School Counselor Completes Triathlon with Juggling

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PENSACOLA, Fla. — If you think competing in a triathlon is tough, try doing it while juggling.

That’s what Joe Salter did, becoming the first person ever to accomplish such a feat.

The 31-year-old public school counselor from Pensacola, Fla., managed to juggle during the quarter-mile swim, 16.2 mile bike and a four mile run. During the swim leg of the race, Salter laid on his back and ‘swam’ by kicking his feet while his hands stayed above water, juggling three balls. During the bike, Salter juggled two white balls with one hand. For the run, it was back to three balls for Salter. And he did it all in one hour and fifty-seven minutes.

According to the Huffington Post, Salter has been juggling since he was eight years old. In 2008 he became involved in “joggling,” the act of juggling while running. He then became obsessed with the sport’s Holy Grail: completing a triathlon while juggling.

So he started training. Salter said he trained for 10 months and confesses that swimming while juggling was the toughest part of the race.

“It’s difficult and complex,” he told the Huffington Post. “It takes a lot of work and you’re basically just using your legs. Plus, swimming in open water makes it harder. It’s not like in a pool.”

While Salter admits he dropped the balls three times while swimming, he said he was just glad he didn’t drop them while biking.

“It would have been time-consuming to go back and pick them up,” he said.

At one portion of the race, Salter had to make some quick adjustments.

“I was going about 17 mph and was surrounded by other competitors, and I had to toss the balls from one hand to the other when it was time to switch gears,” he said.

Salter has been recognized by for his accomplishment. However, you won’t be seeing his name in the Guinness Book of World Records.

“I did apply to Guinnes,” he said, “but they wanted me to ride the bike without using my hands.”

For all the attention he’s received since completing the Flora-Bama Mullet Man Triathlon in April 2012, Salter said he just hopes others will take up juggling.

“Juggling improves so many mental aspects,” he said. “Plus, you get used to failing, so it teaches you not to give up.”

Spoken like a true school counselor.

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