Here’s a reprint of an excellent story about Bob and Trish Evans’ joggling adventures. What a treat it is that they are able to travel around the country and spread the fun of joggling. Hopefully, they’ll swing by Chicago soon.
If you’ve eve had trouble walking and chewing gum at the same time, you might not want to look too closely at what Bob and Trish Evans do in their free time.
The couple, in town earlier this month as part of a tour around the country, specializes in joggling, a sport that combines juggling and running.
The Evans’ excel in their unusual sport. Both have set Guinness World Records running while keeping several balls in the air. But they don’t take it too seriously, even with dozens of races and multiple records on the books.
“You really can’t get too serious when you’re juggling, one of the perks!” Trish Evans said in an email interview after their Walla Walla visit.
In principle, joggling is simple: Keep (at least) three balls in circulation while running, and transfer a ball per stride. In practice, you’ve got to stop and pick up the balls if you drop them during a race. But that would be you, not the Evanses: “We rarely drop in races, maybe once every 10 races or so,” Bob Evans said.
Bob and Trish, both of whom grew up in Wisonsin, met in college at Michigan Technological University through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Trish ran cross country and skied in college and Bob was a basketball player. When their collegiate athletic careers drew to a close, they turned to a wide variety of new pursuits.
“There was a time when we were both learning a bunch of new skills together with newfound freedom: rock climbing, water polo, musical instruments, ballroom dancing, hula-hooping and juggling,” Bob Evans said.
Juggling became a jumping off point for the couple to start doing performances at nursing homes.
“Looking back, those shows were pretty terrible, but the residents enjoyed them and we’ve learned that the first step to being good at something is sucking (or being bad) at something,” he said.
Joggling was a next step, in Trish’s words, “a logical combination of things we are passionate about.”
“We had been running and juggling separately a while before we tried joggling, and when we eventually tried it (not long after we heard about it) we were surprised we hadn’t thought of it ourselves before,” Trish Evans said.
“It’s been an incredible journey and I’m so grateful that my husband/life partner/best friend is on the same journey I am,” she said.
The couple has wrapped up a 23,000 mile-plus tour of the country that started last August and encompassed 27 races in 17 states and plenty of couch surfing. Indeed, a website called couchsurfing.org is how the couple landed a place to stay in Walla Walla, with fellow high school teacher Adam Newbold.
The couple’s plans for what’s next include training for a joggling triathlon. They hope to raise $20,000 for Special Olympics while competing in the Panther Pride Sprint Triathlon in Iowa.
Alasdair Stewart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org