My Juggling History

When I was a sophmore in high school my best friend had started to learn how to juggle. So I wouldn't be bested, I decided that I too had to learn how to juggle. However, after learning the cascade and shower we lost interest and did not pursue juggling any further than the learning stages.

Then, the summer after I graduated from high school I wanted to learn how to ride a unicycle. A friend Nick, and myself decided to borrow a classmates old Schwinn unicycle to learn how to ride. This became a very painstaking process that took about two to three weeks before I could ride the length of my block. But by the end of the summer I could comfortably ride down the block and around the neighborhood.

At the end of that summer ('85) I packed up my bags and headed down to Champaign/Urbana to start attending the University of Illinois. During the first week of orientation I happened to run across The Illini Juggling and Unicycle Club. Since I had just learned how to ride the unicycle, I decided to go to a few meetings and see what it was like. That was all it took to get me hooked on juggling and unicycling. There were a couple of very good unicyclists and jugglers in the club at that time who were able to spur me on and keep me motivated to learn new tricks and achieve new goals. That first year was a time when I immersed myself in juggling and unicycling. I learned how to juggle clubs, four balls, five balls, pass clubs, devilstick, and learned different unicycle tricks. I definately have to give much credit to all the people in the club who taught me lots of tricks and were patient when I was always nagging them to learn something new.

Another real help was rooming with another member of the juggling club, Jim Robinson. It was not uncommon to come back from classes, put our stuff down and start juggling. We would take a break for dinner, back to the room for some more juggling, and end up staying up most of the night just to finish our homework for the next day. Well, it wasn't surprising when after our sophmore year my roommate got kicked/dropped out of school. The next couple of years in school I only attended the juggling club infrequently since I got busy with classes and other interests.

After I graduated in spring of 1990 I accepted a job at Frasca International in Urbana, IL. I worked as a Software Engineer there for the next five years. During that time I had stopped going to the juggling club and would pick up my juggling props very infrequently around home. Then in the spring of 1995 I accepted a job at The National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois. I was back on campus and started running into people who were in the juggling club. I finally started going back to the club meetings around May of '95 and have again immersed myself in juggling.

Since I started going back to the juggling club meetings I have picked up contact juggling, ball spinning, diabolo, bounce juggling, four clubs and have a goal to learn five clubs (someday), along with all the other props and tricks I could already do. I have also picked up the devilstick again and have been getting alot of ideas on new tricks. Which prompted me to create to start logging the new tricks I was coming up with and to post them to the rest of the juggling community.

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