PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Around the time Garnett Johnston learned to read, he decided to pick up another life skill.
It all started with some jugglers he saw on YouTube.
“I was thinking I should start juggling,” Johnston said.
As far as how long it took for him to keep two balls in the air at once?
“I’d say like a good hour,” he said.
That was four years, hundreds of hours, and dozens of balls ago.
“The only time I started asking questions was when he started losing balls. I have to buy balls all the time,” his mom Lucinda Johnston said. “I wasn’t sure if juggling was a thing or a sport. He’s the only kid I’ve ever seen juggling, walking around with balls all day.”
Because as you can imagine, Garnett juggles all the time.
“All day long,” Lucinda said. “From the time he wakes up to the time he goes to bed.”
After four years, he’s picked up a few tricks.
“He tries a new one every day,” his mom said.
On his knees, and back up on two feet, while juggling the entire time. Juggling on one foot, under a knee is also an option. He can juggle blindfolded, and has a spin move too – a toss high into the sky, a quick 360-degree turn, and then picking up the juggle as the ball comes down into his hands.
“We went to the park the other day,” his mom said. “And he juggled under and over a volleyball net.”
And, yes, you might’ve seen this second grader juggling on a multi-colored skateboard, while riding down a Carpenter Street sidewalk.
“It’s pretty cool, I guess,” Garnett said.
He admits juggling has helped pass the time during distance learning caused by COVID-19.
Garnett is looking well beyond that.
“I’m trying to get to five balls at once,” he said.
And his long-term goal?
“Fifteen,” he says calmly, while still juggling. “You have to keep your eye on the balls.”
Garnett’s mom said he does well in school, especially in math. And she suspects that work-ethic he uses to get better at juggling is one reason why.
“His hard work and dedication apply to other areas of his life,” she said. “It keeps him focused.”