Tyler Wishau, D.P.M.’14, learned to juggle in the fifth grade. The New Mexico native also ran cross country and track in high school and at Carthage College. There, he learned he could combine both interests in an official sport: joggling.
That is not a typo; joggling is a competitive sport that combines running and juggling.
“Juggling while running makes it enjoyable. It lets you focus on juggling and takes your mind off how tired you are,” he says. “Juggling and running motions work together.”
Apparently so: In the 2009 International Jugglers’ Association (IJA) World Joggling Championships, Wishau set a world record in the half-mile in two minutes, 21 seconds; he won the event again in 2010 and finished second in 2011. He also was on the 4×100-meter relay team last year that set an IJA record of 55.82 seconds.
“It’s a growing sport that attracts a range of people, from novices to avid hobbyists,” he says.
Wishau fits in the latter category. In high school, he got a $200 grant from the Los Alamos, NM, Small Business Bureau to pay for his juggling equipment and business cards. The New Mexico Library System hired him, then a high school freshman, to teach juggling classes. He spent a summer performing at Chicago’s Six Flags Great America amusement park. He’s also juggled at the Iowa State Fair and fundraising walks.
“I’m blessed to have gotten so much mileage out of juggling,” says Wishau, who auditioned for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” in 2010. “I’ve had a lot of fun opportunities out of an odd talent.”
He and Brett Stewart, PA-C’12, also have performed at the popular Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market, where one of Wishau’s “big-money tricks” was juggling a machete, a torch and an apple, which he finished by splitting the apple and eating it.
“Sometimes it works so well, I’ll do that over and over – so when it comes to an apple a day, I’m set until Christmas,” he jokes.
Wishau occasionally drops a ball; for example, he ran the 2010 Drake Relays half marathon in one hour, 29 minutes and 40 seconds, with three drops. A dog once caused him to drop a ball; he then had to wrestle the soggy item from the dog’s jaws.
Most of his runs, however, are mind-boggling joggling. On Oct. 16, 2011, Wishau joggled the IMT Des Moines half marathon in one hour, 25 minutes and 45 seconds, finishing 51st out of nearly 4,000 competitors and just a minute short of the half marathon joggling world record. His goal is to continue improving his running times, for good reason.
“When I ran the half marathon, I felt almost like I had carpal tunnel, so I want to run faster,” he says.