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As the title suggests, I attempted to break a world record today. It did not go exactly as I expected….

It all started a few weeks ago when I was bored and surfing the web. Like any bored person on the internet, the idea of making constructive use of my time by breaking a world record quickly came to me. So I went to guinnessworldrecords.com to look for a world record that I could possibly beat.

As it turns out, there is a whole section of the website devoted to encouraging people to submit videos of themselves breaking records at home. I looked through the records trying to find something that I could realistically break.

Within the duration of 10 minutes I had become extremely motivated to actually do this (my motivation tends to grow rather quickly, and occasionally die rather fast). This was no longer something to simply pass the time out of boredom; I was now determined. After all, who doesn’t want their own Guinness World Record Certificate proving that they’re one in seven billion, the absolute best at something. Yeah, I thought it would be pretty cool.

The vast majority of records were near impossible for me to break of course. One title was “Most hula hoop rotations while standing on one leg in 1 minute.” Now, I don’t mean to brag, but I’ve considered myself an expert-level hula hooper for a pretty long time. I even won a hula hooping contest at my family reunion several years ago. So, as you might imagine, I was pretty intrigued by the title of this record, and I clicked on it to see the current world record holder.

A moment later the video begins with a small Indian girl holding a hula hoop standing in front of the camera. She’s maybe six. Okay, is she waiting to give the hula hoop to her dad or something? No. When I see that she is about to begin, I laugh. This is gonna be an easy record to beat, I just don’t want to hurt her feelings or lower her spirits for breaking her record.

The hula hoop starts spinning and I realize that it’s my spirits that are lowered, not hers. She moves in perfect rhythm and the hula hoop appears to be electrically powered. I can’t help but wonder if in her short six years this was all she trained to do. ‘Cause it paid off, she mastered the art of hula hooping on one leg.

But all is not lost. There are tons of more records on the website that are breakable. After not even considering several, including the fastest time to drink 500ml water (human vacuum?), the longest paperclip chain in 30 seconds, most start jumps in one minute (I thought I could do this at first… I was wrong), and most leapfrog jumps in 30 seconds by a team of two (I wonder if they realize how dumb they look?), I found it. I found the perfect record to beat. Something that was both doable and prestigious.

Fastest time to eat a slice of toast bread

The current world record holder was 9.83 seconds. Ha! I could beat that. This will be almost too easy. I had already begun fantasizing. How awesome would it be to just casually say in conversation, “Yeah, by the way did I mention that I have the official Guinness World Record for fastest time to eat a slice of bread? I know, I know, it’s pretty awesome.” It was the perfect fun-fact.

Remember, this was a few weeks ago. I quickly became busy with other things, such as my internship which I talked about in an earlier post. So I didn’t have time at that moment to go ahead and break the world record. So I bookmarked the page, and stored it in the back of my mind.

A few weeks later and it’s today. My sister reminds me about the world record I chose to break. Today is the day. Today is the day that I become the best in the world at something. Today is the day that I get the most awesome fun fact ever: World Record Holder of Fastest Time to Eat a Slice of Toast Bread. Today is the day that I get placed in the elite pantheon of world record holders, among the likes of Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Michael Jackson.

We bought the bread and I got ready. The plan was for my sister to film and time me as I made history.

First Attempt: My sister says “Go!” and I begin viciously attacking the piece of bread. From my sister’s, and the camera’s, perspective I’m doing great so far. On track to beat 9.83 seconds. What they don’t know is that the entire piece of bread has clumped up and is stuck to the roof of my mouth. I know it’s hopeless and I realize that his is harder than I expected. By the time I spit the bread out, not wanting to fill up on it needlessly, nearly a minute had passed.

Second Attempt: This time, in an effort to redeem myself, I attack the bread with even more fury. Too much fury. Within the first few seconds, I accidentally bite my finger and yell out in pain. Nevertheless, I courageously continue with the attempt, and finish with a time well over one minute. Yeah, I failed. Quite miserably.

So now my sister wants to give it a try. I laugh, telling her that it’s way harder than it looks. She tries anyway and finishes with the surprisingly fast time of 32.40 seconds. Somehow she got the fourth fastest time, and is officially the third fastest person in the world to eat a slice of bread!

I set out weeks ago on a journey to break a record. I committed myself to it (sorta), and I motivated myself to do it. This was my record, my journey. But at the last moment, as I was failing to even break a minute, my sister came out of nowhere and managed to make the top 3 official fastest bread eaters in the world (I’m sure there are thousands, maybe millions, of faster bread eaters, but it’s the official that matters).

So, I’m back to square one. Maybe I’ll look for another world record to break (probably not). But till then I encourage any of you to attempt one of these records. Who knows? Maybe you have a special talent for hula hooping on one leg.

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