Thursday, January 7, 2016

Triumph over adversity 2

Some people break world records and others shatter them. Gabi Ury falls into the latter category after her recent attempt to take the Guinness World Record for the Longest Time in an Abdominal Plank Position by a female.

On the Saturday after her 16th birthday, Ury held a plank position while resting on her forearms and toes for 1 hour, 20 minutes and 5 seconds, completely smashing the previous record of 40 minutes and 1 second held by Eva Bulzomi, who was more than happy to get beat. Although Ury's attempt was successful, the people at Guinness are still reviewing her submission before giving her the official stamp of approval.

Her achievement is all the more impressive because she was born with VATER syndrome. According to her website, the disease affects her spine, muscles and limbs. She lives with scoliosis and is missing muscles in her calves, glutes and part of her abs.

Ury took on the planking challenge to raise money for the Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colo., which helped her overcome her VATER syndrome.

“I ended up choosing Children’s Hospital in Denver because I spent a lot of time there when I was little and had most of my 14 surgeries there,” Ury told The Huffington Post in a phone interview. “I think without them and the doctors there I wouldn’t be as healthy as I am and able to do this, so I wanted to help them out in any way I can.”

When she began raising money, she said she had a conservative goal of raising about $5,000 for the hospital. However, her story inspired so many that, as of this writing, the donations are closer to $50,000.

According to her website, Ury has dreamed of breaking a Guinness World Record since she was in the fifth grade. She’d made previous attempts at the records for Longest Hopscotch Game and for Most Socks on One Foot. However, the longest abdominal plank for a female is the first one she’s successfully completed.

While attempting the record, Ury says that what got her through the pain and fatigue was the general atmosphere of positivity and fun that surrounded her. After the first 35 minutes she realized her typical distraction method of watching TV on her phone wouldn’t work this time. That’s when her family and friends began sitting with her, telling stories and singing songs.

“After I hit the wall and got back into it, I had fun with it because people were having fun around me,” she said.


  1. Gabi Ury Ted talk
    World record attempt

  2. Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz is a young man with ALS (see Triumph over adversity 5/3/15 comment 5/14/15): It is already several years since Hashem chose to give me and my family tremendous hardships. For me it is physically paralyzing, for my wonderful wife, Dina, it can at times be emotionally and mentally paralyzing. My children are also subjected to an unwanted roller-coaster ride. I wish and pray all the time that I will be cured. But I am grateful to Hashem for the positive that came from our experience. Dina and I have been blessed with an outpouring of love from so many and our writings and Dina's talks have been uplifting people all over. All this would not have been possible without the darkness we experienced, as it brought to the fore love and abilities we never knew we had. How can we not be grateful.

    With all this said, we all have had enough darkness in our lives. Now it is time for Moshiach to come and for the darkness to end. Let the light shine uninterrupted in our lives.

  3. Sourena Vasseghi has cerebral palsy, a condition that means he has limited motor skills, poor coordination and a severe speech impediment. But despite these challenges, Vasseghi has developed a successful career as an author and motivational speaker.

    “I am the speaker who can’t speak and the writer who can’t write,” he said.

    Shortly after graduating from business school in 2001, Vasseghi realised he had the skills to communicate with people and make a difference in their lives he was inspired to launch The Sourena V Group, an executive coaching and business development company.

    A key element of the company’s business is the speaking double act that Vasseghi has forged with Chris Stevenson, a gym owner and executive coach. The pair work together, on stage, with Stevenson interpreting the words of his speaking partner for their audience.

    Their performance focuses on the life lessons of a man who is capable of doing little by himself, except use his brain.

    Vasseghi’s first book, Love Your Life and it Will Love You Back, encapsulates a message that people can be successful despite the most severe physical challenges.

    Video produced by Peter Bowes. Filmed and edited by Tim Myers.

  4. Regarding Rabbi Yitzi Hurwitz (see January 20 comment above and Triumph over adversity 5/3/15 comment 5/14/15)