Saw in the news recently that American swimmer Diana Nyad has ended yet another of her attempts to be the first person to swim between Florida and Cuba without a shark cage. As an aside, the person who did it with a shark cage can be found here although there appears to be some disagreement.
This desire to break records reminded me of a recent ceditra entry that I wrote. From August 10 of this year, my process for finding subjects randomly to write about (no jellyfish were harmed in this process) landed me on page 876 of the World Almanac and Book of Facts 2011 where I found this line…
400 meters(4×100) 41.37s E.Germany Oct 6, 1985 Canberra, Australia
This snippet tells of the current world held in the 4×100 meter relay race. The last names of these record holders of a 26-year old record are Glabisch, Rieger, Auserwald, and Goehr. Now you know.
There was a time in my life when I wanted to break a record in the Guinness Book of World Records. When I was young, probably about the age of my middle child, Jared (which is ten), I was fascinated by this book of world records. There was even a time when I was buying a new edition of this book each year. Not that most of the records changed with the new year. The oldest tree was still the oldest tree; the largest object in the Universe was still the largest; and so forth. The only records that seemed likely to change were the human achievements and so that is where I set my sights.
Tree house-sitting was still mildly popular when I was young but I didn’t have a tree house. My dad was unlike all those cinematic and TV fathers and he never built me a treehouse. It also didn’t help that I lived in suburban Southern California and there were no trees in our small backyard that would support such a structure.
I tried practicing balancing coins on my elbow and then trying to snatch them with the same hand. I could do up to five quarters reasonably well, but I do believe the record back then was somewhere well north of forty.
Continuous pogo-stick jumping seemed boring and I certainly didn’t want to try and become the world’s heaviest man. Being the tallest or shortest was out of the question and I didn’t think I had the stomach (literally) to break any of the multitude of eating records that were in the books (e.g., x pancakes in y seconds).
I once thought I could set the record for most editions owned of the Guinness Book of World Records by one person.
Now, I’ll settle for being the oldest man ever.
Back to September and that last sentence is still my dream.