The only slightly interesting thing about my juggling, is how I got started.
During my second year at university, I followed a math course
consisting mainly of noneuclidean geometry, a bit of number theory and
some combinatorics. As part of the course, we were also supposed to give a
45 minutes presentation of a self chosen math article. Looking for
something that could be fun to present, I stumbled across an article
by Ron Graham and Joe Buhler in American Mathematical Monthly called
Juggling drops and
descents. Introducing the concept of site swap notation for juggling patterns and explaining how to construct valid juggling sequences seemed like a good way to start out in order to catch my audience. I would illustrate the theory by juggling different patterns and maybe let my audience come up with suggestions of site swaps I would juggle to make sure they had grasped the fundamental idea before proceeding with the counting arguments at the end of the article. Seemed like a brilliant idea, the only problem being that I didn't know how to juggle... So for the next three months I practiced every evening after returning home from lectures. What an enjoyable way to be studying for a math course! By the time I was giving the talk, I could juggle various 3 ball patterns, do a pretty steady 4 ball fountain (I could keep it going for 30 seconds or so), and do a 5 ball cascade flash (maybe even 10 catches if I was lucky). For several years I would practice juggling during a couple of summer months, and then spend the next 10 months forgetting the new patterns I had learned... For instance, I would enter a new summer thinking I could do the 50 catches I had worked myself up to on a 5 ball cascade the previous summer, just to realize I was no longer able to do more than 15... Lately I have found that bounce juggling is quite relaxing compared to other types of juggling, and I really enjoy the feeling of just having to monitor the pattern and guide the balls in the right direction while gravity does the rest of the work. 


