Now that spring is in the air and I have recovered from my injury, I thought it was time to experiment. I decided it was time to joggle some fruit, instead of my usual juggling balls, to make things a little more interesting and challenging.
I have juggled oranges many times, because their size, shape, and skin texture makes them perfect for juggling. So they seemed like the best fruit to go joggling with. In fact, I have joggled with oranges before, but mostly while running back from the market which is less than half a mile away. Today, however was the first time I ever joggled oranges or any food for more than a few miles. Before I get to the run, let us look at how to pick oranges for juggling or joggling.
The most important thing is for the oranges to be all about the same size, shape, and weight, unless you’re really looking to challenge yourself. Make sure they are spherical and solid. If they are too oblong, they may be difficult to juggle with. About the size of a tennis ball or a little larger is ideal. Since you or someone else will eat them later, be sure they are ripe and fresh, and heavy for their size. Avoid oranges that are discolored. I think navel oranges are best for juggling in my experience.
The oranges I selected were about 8 ounces each, which is double the weight of my preferred Sil-X juggling balls. While joggling these oranges, I could feel the difference and they slowed me down. I managed to run with them for 10 miles, and much to my surprise, I only dropped them once, and that was at the 2 mile mark. So I managed to run 8 miles straight with them without dropping, even while running up and down a 150 foot hill twice, and doing juggling tricks. It took me 1:42 minutes to complete this run. A 10 mile run from last week with my regular juggling balls in warmer weather took me 1:30 minutes.
While running with them, I tried playing in my mind the Sergei Prokofiev opera, The Love for Three Oranges, but couldn’t, since I have no idea how it goes. Oh well, I don’t like opera that much anyway. This very orangey journey got exhausting after a while, especially on those hills, but I kept pushing myself. I couldn’t run in shorts today because it was cold(mid 30s) and very windy, the last gasp of Old Man Winter. It should be very spring-like next week.
In a way, this was like a strange ritual both for challenging myself and for connecting with my food. I have a newfound respect for oranges and Mother Nature, who provides us with these natural, somewhat heavy juggling balls, which also happen to be a good source of some vital nutrients. Granted, it also took thousands of years of selective breeding to produce the orange as we know it today.
I’ve been wondering if joggling fruit would encourage onlookers to eat more of them. I really have no idea. I often wear a vegan T-shirt when the weather is better, and while I like to think I am making an impact, it’s not always easy to tell what people think. Since the only joggler in the immediate area also happens to be a vegan, I hope it gets people thinking.
Of course, besides using them for juggling, you can eat oranges. I hear this is what most people use them for anyway. These particular oranges were so sweet, juicy and fresh, though it felt kind of weird eating them after joggling with them for 10 miles. The juggling didn’t damage them at all.
Oranges are a great source of vitamin C, and fiber. They are also a good source of phyto-chemicals which may also have some health benefits, but the research on this is still preliminary. Most people need to eat more fruit, and it can’t hurt to juggle them too, since most people could use at least a little more exercise.
In case anyone is wondering, I will slowly work my way up to joggling with cantaloupes. Whatever you do, make sure you have fun exercising in the warm, wonderful spring weather.