Brad Alsop was born in 1970 and raised in Louisville Kentucky. He lives in his hometown of Fern Creek and works as a grounds keeper. This gives him plenty of time outdoors and provides flexible hours to accommodate his running schedule. We first learned of Brad from his recent incredible feat of running 131 marathons in 131 days. It turns out that he’s also done a little joggling. So, we here at JYAJ asked him about it.
JYAJ: What is the story of how you learned how to juggle?
ALSOP: My Dad and his brother taught me how to juggle when I was about ten years old. My brother picked it up as well and we often got in trouble for juggling with the balls from our pool table upstairs. A midair collision usually meant more than one would hit the floor at the same time and it sounded like boulders coming through the kitchen ceiling. I never really advanced beyond juggling three items 4 or 5 different ways, but that was usually enough to entertain some kids at a friends’ house.
JYAJ: When and why did you start joggling?
ALSOP: I started running when I was 30 years old and in the summer of 2006 I was still spending most of my running time close to home. On my regular runs through Fern Creek Park I would often find baseballs and softballs scattered on the ground and forgotten about.
One afternoon, I remembered watching this 70’s television show when I was a kid and seeing these people that could run and juggle at the same time. I decided to give it a shot and picked it up right away. Eventually, I enjoyed it enough to add it to some of my heat training.
I like to run with winter clothes on during the hottest months of the year to build up my endurance. As if that didn’t turn enough heads in itself, once I started joggling around the parking lot wearing my winter suit and backpack, I quickly became known as that crazy runner at the ball park.
I could tell right away how much the joggling added to my workout just by the extra amount of water I needed to drink. At times, I would have so much fun that an hour of running seemed like only 20 minutes. I was definitely hooked for the summer.
JYAJ: What is your best story about joggling?
ALSOP: One day towards the end of some heat training, I collected 3 tennis balls that were lying around the tennis court and then headed for home. When I noticed the gate was open to the running track behind the elementary school, I jogged over to take a lap around the football field.
Upon entry, I could see about 20 little kids just kind of wandering around and 5 or 6 adults sitting in the bleachers. It was hot and sunny and they must have been out there for recess just passing time. Suddenly, all eyes were fixed on this running man wearing red and black winter gear from head to toe, a heavy backpack, and three bright yellow tennis balls being tossed into the air in sequence with every step.
Without hesitation, nearly every child grouped together screaming and racing to catch up with me. They were yelling over to their parents, “Look Dad! Look!”
The smallest guy ran right next to me and was laughing so hard he could hardly keep his eyes open. The other kids were snickering and jumping and asking, “How do you do that? I wish I could do that!”
As we all kept running, I dropped a tennis ball only for it to bounce right back up into the mix and they shouted, “Cool!” As we approached the end of the circle, some of the girls and boys were calling out, “Can I try? Let me try!”
We all still kept running and just as I turned towards the exit I peeked back at the adults in the bleachers and not one of them could find it in their hearts to simply crack a smile. I thought to myself right then, “It’s funny how it sometimes takes the kid in us to loosen up and have some fun on a hot summer’s day.”
JYAJ: Thanks Brad. That was a great story. Joggle on.
If you want to read more about Brad and his incredible marathoning feat, check out his Operation 131 website.
And click on this joggling link to read more stories about jogglers around the world.