R E N T A L READER
GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS AND GRIT
The Unexpected Power of ‘Stick-to-it-ness’
You probably missed it. I did until a friend texted me a link to the article.
record. He averaged 7 hours of training per day, including 4–5 hours of planks. Say what you will about Hood’s choice of time usage, but that is a commitment motivated by intense drive and“stick-to-it-ness.” Stick-to-it-ness is quite interesting to me, both professionally and personally. I believe it is the No. 1 determinant of success. I see it professionally when individuals and companies overcome stronger, smarter peers merely because they apply themselves and never give up. I see it personally as well, and I humbly state that I have a decent dose of stick-to-it-ness myself. I have been working to encourage stick-to-it-ness in my children, too. There are some family mantras that the kids are even starting to repeat after hearing me say them so often, including “Eddingers never quit” and “Everything is hard until it’s easy.” I also make sure they add “yet” to the end of any statement that starts with “I can’t.”We have a fun, light, loving household, but grit is required to have success in life, and I want them to know it. At Robert C. White & Company, stick-to-it-ness and grit are not explicitly named as core values, but they are winked at by two of our values: “Endlessly Improving” and “We Are Doers.” I want to share the text of those values, as I feel it informs both how we think about getting better and the work that we do.
It actually made national and some international (BBC) news, but it was over fast, especially since the coronavirus coverage was ramping up. On Feb. 15, 2020, George Hood set a Guinness World Record for holding the plank position continuously for 8 hours, 15 minutes, and 15 seconds. When I first heard the news, I had a hard time wrapping my head around the feat. Over 8 hours holding a plank. To be honest, I tried to see how long I could do one and couldn’t get past a few minutes with some serious effort (see my struggling photo).
Luke holding a plank
We truly believe that this company and the people who make it up are works in progress, not finished products.
We Are Doers:
We know that while ideas are important, they are worthless without execution.
We understand that being proactive allows us to shape the situation and stop potential big problems in their tracks.
For me, the more interesting piece of the story is that George Hood set the record at the age of 62.
We focus on results, not just tasks or responsibilities.
During an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper, Hood dismissed the interviewer’s amazement with the statement “62 is just a number.”
Whenever we fall short of these values (and we do sometimes, which I was reminded of earlier this week when I talked to a client and it was blatantly clear we weren’t being proactive in his situation the way we should have), it is our responsibility to stick to it and work on improving. We are a work in progress, not a finished product. Thank you for your patience and trust as we continue to work to get better.
Just a number indeed!
The former Marine and Drug Enforcement Administration officer actually set an earlier record in 2011 at 1 hour and 20 minutes, but he failed to recapture the record when he lost in a competition where a new world record was set at 8 hours, 1 minute, and 1 second by Mao Weidong of China.
We always work to get better as individuals, as a team, and as a company.
This is where grit comes in.
Yours in “Everything is hard until it’s easy,”
Determined to win back the title, Hood started an 18-month fitness program leading up to the new
We search for better ways to do things and are not afraid of change or trying something new.
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The Sweet History of National Doughnut Day
Get ready to treat yourself because June 5 is National Doughnut Day! Contrary to popular belief, National Doughnut Day wasn’t created as an excuse for Americans to eat more doughnuts. The celebration was actually started by the Salvation Army in 1938 to honor “Doughnut Lassies,” the women who served doughnuts to soldiers on the front lines during WorldWar I. The Salvation Army still celebrates National Doughnut Day by delivering doughnuts to veterans across the country. The earliest version of the doughnut is believed to have come to North America with Dutch settlers in the 17th century. The Dutch brought with them balls of fried, sweetened dough called olykoeks , which translates to “oily cakes.”Though they were tasty, we don’t think many people would be eager to pick up a dozen oily cakes for the office. According to Smithsonian Magazine, the word “doughnut”was coined in the 19th century by a woman named Elizabeth Gregory. Her son, Handon Gregory, was a New England ship captain. She began making deep-fried dough treats with nutmeg, cinnamon, and lemon rind for her son and his crew. She would put hazelnuts or walnuts in the center of the pastry where the dough might not cook through, so she called her creation “doughnuts.”
THE BEST WAYS TO HELP LOCAL NONPROFITS IN CHALLENGING TIMES
Over the past several months, families, businesses, and nonprofits have had to navigate life in this challenging “new normal,” and it can be hard to support your favorite nonprofits when times are tough. Here are a few ways you can help these important entities, even when you don’t have resources to spare right now. Donate While many people donate generously during the holiday season, remember that nonprofits need donations throughout the year, and different nonprofits need different things. A monetary donation can often go a long way, but never feel obligated to give money, especially when your budget may be tight. Instead, consider cleaning out your closet. What clothes, shoes, or other accessories can you part with? What about dishware or small appliances? When you clean out your home and donate unused items, you benefit those in the community who need them most.
Handon Gregory also gets some credit for making doughnuts recognizable: He was the one who first put the hole in the doughnuts, though the exact reason is unclear. Some say it was to use fewer
Volunteer In a time of social distancing, volunteering may be discouraged, but nonprofits still need volunteers to operate. The good news is that many nonprofits need volunteers for positions that maintain social distance, such as driving. Food banks and kitchens need drivers to pick up donations or ingredients from donors and to deliver food to people in need, such as the elderly or those with disabilities. Advocate Even if you don’t have time or resources to give, you can become an advocate for important causes around your community. While it might not seem like much, sharing information about local nonprofits on social media can make a genuine difference. Nonprofits need exposure, which is greatly
ingredients, while others suggest he created the hole by accident
after skewering the pastry on the spokes of the ship’s wheel when he needed to steer with both hands during a storm.
