the secret to a happy life..
Ashrita Furman (born Keith Furman) had it all according to his parents. The brain to get into any Ivy League College and to become a great lawyer, just like his dad. But Keith decided to do something else. After becoming a devout follower of Sri Chinmoy, a spiritual leader, he changed his name to Ashrita (Sanskrit for protected by God), and started breaking records.
Inspired by his Leader, Ashrita set his first record by doing 27,000 jumping jacks in 1979. Being not really sporty or athletic during his youth, this gave him such a kick that nobody could stop him. In 1986 the record for underwater pogo-stick jumps was set followed by the forward rolls record set along the entire 12 ¼ mile route of Paul Revere's Ride and jumping 11 ½ miles up and down the foothills of Mount Fuji...on a pogo stick. While breaking the record for distance completed via forward rolls, Furman was only allowed to stop in order to throw up.
Filmmaker Brain McGinn tells the life story of Ashrita in The Record Breaker. Winner of the Vimeo Audience Award at the 2013 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival (where I found out about Ashrita) and Jury Prizes at the 2012 Palm Springs International ShortsFest and the 2013 New Orleans Film Festival. The film follows Furman on yet another record attempt: Climbing Machu Picchu on stilts! The film is a true proof of how to achieve happiness in ones life. A must see for all.