When I made it to the finish line and broke the world record, I lifted my arms into the air and jumped up and down. The pride I felt left me speechless. That first win motivated me to continue breaking records.
TOLEDO, Spain — Every year, for Christmas, I unwrapped my gift from my grandfather, eagerly anticipating the tradition he upheld for years. His annual gift – the book of Guinness World Records – fascinated me. I read it for hours, enamored by the feats people achieved around the globe.
By the time I turned 12 years old, doctors diagnosed me with Type 1 Diabetes and delivered devastating blow. Due to my condition, they implied I could only take on low-intensity sports and I needed to supply my body with insulin for the rest of my life. As a pre-teen, I went into shock, feeling like life would never again be the same.
Then, something happened. I fire ignited inside of me – a determination to prove my capabilities and a belief I could do anything I set my mind to. Motivated by my grandfather’s gifts, I decided to pursue professional sports and break every record I could. So far, I have claimed 57 Guinness World Records.
In 2017, I came across a section of the Guinness World Records book touting an achievement in stair climbing. I never thought of stair climbing as a sport and it piqued my curiosity. Slowly, I began training, climbing steeper stairs with each attempt. When I finally took on my toughest task – the highest vertical climb in 24 hours – I faced the equivalent of climbing 20 floors without stopping.
As the challenge ensued, I felt like a car running out of fuel. Every muscle in my body ached and I struggled to breathe. I found it harder and harder to move as my vision blurred. Sweat covered my skin and my hands began to tremble. My diabetes exacerbated the situation as I began suffering from hypoglycemia. Desperate to persevere, I focused on my breathing and fought through the pain.
When I made it to the finish line and broke the world record, I lifted my arms into the air and jumped up and down. The pride I felt left me speechless. That first win motivated me to continue breaking records, whether that means climbing 2,082 steps while juggling three objects or balancing a 14-kilo mountain bike on my chin for 10 minutes. Overcoming my own limitations allows me motivate others and to bring awareness to Type 1 Diabetes.
Everything I do today is to honor the memory of my late grandfather, who always pushed me towards greatness. With every step I take, and with every Guinness World Record I break, I feel myself transforming into the person I’ve always dreamed of being.
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