Everyone should have a World Record

Dear Superhumans,

I wrote this a few years back so I hope you enjoy it, and ignore the horrible grammatical errors therein.

“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.”

-Michael Jordan

February 15th was not unlike any other day i’ve experienced in my 11,588 days here on earth.  I woke up. I ate food. However, the similarities stop there.  Every day prior to February 15th I was very basic, ordinary, and my progression from infant, child, boy and man was incredibly average. This day however was different… I was going to try to be the best at something, and I don’t mean the best like…”1st place in the middle school geography bee”…no, I mean the incomprehensible singularity of being the best in the world at something.  Even saying that…THE WORLD’S BEST sounds, well alien, but it was the truth. I was going to attempt to break the Guinness Book Of World Records Record for Highest Standing Jump (Box Jump).  A completely meaningless skill that literally has no real world applications, but I had an opportunity to be the best in the world at it.  

-Rewind to February 12th-


(Gulp) “That’s high” I said to myself but out loud.  To say my confidence was shaken was an understatement.  For the first time I got a hands on look at the box that was constructed for the attempt.  It came up to my collar bone.  61” from bottom to top to be exact. Patrick, a co-worker did a fantastic job constructing it to look as menacing as possible. “Well let’s see if it breaks” he said.  After a quick warm up I took a couple of jumps to see where i was at, all of which were no where near the top.  Honestly only a couple of inches away but it felt like miles.  I was defeated. My mental state went down the drain and any and all confidence I had been building up disappeared.  At that point, the most logical thing I could do (in my mind) was figure out a way to get out of the jump.  Fake an Injury? Car problems? Fake an Injury? But as Saturday approached the time to make a tail between the legs exit was gone.  I was left with one option, do the jump and hope the planets align.

-The Jump-

           More people showed up than I could have anticipated. Friends drove from different states, people I trained at the center showed their support, entire sports teams, and even randoms off the street joined in the festivities. As the throng gathered inside the Athletic Republic in Park City, I removed my self from the crowd and started my warm up. Fifteen minutes later I was underneath my desk without any distractions taking real time to dig deep and visualize over and over again what a perfect jump would look like. I pushed out all the attempts that defeated me on Wednesday and replaced them with perfect world record breaking jumps. I don’t remember being afraid anymore, just focused on doing my best.  I did my best to calm my heart down while I made my way to the box which was in the center of the crowd. I’ve never had my heart beat so violently.

I guess there were about a hundred people there but I had the blinders on and didn’t notice anyone. I just saw the box. **Fun Fact: I named the box Clint, after my high school nemesis**.  I put my head down, put my hands up on the box and said a mini prayer. “Dear god, please bless me that I can be strong enough to make this, but if I can’t… bless me with the strength to deal with it.”  I could hear clapping and random “LETS GO’s” and “Come on B!”’s. The Violent drum beating of my heart did not subside.   I did my pre jump routine of getting tall and raising my arms up high, bending down, staying bouncy. Then the jump. First Jump. Failure. Slippage. Not even close. Second jump. Failure. Same result. Third jump. Success?…Before I knew it my right foot surprised me by being on top of the box! But before I could convince the left to join the right, I was sliding back down the front of the box.  It was at this point in time that fear, slowly but surely, started changing into something much more powerful than fear, fearlessness. Genuine wholesome self confidence. Arms stretched high into the air, I started jump number four. I leaped and hit the corner solidly my shin scratching it pretty good on the grip tape. Good enough to see bone. Shins don’t have a lot of meat:)  As the muted cheering and chanting began I told myself “This is it, you have nothing to fear. Not humiliation, embarrassment, or even pain, you have only to gain at this point. Give it everything you’ve got and take this moment.” I exploded up reaching my hands high. The bottoms of my feet were near my chin when BOTH of them landed on the box. I leaned forward as much as I could but it was too late, my weight too far back, and a slight rock in the box when I landed sent me back down to earth…

I knew physically that jumping higher after three attempts was statistically unlikely, but I pressed on. I later learned that I made 19 attempts in total. My shins got the worst of it. Hair, blood, and even skin is still on that box. I was a little emotional when I told everyone thank you for coming but I would not be able to go on. I had no more left in me I was wiped physically and emotionally.  Expecting to see many disappointed faces something strange and unexpected happened, (like in the animated classic The Grinch, when the Grinch hears songs of joy after he’s stolen the town’s gifts) the crowd started clapping. My mom and dad hugged me. People were smiling and told me how awesome it was. I had random strangers say it was “The coolest thing I’ve ever seen”. One lady I train said it was “drama!” She was on a crazy emotional ride the whole time.  My buddies dad wrote a giant report on it on facebook and stated emphatically that he was grateful he was able to get work off to watch it happen.  

I did not break the record that day. I made it on top of the box three or four times but never came to a complete stand. I jumped nineteen times and was unsuccessful nineteen times. But I did not fail.  I can’t explain how grateful I was for that opportunity. I am without a doubt a better man because I faced that challenge despite the odds. I learned three things from that event. #1) That I am capable of more than I could have imagined. And #2) That giving your all is as honorable in defeat as it is in victory. 3) This might be the most important. Fear is OK. It’s normal to have, but what is not ok is to let the fear make your decisions. Had I let the fear of failing win, I wouldn’t have even tried.

For a first post, this would be categorized as long winded, soap boxey, and maybe even cheesy, but I believe at the root of every goal there has to be a deep belief in one’s self for the goal to be reached. This website is a resource for those who have lofty goals and aspirations. I hope you will set some lofty goals, dream big, and then do everything in your power to attain them.  


Brandon Talbot
Future Guinness World Record Holder.  

P.S. Three months later I set the record for the single leg jump with 48″. This was 2 years ago and my body wouldn’t let me reattempt it now, but I’m sure grateful that I had the title when I did!