Ha, I know some of you have seen me juggling like a clown here and there in the gym. So, why juggling?
Aside from the surprisingly deep metaphorical similarities that juggling has to life, jiu jitsu, fighting, or whatever, it’s also a pretty simple yet difficult task.
As a coach, I often have students ask me for help with certain techniques or skills, and when I invariably give a long, drawn out answer that ends with some variation of “but what you really need to do is just practice more,” I can always sense a bit of frustration and disappointment in that last part.
Sometimes, when learning a new skill, we may not know exactly how we are going to get ourselves from point A to point B. The perspective and knowledge required is outside of our experience and we can’t wrap our head around it. Yet, for those who are able to just take the work on faith and diligently show up to complete it, the answers emerge.
I have no idea how to juggle. On principle, for this endeavor, I’m not studying any books, reviewing any footage, or asking much advice. I’m just tossing the balls in the air and trying to catch them in different ways. I’m doing this project on the my faith in consistent practice.
The first week, I was really lost. I tried a bunch of different things and failed repeatedly. But I also knew that simply the act of practicing would get me closer to my goal. And it has.
As I continue to work through the new skill, I’m learning how to approach practice in a smarter way, and I’m also not putting any deadlines or ultimatums on myself to get to any specific level in any specific range of time. I’m simply focusing on the practice and letting the rest sort it out.
So when you are struggling to figure out a new skill, and you’ve exhausted all the academic resources you can find, sometimes just getting out there and participating in the act of doing will lead you to a milestone that orients you in the right direction.
One milestone leads to the next and you blaze a path forward through the unknown towards your ultimate goal.
See you on the mats!