ball Out of sync my mind is everywhere... ball ball ball ball ball ball catch sun hear car ball ball sidestep ball ball catch car passes throw ball ball see no car ball ball run on ball ball ball ball ball ball....

ball...suddenly in sync mind arrives at nowhere. Thinking nothing. Everything happens with effort. The three tennis balls move up and down and are caught without thought. My feet turn-over a steady pace without urging. I am aware of the world beyond my balls without seeing. Without hearing. I act without acting, I do without doing. For a moment transcendance. Tranquility.
A gust of wind. A change in momentum. A ball goes wide. Plummets. To the dusty road. Out of sync. Perfection broken. Chase the errant ball.Juggling three balls while running brings moments of transcendant tranquility. Moments during which everything falls away. Interludes of inner peace. Not the runner's high, not the inner stoking fire of competition, not an is but rather an is not.
In conversations I tend to jump subjects half sentence in a sudden disconnected fashion. My mind racing along multiple threads and chasing first one ball and then another, turning to pay attention to mental foot falls, and then jumping subjects again, circling back to pick up a dropped thread.


Boomeranging: Throwing the balls out into a headwind and letting the wind kite the balls back into your hands.

Cloud-watching: Staring at clouds overhead while joggling.

Double Threat: Low overhead trees and potholes underfoot.  Dealing with double threats is the key to joggling in Chuuk.

Fifth dimension: cars.  Each ball is a dimension, jogging is the fourth dimension, and cars add a fifth dimension, except in Yap where there is no fifth dimension due to the presence of sidewalks and courteously cautious drivers.

Infinity-looking: Focusing straight ahead on objects at visual infinity. The balls become blurry streaks in peripheral vision and must be caught by intuition. Permits focusing on road situation.

Ground watching: Staring at the ground while joggling. Very difficult, usually leads to a melt down.  A key skill when joggling along a trail with tree roots across the trail.

Kiting: Letting the wind blow the balls back into the downwind hand. In a cross-wind the upwind ball can be lofted vertically, letting the wind blow the ball across to the catching hand.Leafing: Grabbing an overhanging low tree leaf instead of the descending ball.

Leafing: Grabbing an overhanging low tree leaf instead of the descending ball.

Melt-down: Loss of all three balls to the pavement.

Pushing: Shoving the downwind ball into the cross-wind on the initial throw.

Rest Hop: Skying a ball high into the air, letting it fall to the pavement, and picking it back up into the pattern after a single bounce.

Side-saddle: Juggling the balls to one side of the body at an angle to the direction of travel. Often done when running into a low sun.

Dana Lee Ling is an 7 minute kilometer three ball recreational joggler.

Endowment Fund 10K joggle