- Associated Press - Friday, January 30, 2015

OGDEN, Utah (AP) - It was as if Christopher Haaser woke up one morning and decided he was going to be a professional juggler.

Five years ago, the Ogden resident, now age 13, was playing on the Internet when he stumbled across a video titled “How To Learn How To Juggle in Five Minutes.”

Christopher said that within about a week he was able to get a firm grasp on juggling, and has since been performing across the country.

Christopher, son of Pam Franklin of Ogden and Craig Haaser of Huntsville, juggles clubs, glow balls, rings, knives and sometimes, fire torches. Although, he said, those props he has to order online do not seem to hold up.

To encourage his son to continue with his juggling, his dad Craig Haaser says he has a room in his Huntsville home that has a 20-foot high ceiling where Christopher is able to practice.

“It is fantastic. I am behind it 100 percent,” said Craig Haaser, who sees the enjoyment his son gets out of his juggling prowess. “It’s not like I am saying go practice your piano. It’s like, “When do I get to juggle,” he said.

“Every day,” Christopher says he practices. Sometimes his practice sessions last two hours, and other days two minutes.

“The knifes are probably the hardest (things to juggle), I guess,” Christopher said of his juggling props. “I’m actually careful with these,” he said, holding the large 16-inch knives in front of him.

Christopher says he has never been cut by a knife, but has received a small cut from juggling rings. The inner side of the rings have a rough edge.

Christopher has performed in eight different states, including Minnesota, Texas and Ohio. At the age of 10 Christopher juggled seven balls and performed for Spooky Woods, a television commercial filmed in North Carolina.

To date, Christopher says, his favorite performance was one he had at Purdue University in 2013 at the International Juggler’s Association. There, Christopher performed for other professional international jugglers, with the audience there giving him thunderous applause.

“It’s pretty cool to have the best jugglers cheer (for) you,” he said.

In addition, Christopher is an accomplished “joggler,” juggling while jogging.

“He is an eight-time podium finisher at the 2014 IJA joggling competition,” Craig Haaser said of his son.

The quiet but confident Christopher says he’s a professional juggler, already getting paid for his performances. “Not to brag,” he adds with a smirk.

And what is it about juggling that the 3.8 GPA student from Snowcrest Jr. High enjoys?

“It makes me happy, I guess,” Christopher said.

And in his downtime, it seems Christopher uses the same mental focus to solve Rubik’s Cube puzzles and do kinetic contraptions.

“It is very mathematical,” Craig Haaser said of his son’s ability to juggle.

But to keep balance in his life, when Christopher isn’t juggling, he also enjoys kayaking and skiing, both physical activities his father, who works part-time as a ski instructor at Snowbasin, also enjoys.

“If he were to have a super power, (Christoper) would like to fly,” Craig Haaser said.


Video: https://bit.ly/1zfcNkV


Information from: Standard-Examiner, https://www.standard.net

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