Ashrita Furman, Record Breaking Record Breaker

Ashrita setting the record for fastest mile on a kangaroo ball... while on the Great Wall of China!

Ashrita setting the record for fastest mile on a kangaroo ball… while on the Great Wall of China!

Someday, I aspire to hold a Guinness World Record. Not sure which one yet, or when I’d like to attempt this, but it has been a goal of mine for a while.

Once I do that, I’ll only have to break another 471 records to catch up to one Ashrita Furman, the subject of today’s post. (And that’s assuming he never breaks another record after reading this post and feeling sympathy for me).

Ashrita was born Keith Furman, and then changed his name to Ashrita (meaning “Protected by God”) after becoming a devout follower of spiritual teacher Sri Chinmoy (who himself was born Chinmoy Kumar Ghose). Furman had read the Guinness Book of Records as a child, but thought he wouldn’t break a record himself because he was nonathletic.

However, inspired by Sri Chinmoy’s teachings, he decided at age 24 to sign up for a 24-hour bicycle race and ended up making it 405 miles during that span, recounting:

“It was one of the most profound moments of my life. As I climbed off my bicycle, I realized that it wasn’t my body that had cycled for 24 hours, but my inner Spirit. By using meditation I was able to connect with an inexhaustible energy which we all have but rarely use. At that moment I decided to attempt breaking Guinness records to inspire others to connect with their own indomitable inner strength.”

He’s done pretty well so far, with 472 record breaking performances, and 163 records currently held.

That’s pretty awesome. It’s not too often you can have unequivocal proof that you’re the best at something in the entire world!

Even if that thing happens to be making the world's largest popcorn sculpture (20 feet high)

Even if that thing happens to be making the world’s largest popcorn sculpture (20 feet high)

I once thought it was impossible to spin an 11.5 foot hula hoop. Who knew!?!

I once thought it was impossible to spin an 11.5 foot hula hoop. Who knew!?!

It’s a pretty remarkable set of feats, and they are all made possible due to Ashrita’s philosophy of self-transcendence – doing things that you would have thought impossible. Not too long ago, Ashrita held 22 records (itself the high mark for records held), and in the past few years, has raised his tally to 163. And you can’t say the guy ain’t versatile either! He’s broken records in all 7 continents, and in numerous categories. Aside from the aforementioned popcorn sculpture, he has made the world’s largest flower arrangement, somersaulted 12 consecutive miles, peeled and eaten 6 boiled eggs in a minute, held 26 baseballs in a baseball glove for 10 seconds, jump roped 1608 times in an hour… while underwater(!!!), and all sorts of other cool stuff.

He has twice held the record for longest pencil, making a 20-footer, then seeing his record beaten by the Faber-Castell company. Ashrita responded by making a 76 foot pencil. Then the Staedtler company responded by building a 738 foot long one. Seems like that record will be safe for a while.

Here’s a list of the records Ashrita currently holds. Let me know if you see one you think I should undertake… I’d love to be a world record holder, so it’s simply a matter of what’s doable, and whether I can achieve a level of self-transcendence anywhere near the level reached by Ashrita.

Enjoy your Labor Day, folks!

About Dave

Based out of San Diego, California. Co-founder of the Blog of Funny Names.
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5 Responses to Ashrita Furman, Record Breaking Record Breaker

  1. Since you and your brother are fans of baseball, perhaps bat balancing or baseballs in gloves might be in order. ;-D

    • Dave says:

      Ah… good one! Ashrita also holds the record for catching tennis balls with a boxing glove (50 in one minute) so perhaps I can find one relating to my sport of choice, but not requiring actual boxing talent 🙂

  2. unfetteredbs says:

    where on earth do you find these names? and thank you for continually educating and amusing me Dave.

    • Dave says:

      You’re very welcome! It’s pretty amazing how many great names are out there once you start paying attention (and if have a wandering attention span like me and the rest of the ever-expanding BoFN crew (I think we have 9 of us now… with varying degrees of activity)).

  3. Liz says:

    you should totally break that popcorn sculpture record, Dave, and I will help you 🙂 Will start packing tonight. Do you have a costco so we can buy in bulk? 😉

    The egg one, while food-related, seems kind of gross. Though there was a Paul Newman movie where a lot of those eggs were eaten, yes?

    Fun stuff. I, too, am amazed at the names you find.

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