Today’s interview features Joe Salter, a joggler from Florida. There’s something about that state that must inspire jogglers. He’s our 4th one! Joe is 28 years old living in Pensacola, Florida. He works as a mental health therapist with school age children, and frequently use juggling as a way to connect with kids and motivate them to learn. He recently started joggling and is training hard for his first joggling marathon.
What is the story of how you learned to juggle?
SALTER: I learned to juggle when I was 8 years old. My dad was a juggler/entertainer and he taught me how to juggle 3 balls. In high school, I juggled 3 and 4 balls to improve hand eye coordination to help my basketball skills. My Dad always told me he would give me a ‘100 dollars’ if I learned how to juggle 5 balls. I was not successful at this challenge, due to lack of dedication to put in the sweat to learn 5. After graduating with a master’s degree, I got bored with so much free time and gave it another try. Around 3-4 weeks later, I was juggling 5. Instead of $100, I made him buy me some professional juggling balls (7 of them).
When did you start joggling?
SALTER: While training for the San Francisco Marathon in Aug 2008, I decided to take up joggling. After that race, I really got into it. I discovered joggling through this website (Just Your Average Joggler), and have been hooked ever since.
Why did you start joggling?
SALTER: I love juggling and jogging. So, joggling is the perfect blend. I wanted to achieve something different after running my first marathon. I like joggling because it allows me to be eccentric and to be myself, to do fun things that make people smile. Joggling takes me out of my comfort zone and it’s exhilarating. It’s inexpensive too, which is a plus.
How many races have you done while joggling?
SALTER: Zero. I am currently training to joggle the Pensacola Marathon on Feb 15th 2009. This should be a lot of fun. Can’t wait.
What are some of your favorites?
SALTER: The San Francisco Marathon is a nice marathon. Can’t beat the weather and sights. And, my opportunity to meet UltraMarathoner Dean Karnazes wasn’t so bad either. He’s been a huge inspiration to me and many others. ‘Karno’ inspires my running, Anthony Gatto inspires my juggling.
What are some of your most interesting joggling stories?
SALTER: One time I was joggling down a sidewalk and was approaching a guy walking ahead of me. He turned around quickly and looked back at me to see who was coming from behind. The confused expression on his face as he turned around and continued walking was classic. As I joggled by him, I laughed a little and said ‘bet you didn’t expect to see that when you turned around.’ He laughed, and said ‘no I didn’t.’ It’s mainly the surprised looks that I get while joggling that is the most interesting to me. The element of surprise and confusion can’t be described with words.
What kind of training do you do? How fast do you run?
SALTER: I try to joggle about 4-5 days a week, with one long run on the weekends. I do some speedwork, maybe once a week. I use weighted juggling balls (tennis balls filled with coins) periodically. I juggle 4-6 times a week (3-7 balls). I will build up to marathon endurance using a training schedule like Hal Higdon’s. I do pushups, pull-ups, and strength training 2-3 times a week.
Do you eat a special diet?
SALTER: Lots of water. Chicken and fish, bread/pasta, vegetables and fruits. I like to eat PowerGels and raisins on long training runs.
How long do you think you will keep joggling?
SALTER: Until my arms and legs give out.
Do you have any advice for would-be jogglers?
SALTER: Learn to juggle 3 balls solid, before joggling. Go practice joggling and you will learn to get into a groove with your running motion. Don’t look at the balls, look straight ahead of you. Watch out for pine cones and other things to sprang your ankle on, especially at night. Learn to turn and look left and right while joggling, so you can cross streets safely. You should practice this a lot before actually crossing roads. Just stop joggling when crossing streets when you’re still a novice, getting run over by a car to keep your joggling pattern going isn’t worth it! Have fun with it and learn tricks, be open to looking silly and getting strange looks.
Where do you see the sport of joggling in 10 years?
SALTER: It’s all up in the air.
What’s your best advice for beginning a happy marriage?
SALTER: Pick the one worth running with, and learn to joggle with your partner every step of the way.
Thanks Joe. Great interview and good luck with your upcoming marathon. If you’d like to see some of Joe’s work, check out Joe’s Video webpage.
Check out the joggler interview pages for more joggling interviews.