I got to celebrate my 33rd birthday setting my 33rd Guinness World Record for STEM.
I ran end zone to end zone on the famous blue turf at Boise State. While there weren’t 11 people trying to tackle me, I did do it while juggling. That wasn’t the hard part though. The hard part that puts this in Guinness World Record territory is that I did it while blindfolded.
102 yards to take it to the house.
It was 26 degrees and my fingers were frozen but the team came out to support so I didn’t want to let them down. It took 34 seconds (and a few tries) but the mark of 30 meters was surpassed.
Wednesday is the 33rd Birthday and I could think of no better way to celebrate than to attempt to break my 33rd Guinness World Record.
I will combine the 3 specialties that few in the world can (or would want to) claim: juggling, running, and doing both blindfolded.
I will attempt to set the inaugural mark for “Greatest distanced travelled whilst juggling three objects blindfolded”. The minimum mark set by Guinness is 30 meters.
The backdrop will be the famous Boise State University Blue turf 3 days before they play their bowl game in Las Vegas. I will attempt to start juggling while blindfolded in one end zone and without stopping, dropping a ball, or regaining my sight, I will attempt to end up in the other end zone. The saving grace is that there won’t be 11 people on the field trying to tackle me… I actually don’t know which is harder: kickoff returned for a touchdown or this…
On Wednesday the 13th at 11:30 AM it’s supposed to be 28 degrees outside so I’m hoping my fingers are still functional enough to make it.
If you’d like to come watch you’ll be able to see the field from the patio at the Hall of Fame museum. I also still need a couple people to film and witness if you’d like to volunteer and get on the field.
For my 26th Guinness World Record, I revisit my 2nd. In February of 2016, I set the Guinness mark for 370 catches in 1 minute. Last year Michael Ferreri beat it with a run of 388 catches in a minute (which is published right above me in the 2018 print edition of the book).
Tomorrow I will attempt to reclaim title to “World’s Fastest 5 ball Juggler” by attempting to reset the Guinness World Record for most catches in 1 minute (5 balls).
It will be in front of a live audience of 500 people at the Barcoding conference held at the Baltimore Raven’s Stadium at 12:30 PM ET on Oct 12. Earlier in the day, I’m going to be demystifying 5G (or possibly re-mystifying it) with an hour-long presentation about what it is, when it’s coming, and how they should prepare for it.
When I first found this record, the mark was 330 catches in 1 minute, or 5.5 catches per second meaning all 5 balls were caught and thrown every second plus more. In February of 2016, I broke the record with 370 catches in 1 minute for just over 6 catches a second.
The 2018 Guinness World Record’s book was released two days ago and I got my hand on a copy yesterday. Long story short, I made the book 3 times! Only a subset of all records are published every year so while I’ve broken a few, not all (and maybe not any) make the book.
All three are juggling records I set in 2016.
One of them is a current record (head rolls), one is a record I have already surpassed (fastest blindfolded juggling), and one is a record that has been surpassed by someone else (fastest juggling) and I’m deep into training to take back.
The one minute record was a little bit weaker but was still 77 balloons burst in 1 minute. The 30-second record was 46 balloons.
It took quite a bit of preparation at home finding the right balloons (big enough, but not too big; easy to pop, but not too easy), the right chair, the right sitting cadence, enough squats that I could sit and stand nearly 100 times in a minute, the right shorts (actually combination of shorts since I’m wearing multiple layers) to sit on a bunch of balloons and land on a hard chair without too much pain. And then there was the logistics on how to get only 2 balloons placers (Guinness Rules) fed enough balloons efficiently enough to break this record. In the end, it was a success.
The new Guinness World Records for balloon burst by sitting are:
Happy World Juggling Day on June 17, 2016. I went out to the park and broke the unofficial juggling record for fewest juggling catches in 1 minute with clubs. It was a way too windy day to be trying this (clubs are particularly sensitive to the wind since they are much much lighter than bowling pins). A couple hours and dozens of nasty bruises on my hands, chest, head, and feet later, I have a new world record.
The previous mark was 33 catches in 1 minute. I got 28… and just barely kept that last club off the ground before the minute expired (if a club touches the ground within the minute, the entire attempt is not valid. The 1-minute clock starts when the first club leaves the hand).
Here’s one more example of growth mindset, grit, and hard work leading to another success (note, I probably made about 75 attempts since it was windy and I don’t practice this much…)
The MIT 10 year reunion this weekend was phenomenal. I got to catch up with so many talented, inspired, hard-working people who are making the world a better place. The best thing about MIT is the other people.
During the weekend, I attempted 2 Guinness World Records (both successfully), 1 other world record and ended up with 4 total world records broken this weekend.
It started off with the 4 ball speed juggling record on MIT commencement day with 498 catches in one minute surpassing the previous record of 466 (not Guinness recognized). Later that day at the Boston Museum of Science the Guinness World Record for “Most juggling catches in 3 minutes (3 balls)” was broken with a run of 1288 passing the previous mark of 1200. Image Gallery Here. While setting that one, the previous record of most catches in one minute of 428 was eclipsed in the first minute with 470 catches.
Then at the annual “MIT TIM Talks” 8 former students consisting of 7 distinguished alumni and a guy who juggles gave talks about what they’ve been up to in the last 10 years. At the end we attempted to break the Guinness World Records for “Most Selfies in 3 Minutes” The previous record was 134. The MIT Class of 2007 got 166!
I’m still not sure I believe this is possible, but the video evidence tells me it is. I set the Guinness World Record for most juggling catches in 1 minute while blindfolded (3 balls) at 428 catches. Over 7 per second is pretty insane – even more so when you consider the previous record was 364 catches in 1 minute – and absolutely insane most so when I realize the Guinness World Record for most juggling catches in 1 minute (3 balls), using the eyes, is also 428 catches in 1 minute.
I hope the students at the FIRST Robotics nationals competition were as excited about this as I was. What a phenomenal program to get students excited about STEM.
At the FIRST Robotics St. Louis Championships in 2017, I gave an hour-long talk inspiring students and educators with my STEM story. I then attempted to break the blindfolded speed juggling record: the Guinness World Record for “Most juggling catches in 1 minute blindfolded (3 balls)”. I was successful on my 2nd try but still had 4 seconds left on the clock. So I tried again, and again and again until I finished a full minute and by the time I was done, I had also tied the record for “Most juggling catches in 1 minute (3 balls)”. Period. WHILE BLINDFOLDED!