As a follow-up to Joe's recent Philly marathon-in-Five-Fingers-joggling finish, Joe sent me a nice video showcasing some unedited footage of 40 joggling tricks:
Anyone else suddenly getting the itch to learn how to juggle — and maybe even eventually joggle? Or is it just me?
Joe also had this to say:
Juggling and running go together like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Juggling and running in VFF's go together like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich made by your mom.
Joggling in VFF's increases the full body experience and sensations you get from joggling. I really enjoy the lightness of my steps in VFF's, which complements the soft tosses and catches of the juggling beanbags. It's a smooth combination; one that puts you in a synchronized balancing act. One step and toss at a time.
People often wonder why we wear VFF's. If you're interested in learning why people joggle, check out my article on the "Psychology of Joggling."
I asked Joe if it was hard to acquire the meditative state often claimed by runners — with so much going on, it seemed almost like you've have to be too aware. Apparently, that's not the case at all though. With such a full-body activity, it seems joggling may be even more effective at "silencing" the mind. Here's Joe:
Joggling becomes second nature, so it can be very absorbing, yet I am able to focus on a lot of other things if I want to because it's automatic. When you're first starting out, I think it's more absorbing because it demands your full concentration. But, once you get experienced with it, it's up to you how meditative and absorbed you want to get. I allow myself to to be absorbed and get into a wonderful rhythm and flow.
So, to answer your question I do think that joggling is more meditative than running, or at least it can be. I think it adds more repetition and full body synchronized movement, which brings about calmness.
Check out the book called "Flow" if you have not. Or read about it, by Dr. C (he has a very long last name, he's hungarian I think).
On a different note, most people think that jogglers would be less aware than runners. But, for me, joggling heightens my senses and makes more more sensitive to my environment because I have to. Kind of like VFF's, barefoot running, or riding a motorcycle. For example, I hear a lot better because I listen closer to my environment when a car is coming behind me because it's a little harder to turn around while joggling than running, even though I can do it easily but it just wastes time (you just turn at the waist and look behind you).
I am also more aware of my environment because it releases an adrenaline rush because you're doing something that people think is really neat and it's unique especially in a urban area. So, in that sense, I am more aware because I am scanning my environment and always looking around for potential cars, curbs, holes, or people to interact with while joggling (smile at them, show a trick, say hello to them).
It really is a great mind body exercise. Juggling in itself is very meditative, or flow-like, because it's challenging, absorbing, and repetitive. Same with running. Put them together, and you get more opportunities for flow experiences.
The book Joe mentions is Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Reading through a few of the reviews, it reminds me a bit of another psych-book that I read earlier this year by Dr. William Glasser called Positive Addiction, which discusses running (and other physical activities) that can induce a meditative state.
Thought-provoking stuff. Now I just need to go find some bean bags ...