TODAY   |  April 07, 2014

Woman tries to break record for truck pull in heels

Toronto native Lia Grimanis, a formerly homeless woman, attempts to break the world record for pulling a truck in high heels as part of the “Spring Breakers TODAY” series. Grimanis wants to raise awareness for women and homelessness.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> it's day one of our special weeklong show, spring breakers today, some remarkable attempt are going to attempt to set guinness world records right here on our plaza. first up, leah gremanis, and the heaviest vehicle pulled in high heels by a female. you get that? in a moment, she's going to try to pull that 15,000-pound truck five meters, or as savannah will tell you the translation, 16 feet -- 16.4 feet.

>> exactly. this is to raise awareness for women in homelessness. walmart is going to donate $15,000 to women in need here in new york if she sets the record. but first, her story, take a look.

>> i am leah gremanis from toronto, canada, and i pull trucks. most people who do truck pulling are in strong man competitions. i've never done one of those. i'm a flat-footed, pigeon toned asthmatic gym class flunky. i never thought i'd be doing anything like this, but turns out i'm good at it. when you're pulling a truck, you'd think it would start hurting from the back and go downward. but really, it starts from your feet and it goes up. when it comes to training, you can't do it in any kind of enclosed space. it's the most humiliating thing, actually, because i go into a parking lot and i tie myself to my car and i go for a job. if ever i were to run for mayor, my only scandal would be a thousand twitter pictures of my butt. when i was homeless, i have to say that i actually didn't think that my life would turn into anything. when you're talking about survival, when you're talking about the challenge of trying to pull yourself, turn your life around, it's kind of like pulling a truck, because ultimately, it's really, really hard at first. but if you persist and persist and persist, and it really does take little steps, just like in life, when i was in my shelter bed, i made the promise that i would become successful and i would come back and be a role model, help other women to rebuild their lives faster than i did. it's not just about pulling trucks, obviously. i tried to make my life into a story that would capture the imagination of other people, that would be so outrageously amazing that anyone could believe that they could get to where they wanted to be as welch that's an example that inspires.

>> well, without further ado, let's say hello to leah . we also have the guinness world records adjudicator here. i love this, because it's such a great metaphor. let's get practical. how did you discover that you were good at pulling heavy trucks in high heels ?

>> you know, honestly, it was kind of by accident. but when i got out of the shelter, i was trying to find a job and the only thing i could find was rick shaw running. so i was pulling people and i got paid for every single person i could put in there, so i was known for taking as many people as possible. i grew up pulling. it was the way i pulled myself out of poverty.

>> you said it's not enough to do it in sneakers, let's do this in high heels ?

>> you better believe it. you know what? turning your life around after homelessness is way harder than pulling a truck in high heels . so i want to show women that we're stronger than we think we are, and that we can get there. my organization helps that. we've proven that women who are homeless can rebuild their lives, become successful businesswomen, successful career women .

>> you're a great example in every way. should we just step out of the way and let you do this thing?

>> anything we have to be watching for, mike, that will qualify or disqualify leah ?

>> we've already mentioned her heels. they're good. they're at three inches. we've mentioned the truck. it's good.

>> so, leah . you tell us when you're ready and you just have at it, okay?

>> you said it's okay to talk to you during this, right?

>> got it in neutral? yeah. oh, my goodness.

>> come on, leah .

>> leah ! leah ! leah !

>> her feet are slipping. and to be honest, i'm looking at the plaza, and it looks uphill. couldn't you have done this in the other direction?

>> now you tell us?

>> leah , the wheels are moving a little bit, but then they keep rocking backward.

>> it's uphill.

>> you have no idea how badly i want to get behind the truck and give a little push.

>> it's definitely moving a little bit, which is impressive in and of itself.

>> leah , what do you think?

>> it's uphill!

>> i have to be honest with you, we're thinking the same thing. this looks like it's going uphill here.

>> either flat ground or uphill.

>> we can't do it downhill.

>> a 1.3 grade.

>> that's what we're trying.

>> i notice your feet -- you have a little leverage and then all of a sudden your feet would slip a little bit.

>> i've got another pair of shoes if you guys would be willing to let me try it again.

>> we've got some representatives here from walmart.

>> all you do to raise awareness , we think this should go to women in need anyway.

>> oh. thank you.

>> thank you so much.

>> yeah.

>> this is really amazing, because there is -- this is a no-lose situation. women in need have been supporting -- i'm really thankful to ford for supporting up with women , because they believe in supporting the economic empowerment of women just like you guys do. and i'm incredibly proud just to be here. so thank you.

>> we're proud of you for trying. you gave it your best effort. we really thank you.