Joggling is a sport that attracts a wide variety of participants. In this interview we bring you Matt Feldman the youngest joggler we’ve interviewed yet. He is an active high school sophomore in Palm Beach County, Florida where he runs cross country, track, plays tennis and does a fair amount of long distance joggling. Oh and did we mention that he’s in an intensive IB studies program? We asked him about his joggling life and here is what he had to say.
JYAJ: What is the story of how you learned to juggle?
FELDMAN: I loved juggling ever since my brother taught me at about age 10. A few years later, my dad got me into running. I had heard about the guy in my area that juggled while running and eventually decided to try it. Since I loved running and loved juggling, it made sense.
I tried running a mile while juggling, and it worked perfectly. I soon found out about lots more people who joggled and made it a goal to spread joggling, or at least juggling, to my area. I have done public speeches on it and brought out some jugglers in my area. I am hoping to turn them into jogglers next. Every time I joggle, I love watching the cars go by and seeing the reactions of people when they glance at me once, then again, and begin to laugh. When someone beeps or waves, you get a boost of energy and a good smile. I have been joggling about a year, and have been doing it every run I can.
JYAJ: Why did you start joggling?
FELDMAN: Long runs were getting boring and I didn’t have enough time to practice juggling. I tried sticking them together one day and it worked naturally. I had heard of someone else in my area who does it, but never saw him. I am still hoping to see him one day while joggling. It is so much fun to just enjoy a long run with the balls in hand, having hours of time to just practice tricks and play around. Also, joggling gives me the chance to run and juggle at a higher level. I am not anywhere near being the best at juggling and I probably won’t go far enough in running, but this sport gives me opportunities. There is more to it than just being the fastest person out there, it takes coordination and concentration.
JYAJ: How many races have you done while joggling?
FELDMAN: While I plan to complete numerous races soon, I have only joggled one 5k race, Race for the Miracles, in Delray Beach, Florida. It was a very fun race with zero drops and zero breaks from juggling. It was cool to hear some of the volunteers mumble something about juggling as I ran by. The policemen who kept the roads blocked off from cars were radioing each other, saying something about “juggling.” There was a restaurant along the course where people were sitting outside eating breakfast by the beach. On the way back, people were saying, “go juggler!” I ran a 23:00, which was 3 or 4 minutes slower than expected, but I didn’t have time to warm up or hydrate. I didn’t even get to pick the right colored balls. I prefer to use my red, yellow, and blue juggling balls because they are the lightest colors and easiest to see.
JYAJ: What is your best story about joggling?
FELDMAN: Once, when I was joggling in the recreational park in my area, there was a little league soccer game going on. I ran around the perimeter of the field, as it was part of my route, and little by little, everyone saw I was juggling while running. It was funny when the parents turned around to cheer me on instead of the soccer game. Even the soccer game stopped for a few moments as I turned the corner and away from the game.
JYAJ: What kind of training do you do?
FELDMAN: I joggle on every run I get a chance. The only time I don’t is when I do a track practice and I don’t want juggling to slow down my times. Juggling helps with regular runs because it keeps your pace steady. For me, that steady pace is exactly 8 min/mile. If I go any faster, I have to throw the balls shorter; any faster and I have to throw them higher to keep my arms in rhythm.
JYAJ: How long do you think you will keep joggling?
FELDMAN: Like any other joggler, I will be joggling as long as I possibly can.
JYAJ: Do you eat a special diet?
FELDMAN: Yes. I have oatmeal nearly every morning or as a snack if I am about to run on an empty stomach. I also make sure to eat enough protein for all that I am running. Eat lots of granola bars and fruit (mainly bananas) and stay away from junk foods like potato chips and soda.
JYAJ: Is joggling harder than running?
FELDMAN: Yes, it takes concentration and a little more effort than regular running. I find my joggling times to be about 20 seconds slower per mile than regular running, using the same effort. Also, you can’t use your hands for anything while joggling, so just scratching an itch on your head is a complicated procedure that is possible to end up in a drop.
JYAJ: What do you use while joggling?
FELDMAN: During my first few weeks of joggling, I used tennis balls filled with some pennies. Now, I use some regular-sized stress balls from an impulse bin at Sports Authority. The red, yellow, and blue balls are best because they are easiest to see against the background. They weigh about 3 ounces. I don’t know what normal juggling balls are like, but I love these. They are soft, comfortable, resilient, and easy to recover if dropped.
JYAJ: What are your joggling goals?
FELDMAN: Eventually, I hope to break the 5k or 10k record, if they don’t lower too much by the time I’m fast enough.
JYAJ: Do you have any advice for would-be jogglers?
FELDMAN: I thought I was good at juggling when I first tried joggling, but I messed up so many times on my first joggle. If the same thing happens to you, don’t give up because your next joggle will be much better. After a few more runs, you probably won’t even drop one per mile. Don’t give up.
JYAJ: Where do you see the sport of joggling in 10 years?
FELDMAN: I think joggling can become a fairly popular sport in the next 10 years. The number of jogglers will only be growing and there is nothing hindering the sport. It takes coordination, endurance, concentration, and determination. It is fun and anyone who gives it a chance will probably get pulled into it. Hopefully, there there will be more joggling oriented races than just the IJA in the future.
Thanks Matt! Good luck with your joggling adventures in the future and keep us posted on how you’re doing. And go here for more for more joggling interviews.