David Rush is in a hurry to set more Guinness World Records, all in the name of promoting STEM education to students.
The man who holds 200 Guinness records set out on a mission to set 52 records in 52 weeks last year, and now all that's left for a handful of them is to be verified by Guinness World Records. He's almost officially reached his goal after a nice surprise on the 3rd hour of TODAY Thursday.
"I wanted to give students this tangible example that if you set your mind to a goal, believe in yourself and pursue it with a passion, you can accomplish virtually anything," Rush said. "And that’s when I started breaking records as that tangible example."
Guinness World Record adjudicator Michael Empric surprised Rush on TODAY by informing him that two more of his records have been recognized, bringing his total to 49 with four other records still pending to be verified.
Rush said the hardest of them all was achieving the fasted 100-meter run while juggling blindfolded. The easiest was popping 10 balloons between two people in 15.25 seconds.
The father of two boys from Idaho has been turning the Guinness World Records into his autobiography for the past seven years as a way to promote STEM education. He has an electrical engineering degree from MIT and works as a senior product manager at Cradlepoint, a technology company in Idaho.
He recalled being rejected from a gifted and talented program as a young student, but persevering to get accepted to MIT by pursuing a STEM education.
"A student will struggle with math or fail a science test and say, 'I can never become an engineer, it's too hard,'" he said. "They have this fixed mindset."
Despite working a full time job and raising two children with his wife Jennifer, who is also an engineer, he has found time to break one Guinness World Record after another.
"It's all about what you prioritize, and I practice with the kids," he said.
He learned from Empric on TODAY that his record for the most poi weaves in one minute (83) was verified by Guinness World Records as well his record for the longest time balancing a lawnmower on your chin (30 minutes, 33 seconds).
"Those were two of the hardest ones," Rush said. "The pain in the neck was actually huge (on the lawnmower attempt). Spinning those poi, they're moving around at over 60 miles an hour, so I learned to keep my wallet in my pocket in case I hit myself."
Rush's records over the years include everything from the most consecutive axe juggling catches to the farthest distance travelled on an electric unicycle while juggling three objects.
He still has four other records from last year that are pending approval from Guinness World Records. Most beach balls caught blindfolded in one minute by a team of two, most balls juggled while suspended upside down, longest duration balancing a chainsaw on the chin, and the farthest distance walked while balancing a chainsaw on the chin (powered)
He still has four records from last year that are pending to be recognized as official by Guinness World Records: Most beach balls caught blindfolded in one minute by a team of two, most balls juggled while suspended upside down, longest duration balancing a chainsaw on the chin, and farthest distance walked while balancing a chainsaw on the chin.
“You can develop any skill, talent or ability,” he said. “You can become better at math, you can become better at science, you can become a better friend, a better conversationalist, or better at breaking Guinness World Records, which is just the example I’m using to make it real for students.”