took to world record-breaking in
2004 after being inspired by a record-setting rally
driver in Kenya. What began as a hobby soon escalated
into an active publicity pursuit. Today, he promotes the
work of social and environmental causes. For these
purposes, the most fitting game plans are chosen; then
world titles are attempted and frequently created.
Wall Street Journal:
Shaking On It in Times Square
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Behind every world record attempt is the expertise of professionals in their field.
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Most side jumps in 30 seconds: 51
This is the story behind my world record for the Most side jumps in 30 seconds.
Life is beautiful. And getting world records for living life makes it
even better. Yes, it’s true – there’s nothing that compares to
receiving recognition for just about everything one does. In my world,
I love being acknowledged for as much as I can get. Rather
self-centred, but it’s the best one can make of being alive. That’s my
So, since I’ve spat, thrown, hung, worn, ripped,
eaten, blown and smashed my way into world record categories, why not
add jumping to that? It made perfect sense to me. The mere thought of
jumping toward another world record made me so excited right there, I
began jumping on the spot, much like a Masai tribesmen in a traditional
jumping ceremony. The floor of my tiny house began to creak almost
immediately. I stopped, fearing I might end up waist deep through the
By then, my energy was high and my enthusiasm
even higher. I couldn’t resist, so I swung open the front door, skipped
out onto the grass and jumped in the same place until there were
footprint indentations in the ground. My heart was beating hard, but
that didn’t deter me. I rested for a moment, then continued jumping as
high as I could, picturing the Masai and Samburu champion jumpers of
east Africa in my mind. Much as I wanted to keep jumping forever, I
couldn’t, and the strain on my heart forced me to take a break.
Obviously, I couldn’t be the tribesman I thought I was.
But that workout made one thing clear to me. I
can jump – albeit not as well as an African tribesman, and I believed I
could jump my way to my next world record. In my favour was the fact
that I already held a similar world record; knowledge I’d draw on to
Resigning myself to planning, I drew up a list of
requirements. Many were simple, but it all depended on my enthusiasm. I
spent hours on the telephone, full of so much energy I was jumping at
every opportunity. Several calls later, a lot of what I needed was
arranged. All that remained was for me to take my assistants to the
venue and begin the real jumping. That day came quickly, amid days
involving many other world record attempts for me.
helpers and I dropped our bags on the
passenger waiting platform in New Zealand’s biggest railway station.
Nobody paid any attention. That was fine with me, because they’d be
looking later, I was sure. The three of us completed the required admin
and got straight to the action. Yes, I’d practised, but much of my
learning had been while I was otherwise engaged - such as while waiting
for others to answer their ringing telephones. I felt reasonably
comfortable with my ability as I went to stand in front of a large
pillar where I’d jump.
I placed my sign alongside me, which I commonly
do to advertise what I’m doing. Within minutes, spectators were
gathering and I could hear coins being dropped into the collection tin.
Good, I thought. People were waiting and I wasn’t ready. My assistant
needed to get the video camera operational. Soon, all was working and I
threw off my shoes, rolled up my trouser legs and posed. Upon the
timekeeper’s instruction, I jumped for the first time of many, clapped
the soles of my feet together audibly, and landed in a different
position. As soon as my feet made contact with the wooden floor, I
launched my body back into the air to reverse the process. And again
and again I went. By this time, people were watching with more
attention. How could they not – here was what appeared to be an insane
man jumping in the middle of the train station!
Children were particularly interested. But much
to the disappointment for those who arrived well into my 30 seconds of
action, the next thing it was all over. I was relieved; perhaps some
spectators wanted to see more. From me? Never. This was incredibly
tiring. I buckled over forwards from exhaustion. My chest expanded and
contracted in quick succession as I fought to regain my breath. A
number of minutes later, I was once again full of energy and ready to
discuss the event with my two assistants.
Some passengers had taken photos; others had
taken video on their mobile telephones. I liked it. This might
encourage them to get out and get some exercise. Or maybe they just
thought I was some caged beast on the loose for the day.
At 51 side jumps in the allocated time, I’d
actually beaten the rate I’d jumped at years before for a similar world
record. I was pleased, even though I must have looked like a lunatic to
anyone unaware of my aims. That’s what the public sign was for,
although I’m not convinced people believed it. I did, though. In fact,
I was so impressed with myself that I jumped a few more times from
satisfaction. To me that was rewarding, although any Masai or Samburu
tribesman would probably have shuddered to see my trivial pursuits
compared to their achievements.
Having completed our task, my assistants and I
collected the gear – including the donations - and left the train
station behind. All I needed to remember that station for was its
ability to provide me with a record breaker’s playground. And I’ll be
back there one day, for something else I might jump with excitement