer) - 5 minutes
  • Easy to Medium Jumprope Tricks - 3 minutes
  • Posture Exercises to Engage Core Muscles - 1 minute

My warmup only consists of movements, I do static stretches at the end of a workout.

7b_wizard - - Parent

Forgot to mention some minor aches that come and go .. where usually ointments (conifer-oil, tiger balm, [germ.: Latschenkiefer, Frantzbranntwein, Tiger Balsam]) will do to feel fresh again, or (rarely needed anymore, used that in my `forcing years´) a hot-water-bottle on the lower back after practise. I even keep my chronical shoulder aches  ( that I get from explosive very high throws (b, d, f, ..) and sudden saves with outstretched arms )  and by not overpacing with unleashed movements (stretching well before) in check like that.

Warm up: I totter and limber up like a rattle playtoy; I wiggle my shoulders with utterly inactive relaxed hanging arms (trying to throw the arms off which will never succeed); I do high kicks and side kicks; I bend foreward with stretched legs reaching for and touching the ground with my hands; I, while standing, slightly bend my back into relaxed (lazy) position and wiggle like a duck to limber up back's muscles (stabilizing torso's movement by connecting my hands tight in front of the chest); shake my legs a bit. Just once or twice each, all in all two minutes.

7b_wizard - - Parent

.. ointments .. .. or simply water burning shoulders, forearms, back, ankles, knees .. ``extinguish the fire´´, so to say.

peterbone - - Parent

Stretching before juggling has always been controversial on juggling forums, and in sports science in general. Take this article for example and the research it links to.

Warming up the muscles before juggling on the other hand is definitely beneficial, and so it stretching at other times, such as after exercise.

7b_wizard - - Parent

Well, guess it depends, what and how you practise .. I like to do sudden explosive movements (e.g. saves), and I tend to overstretch the inner life of my arms and back also, when I do it from cold. Maybe an individual thing. Thanks for pointing out, it's not generally always good for everyone. (and, we're talking of advanced age, ways to cope with aging body, not practise in general at full fit younger age, where it's different, I guess)

Colin E. - - Parent

Scientifically speaking the body does peak long before you are 40, but in our modern world - very few people ever attain their peak!

At the age of 41 I am faster, fitter and stronger than I have ever been in the rest of my life :-) I don't find juggling 5 clubs or 7 balls to be a physical problem at all.

To my mind the bigger advantage you have when you are younger is time. When I was at University I managed to juggle around two or three hours a day. That's not really possible at the current stage in my life. Although, I am sure I'll get back to it when I retire - which will hopefully be nice and early :-)


Subscribe to this forum via RSS
1 article per branch
1 article per post

Green Eggs reports