Fearless Act #21: Just call me, The Juggler!

Bryant Park is a mecca of deliciously fun activities for the summer. Besides outdoor movies on the big lawn, there’s a reading room; board games (including my favorite, Sorry!); ping-pong; dance and fitness classes and… FREE JUGGLING LESSONS. Can you guess which one I chose? Truth be told, I’ve never been known to have good hand-to-ball coordination so the question was: Can I be taught how to juggle, even when I suck at everything else that includes balls (NO PUNS INTENDED!) Right away, I spot a tall, pony-tailed gentleman with a bucket of toys. There’s balls; sticks; and fake chickens (no joke) in all kinds of bright colors. “Can you teach me how to juggle?” I ask. He picks up two balls and says, “Let me see you try.” After a minute of my two-ball approach, he interrupts… “You want to look up at the balls not your hands. Trust your hands will be there. After awhile, your brain starts to get it and you don’t have to think about it. You’ll start catching.” Really? “How long will it take?” I shout (not sure why as he’s right in front of me) “It usually takes an hour and you’ll get it…and in few minutes, we’ll add another ball.” What? Only an hour? And I can juggle THREE balls at a time? This guy is a GENUIS! “But wait!” I shout back. “What if I can’t…” He quickly replies, “You can’t fail. Nobody’s ever failed.” I love his philosophy. Alright…I can DO this. And sure enough, within a fifteen minutes, I’m catching without even trying. He comes by and adds a third ball. “Now just get used to throwing the first two, don’t bother catching, and only catch the last ball.” As more time passes, more people are coming in. There’s kid jugglers, adults, teenagers, old men without shoes…all of us…on the terrace of Bryant Park, just juggling away! And it’s FUN. And relaxing. And people are friendly. When I leave, my new juggler friends are offering compliments and high-fives, and they ask…see you next week? I shout, ABSOLUTELY! Consensus: You CAN teach an old cougar new tricks (I know I’m not old; it’s just funny!)

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