Making Friends with a Joggler
I admit I’m a social runner. I like to talk. It's easy to start the conversation... you just talk about the weather, right? I’ve met several people (strangers) while running who have later become my friends. And I really hope the guy I met today wants to be friends! At first, I passed him. Then he passed me. I passed him going uphill, he passed me going down. Our pace was similar. Yet our strides totally different. I looked like a runner, he looked like, well, a juggler. I skipped the small talk about the clouds overhead and asked, “Are you doing that the entire time you are running?”
He smiled as if he’d been asked the same question dozens of times before. Today he juggled the entire 15 miles he was jogging in Central Park. And he’ll be running the marathon again this year while juggling (at about the same pace as me - not juggling!) Which came first? Juggling or Jogging? Juggling he says is his passion. He can juggle seven items but sticks to just 3 during the 26.2 mile marathon. He speaks with a pleasant accent because he’s originally from South Africa, now living in New York City. (I was asking a lot of questions and felt guilty since he was juggling while answering so I talked about my trip to his native South Africa but my story didn’t last long because more people were passing us and cheering at him as we approached Strawberry Fields.)
It's not everyday you see a Joggler. Yes, that’s right. I was jogging with a joggler. Meet the very fit and youthful 66-year-old Jack Hirschowitz. He’s the oldest joggler to complete a marathon. Lots of people smile when he runs by, some might be silently wondering if he’s somewhat insane. Juggling while jogging. But you should know, he’s a psychiatrist. I asked him what a doctor would say about a man who jogs and juggles… he said it’s “a very good thing to desire to be fit.” I hope it’s just as sane to want to have a friend who is a joggler.
The ING New York City Marathon is Nov. 6th. Jack's fastest marathon is 4:51. My goal is to beat the Joggler!