Regular folks like you and me would be more than flattered to have one Guinness World Records title on their name, but did you know that there is one man who has set more than 500 official records? His name is Ashrita Furman and you would be wrong if you thought he has some superhuman capability, as he is just a regular person like you and me, except he is much more ambitious, determined, and perseverant.
Ashrita Furman has basically dedicated his entire life to breaking world records and currently he holds more Guinness records than anyone else on the planet.
Since 1979, when he earned his first record for performing 27,000 consecutive jumping jacks, he has set more than 500 records and currently he has more than 200 standing records under his belt, including the official title for the most records held at the same time by a single person.
Born in 1954, the same year the first Guinness Book of World Records was published, the 61-year-old New Yorker has spent the last 30 years trying, and succeeding most of the time, to break records. He managed to reach the lofty number of titles he currently holds through a combination of setting new records and breaking existing ones.
It all started when, as a child, he became fascinated with the annual book of records and began dreaming of accomplishing something so extraordinary as to be worthy of being recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records. However, due to his lack of athleticism, he never thought he could ever break a record.
“As a kid, I was always a fan of the Guinness book. I mean, I might say a fanatic. I used to carry that book around like my Bible. There was something about it that just appealed to me. I don’t know what it was.”
Well, it seems that the mantra “never stop dreaming, never stop believing, never give up” proved very useful in his case, as after managing to set his first record, he never stopped. The closest anyone has ever come to surpassing him was holding 20 records, so it’s safe to say that, for the time-being, he is unbeatable.
As of 2014, Furman has set records in 40 countries and some of his achievements include pushing a car for 17 miles in 24 hours, translating and reciting a poem in 111 languages in 24 hours, the fastest mile while hula-hopping, chin-balancing the tallest pole, the fastest mile bouncing on a yoga ball, farthest distance while balancing a pool cue, jumping rope on a pogo stick, chopping 27 apples in mid-air with a samurai sword within sixty seconds, walking 80.95 miles with a milk bottle on his head, and many others.
The record he is the proudest of is perhaps running the fastest mile in a sack, which he accomplished in Mongolia while racing a yak.
When asked why he devotes so much time and energy to setting records, he confessed that he does it both for fun and to discover himself as a spiritual being.
“You know what? The point is joy. The point is the challenge. It’s something silly but you’re the best in the world at it,” he says. “Usually a person breaks one record and they’re satisfied, but for me this is actually part of my spiritual quest.”
And it’s easy to understand his reasons, as obviously his endeavors involve a lot of training and thinking, finding creative ways to go around beating an already established record or setting a new one.
Embedded below you can find a video of Ashrita talking about his passion and adventures.