learnedax: (wywh)
I was feeling manual and it was too wet for outdoor stuff, so I spent a while brushing up my ball juggling skills, with a diversion into some contact. Enjoyable as that was, it lead me to realize that my core juggling level has been almost static for 6-7 years at this point, after going from nothing to just barely seven in 2 years. Oddly, my occasional forays into devilsticking, contact, diabolo, and even clubs have continued to yield measurable improvements, but not balls. I may even have regressed slightly, because I dimly recall getting 15 with 8, and several runs of 30-35 with 7, whereas now the former is laughable and the a good run on the latter is perhaps 21. It's not so clear with the lower-numbers stuff, because I'm clearly rusty on some of the more obscure siteswaps etc. but e.g. my 5-ball Mills Mess is still halfway decent, and maybe even a bit better than before. Presumably what this suggests is that the physical demands of the big numbers are more than I can sustain with occasional practice, and that if I wanted to go up another notch I would need to devout some serious time to it.

It's odd, though, because I certainly have a much better overall arm strength and endurance than when I was 17, and my speed is probably about the same... I guess it's hyper-precision muscle memory, which unfortunately implies that focused training might well gain me little in the long-term, either in terms of numbers capability or in terms of overall dexterity. It somehow feels defeatist to give it up as wasted effort, but if I've reached the practical limit of personal betterment from it... well, at least I've still got 5 clubs to work on.

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learnedax

November 2011

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