There are questions which echo eternally from the smoke-filled dorm rooms of juniors with undeclared majors across this great nation. Deep, seemingly unanswerable questions like “could God make a kettlebell so heavy that even he couldn’t lift it?” and “isn’t the opposite of progress like, anti-gress?” and “is there a Guinness World Record for most Guinness World Records?”
It is with no small amount of delight that we lay at least that last question to rest. There is, in fact, a verified holder of the record for most world records. Known to the world as Ashrita Furman, he is a pinnacle of human achievement, a monolith of man’s ability to do stuff, and an unwavering force in the ongoing struggle to see how many grapes a person can catch in their mouth. Depending on your worldview, his tale will leave you feeling either desperately unaccomplished for never having learned to unicycle underwater, or like you made the right choice by deciding to focus on work instead of, say, seeing how long you could balance on an exercise ball.
Pogo-ing where no man has po-gone before
According to Mister Furman’s website (which is charming, brightly colored, and just screams joie de vivre) it all started during childhood. Born Keith Furman of Brooklyn, New York, the future totem of human exceptionalism found himself fascinated by world record holders from an early age, but felt certain that he would never find himself among their ranks due to his perceived lack of athleticism. An abrupt conversion to Indian spiritualism changed all of that, and by 1979, Furman had changed his first name to Ashrita (meaning “protected by God”) and won his first of many world records: performing 27,000 jumping jacks.
Since then, Ashrita has set, broken, and even created a combined total of more than 300 world records, including Most Games of Hopscotch Completed in 24 Hours, Fastest 10k Sack Race, Fastest 8 Kilometer Stilt Walk, and Greatest Distance Juggling on a Pogo Stick.
Why, what have you accomplished lately?
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