While joggling the streets of Chicago I typically do a standard cascade juggling pattern keeping the bean bags below my eyes and in front of my face. But there are times when you need to change it up to avoid a drop. Here are the top 5 things that might cause you to drop and what to do to avoid them.
1. Pedestrians – The number one thing that will cause a drop is pedestrians and other runners. Often people do not pay attention or they otherwise don’t notice a joggler moving along the sidewalk. Bumping into them can cause a crash. Pedestrians also provide an audience which may induce you to try a trick. This increases your chances of dropping. To avoid this obstacle, joggle in areas away from pedestrians and stop trying to show off!!
2. Cars – I’m an urban joggler and have to cross streets and blind alleys. Surprisingly, cars sometimes do not pay attention to pedestrians (and jogglers). On a number of occasions I’ve been bumped by cars coming out of alleys. A few weeks ago I was nearly run over by a car that was running a red light. All of these instances caused drops. And if you have to choose between getting hit by a car and dropping a bean bag…drop the bean bag! To avoid this obstacle stick to running paths and be cautious when crossing streets and alleys. In fact, it’s a good idea to gather the bean bags in your hands and stop juggling while crossing a street.
3. Dogs – I used to get startled by barking dogs all the time. This caused a number of drops. But over time you just get used to them and eventually you can completely ignore them. In the vast majority of cases a dog will not bite or attack you. If they do, remember you have bean bags as your weapons. To avoid this obstacle just spot the dog early and prepare yourself for it to unexpectedly bark.
4. Weather – If you joggle through rain, wind and snow you have no doubt experienced a weather related drop. In fact, when I was joggling the 50 miler most of my drops were the result of a stiff wind off of Lake Michigan. To avoid this problem make your juggling pattern shorter keeping the bean bags closer to your chest.
5. Fatigue – If you joggle a long distance you’re going to start to tire. This can lead to a ball collision which could ultimately lead to a drop. Many of my drops these days are related to fatigue. To prevent this you need to juggle a lot. Hours on your feet will train your body to adjust to your level of tiredness. When you are tired, try increasing your level of focus on your juggling.
I’ve joggled a few marathons where I made it the whole way without a drop. But it is a truism of joggling and juggling…eventually you’re going to have a drop. Hopefully, you can keep them to a minimum.