Whatever the reason, that hole is still part of a classic doughnut to this day.
There are lots of ways to celebrate National
Doughnut Day. Recognize the history of the holiday by donating to the Salvation Army or by sending a box of doughnuts to a veteran in your life. You can also order from your favorite local doughnut shop or fry up some homemade doughnuts with your family. There’s a pretty great recipe at SallysBakingAddiction.com/how-to-make-
boosted through community support. Sharing useful information about nonprofits — or sharing their posts — increases their visibility so more people will take action.
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SUPER BEAGLES AND JUMPING LLAMAS Guinness World Records’ Most Amazing Animals
Hearing about someone who has claimed a Guinness World Record is pretty cool, but do you know what’s even cooler? When animals make world records. Here are a few amazing animals who hold some really cool records. Caspa, the Amazing Jumping Llama Sue Williams is an animal trainer and behaviorist who specializes in dogs. One day, she was working on agility training with her dogs when she noticed her llama,
Caspa, watching them. After a little time and training, Williams discovered that Caspa loved jumping, too. In 2015, Caspa cleared a bar set at 3 feet, 8 1/2 inches. He jumped right into the world record for “highest bar jump cleared by a llama.”
“He’s a complete diva,” says Williams. “So, if there are people there to show off in front of, that’s when he’s at his ultimate best.”
Didga, a Very Tricky Kitty Anyone who says cats can’t learn tricks hasn’t met Didga. In 2016, Didga, with help from her human, Robert Dollwet, claimed a world record by performing 20 different tricks in 60 seconds. Her routine started with the classics, like sitting and giving high-fives, and culminated in riding a skateboard while hopping over a low bar. Dollwet told Guinness World Records that training Didga took a lot of time and patience and that he was so proud of his clever cat. Purin, the BeagleWho Holds 3 GuinnessWorld Records Nicknamed “The Super Beagle,” Purin scored her first title in 2015 for her amazing goalkeeping skills. The beagle “saved” 14 mini soccer balls thrown by her human, Makoto Kumagai, in one minute. A year later, Purin claimed another record when she became the “fastest dog on a ball” by traveling 10 meters in 10.39 seconds while balancing on a ball. Not long after, Purin and Kumagai set the record for “most skips by a dog and a person in one minute — single rope”with 58 skips. Talk about super!
You can find videos of all these amazing record holders and more at GuinnessWorldRecords.com .
GRILLED BASIL CHICKEN AND TOMATOES
TAKE A BREAK
Inspired by TasteOfHome.com
You can’t go wrong with grilled chicken and tomatoes on a warm summer’s evening. It’s a simple recipe that packs a flavor punch.
For marinade: In blender, combine olive oil, garlic, salt, vinegar, and basil. Cut 2 tomatoes into quarters and add to mixture. Cover and process until blended. Halve remaining tomatoes for grilling. In bowl, combine chicken and 2/3 cup marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. Reserve remaining marinade.
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Heat grill to about 350–400 F. Lightly oil grates. Grill chicken until internal
1/4 cup tightly packed fresh basil leaves
temperature reads 165 F, about 4–6 minutes per side. Grill tomatoes until lightly browned, about 2–4 minutes per side. Discard remaining marinade. Serve chicken and tomatoes with reserved marinade.
8 Roma tomatoes
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (4 oz each)
Solution on Page 4
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Guinness World Records and Grit Help Local Nonprofits in Challenging Times A Day to Honor Doughnut Lassies 5 World Records Broken by Animals Grilled Basil Chicken and Tomatoes 3 Enriching Staycation Ideas
TURN YOUR VACATION INTO A STAYCATION 3 Ways to Replace a Canceled Vacation
Vacations provide opportunities for families to spend time together in a relaxed environment, get away from the routines of everyday life, and create meaningful memories. If you’ve recently had to cancel a trip but still want to create the experience of a vacation for your family, then a staycation is just what you need. TransformYour Backyard When you’re trying to recreate a vacation, the outdoor areas of your home present a variety of possibilities. You can turn a sandbox into a relaxing beach, complete with a kiddie pool “ocean.” If you have trees, then set up a zip line or obstacle course. You can even stimulate summer brains with a scavenger hunt around the backyard with hidden clues in the dirt or bushes. The ultimate prize can be something you would have purchased on your original vacation, like a souvenir you can find online. Create a ‘Family Museum’ Many vacations include an educational aspect in order to enrich our understanding of the place we’re visiting, and museums are a great way to accomplish that. If you’re confined to the house, then teach your kids about your own knowledge and interests and encourage them to get creative and make their own contributions, too. Have everyone create art, take photos, or write about their prized possessions. Display these masterpieces around your home and let their creators take you on a tour. Learning more about one another builds meaningful bonds.
Bring Your Trip Home You probably chose your original vacation destination in order to experience new and different cultures and activities. But just because you’re no longer traveling to that location doesn’t mean you can’t experience some of what it has to offer! Research popular local cuisine, activities, and history of the area, then create ways to experience them with your family. Cook a traditional meal, recreate a scenic location through photographs, or share a story about local lore and history. Your changed plans will no longer feel like a missed opportunity. Staying at home doesn’t mean your family can’t have the fun of a vacation. All it takes is a little creativity and innovation to build an experience that will bring your family closer together.
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