When Ben Skolozdra was 13 years old, he and his family vacationed at a Club Med in Florida. On a whim, he decided to try out the resort’s circus camp. Little did he know, this would set the stage for a unique hobby he still enjoys 14 years later: juggling.
Skolozdra is an electrical engineer at Denver Water, where he designs and maintains electrical systems and manages associated construction projects like the modernizing of the South Boulder Creek diversion dam, process control upgrades at Marston Treatment Plant and improvements to the hydroelectric plant at Dillon Reservoir.
While tackling electrical challenges and managing infrastructure projects is a daily balancing act itself, it’s the juggling Skolozdra does outside of work that he identifies with most.
As a young teenager, Skolozdra started juggling with scarves and bean bags, then graduated to more difficult objects, like balls, bowling pins and rings. While he was too shy to take his performances to the school talent show, he remembers gathering his family and forcing them to watch his living room juggling routines.
Skolozdra attended Rutgers University in New Jersey, where he admits to juggling his fair share of beer cans before discovering the university juggling club.
“I was able to learn from some of the best jugglers — people who were far better than me,” he said. “It was always fun to get together with a group of people who enjoyed juggling and try new objects, new patterns and new tricks.”
Following college, Skolozdra’s career took him to Albany, Georgia to build a power plant, and with that career change, he decided to take on unicycling.
“It always seemed like a lot of fun, so I decided to give it a try,” he said.
Skolozdra ordered a 24-inch unicycle, watched some YouTube videos, read a few books and then hopped on the unicycle.
“It’s not at all like riding a bike, and I certainly am far from mastery, but it’s a lot of fun,” he said. “I haven’t broken any bones — yet — so I guess it’s going pretty well.”
His goal is to ride a unicycle while juggling. Although he’s still working to perfect his unicycle technique, Skolozdra breaks out his juggling gear and tosses a few things around while watching Netflix several times a week.
“It’s important to keep practicing because, believe it or not, you use muscles while juggling that you don’t really use every day,” he said.
After a long day at work, Skolozdra juggles to unwind, finding the cadence of juggling relaxing.
“I like that it is a unique hobby — something unexpected that people are always surprised to learn about me,” he said. “I’m pretty sure in a different life, I would be performing in a variety show in Las Vegas.”