Here’s another in our continuing series of interviews with juggling runners (jogglers). We first became aware of Joe Havlick when he contacted JYAJ about his PhD research project involving teaching people to juggle. Since then he’s gone on to take up the sport of joggling. Here’s his story.
Joe lives in the western suburbs of Philadelphia and works at Harriton High School in Lower Merion School District as a high school counselor. He’s 48 years old and has had a variety of careers and interests including civil engineer, businessman, basketball coach, and, of course, a juggler.
JYAJ – What is the story of how you learned to juggle?
HAVLICK: I taught myself how to juggle when I was ten years old and never looked back. I’ve done parties, fairs, and taught all kinds of people. I earned my Ph.D. last year and my research was on teaching juggling using imagery. I collected my data through an Internet site designed to teach juggling to just about anyone.
JYAJ – What kind of joggling / racing have you done?
HAVLICK: I’ve done endurance racing for years, completing my first marathon in 1984, and competing many other running and biking races, and duathlons since. My swimming sucked, but that didn’t stop a friend from talking me into triathloning (Mt. Gretna was my first ever, and I’ve done the Philly tri twice).
I taught myself how to swim for distance and completed my first of five sprint triathlons a few years ago. Last year, after communicating with “Your Average Joggler” a few times, I thought I’d give it a try during the run leg. What a home run! I don’t think I’ll every run a tri again without the juggling balls. The energy from the crowd and other runners is indispensible.
JYAJ – What is your best story about joggling?
HAVLICK: Everyone has something to say! As a triathlon joggler, the most common remarks are about my juggling during the cycling leg. By now I have the pat answer, “The cycling leg is easy, it’s the swim that’s tough.”
I was even propositioned once. A distinctly female voice told me to put the balls down and come over to her house. The problem is that I really couldn’t see who said it because I was concentrating on the juggling, and there was no one waiting for me at the finish line. What’s up with that?
JYAJ – What kind of training do you do? How fast do you run?
HAVLICK: I lift swim, cycle, run, play basketball, and do yoga. I do 7:30′s without balls and 8:30′s with balls.
JYAJ – Do you eat a special diet?
HAVLICK: Veggie, primarily, but I’ll eat meat if that’s all there is. Big breakfasts!
JYAJ – How long do you think you will keep joggling?
HAVLICK: I’m planning on joggling every running leg from now on. Why wouldn’t I? My last tri (Black Bear in the Poconos) had a mountainous bike leg and I was wasted in the last transition. I considered not joggling. I decided to and am glad for it. It gives me energy.
You just have to smile and it’s much harder to whine with a smile on your face. Try it, you can’t.
Thanks Joe! We can’t wait to hear more updates from the Triathloning Joggler.
Click here to Follow Joe on Facebook!
And check out our interviews with juggling runners page to read about more jogglers around the world.