And what’d you do with YOUR weekend?
A British gymnast has shattered the world record for the farthest backflip between horizontal bars.
Ashley Watson, a 26-year-old gymnast from Leeds in Northern England, has been a member of the Great Britain gymnastics squad since he was 15. The jump he completed last month was 5.87 meters (nearly 20 feet!) long, will make your entire life seem like a sham, and must be seen to be believed so here:
When I watched this I was like “Nah, no way, he can’t do it” even though I already knew he did it because that is the reason for writing all these words? But look how far apart those bars are! That is a wild distance! 5.87 meters of distance to be exact! And even when he landed on that final bar for a hot second it looked like he was just gonna spin right off it–like he did in this outtake he also posted:
And speaking of outtakes, Ashley has become well known for posting funny gymnastics videos to his Instagram, like this one, my personal favorite:
Is there anything he can’t do, that Ashley?!
Anyway, I was on the edge of my seat. This guy’s one gymnastics trick is the most exciting movie since, Idk, has there been a Fast and Furious lately? I’m completely out of the loop. But it was thrilling, even for a pro like Watson. “It was amazing,” he told the BBC, “I didn’t realize I had caught it until I was swinging around on the other bar.”
On social media, folks were duly impressed:
I can't stop watching this, very impressive indeed.
— Jema Lamo (@JemaLamo) November 23, 2018
There are no words. Well done Ashley.
— Steven Lynch (@PMorlim) November 23, 2018
— Nisha Khan (@nishak0786) November 24, 2018
So the real Tarzan lives in Leeds.
Well done that man.
— Star of the North (@StaroftheNorth6) November 23, 2018
I think it's more impressive he was able to maintain his grip on the catch. Wow.
— Lance Holman (@Ickypop17) November 23, 2018
It’s very impressive but I’m not sure death defying is the right description.
— MariusC (@MariusxC) November 23, 2018
It looked like he could go even further o.o
— James Watson (@JamesWa46455119) November 23, 2018
— Lieu Ta Weh (@purplefone69) November 23, 2018
I have to drink at least 10 Pints before I can do this
— Jim Clark (@greatpoets) November 23, 2018
I'm most impressed that he was able to maintain his swing out of it with nary an arm bend.
— Jenn MacLure (@JennMacLure) November 24, 2018
Now if you’re feeling unaccomplished by comparison, take heart: it took Ashley six tries to nail this, and another two to nail it perfectly. “I caught it on the sixth attempt,” he said, “but I let my legs bend a bit – so I couldn’t let that one go out on film.”
Practice makes perfect, etc! You or I could definitely be Ashley Watson, but we choose soft inertia and the warm embrace of failure, and that is just as valid a choice as breaking records in gymnastics! Everyone has different gifts! Now get out there and be great!