Joie de vivre: Ashrita Furman is doing it right.
The Record Breaker is a documentary about Ashrita, the person with the most Guinness Records of all time. (For the record, – See what I did there?! – he currently holds 156 world records, although he’s broken 458 over the years.) My favorite record of his is a three-way tie between:
- Underwater jump roping (900 jumps in an hour)
- Duct taping a person to a wall (32.85 seconds)
- Jello eating with chopsticks (1 lb. 5 oz. in one minute) <– !!!
Naturally, Furman also holds the record for “Most current records held at the same time by an individual.” I bet that makes him feel like this:
Yippee!!! I’m pretty awesome!!! (And yes, Virginia, that *is* the largest hula hoop ever spun.)
In the documentary, director Brian McGinn invites viewers to join Furman’s journey through the bizarre but beautiful world of “Guinnessport.” That’s the “technical” term for the undertaking of challenges specifically designed to merit a world record. We watch as Furman – a health food store owner by trade – trains for an attempt at climbing Machu Picchu… on stilts.
He also holds a record for “Mid-air apple cutting with samurai sword.” No, like – for real.
The film was released in August 2012, so I’m a bit late to the party. Luckily, screenings are still going on at film festivals around the country (and the movie is cleaning up awards as it goes). I can’t find an announcement for the next stop right now, but it should eventually be posted here.
Really, the reason this movie intrigues me so much is that it’s a celebration of childlike joy married to intense focus. If we all found a way to devote this much loving effort to our passions, the world would definitely be a more colorful place! (I, for one, would be the proud owner of at least nine ballet-dancing dogs.) In that vein, I’ll wrap things up with a few words from one reviewer: “Chasing what makes us happy may be the most important lesson The Record Breaker has taught us.”