Former US Marine Takes Back World Record

Category : Human Interest

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. reclaim / rɪˈkleɪm / (v) – to get something that was lost or taken away

    I was able to reclaim my lost purse in the store.

  2. stigmatize / ˈstɪg məˌtaɪz / (v) – to treat someone or something disapprovingly

    Some people stigmatize mental illnesses.

  3. work through (something) / wɜrk θru / (phrasal) – to successfully overcome a difficult situation or a problem

    Some people find it easier to work through their problems alone.

  4. keep going / kip ˈgoʊ ɪŋ / (idiom) – to continue doing something even in a tough situation

    I was tired, but I kept going and eventually finished my project.

  5. downtime / ˈdaʊnˌtaɪm / (n) – a break from work, school, or any activity

    I need more downtime from work to relax and rest.


Read the text below.

George Hood, a 62-year-old former US Marine, has set the Guinness World Record for holding the longest plank.

Planking is an exercise in which an individual holds a position similar to that of a push-up for as long as possible. Hood had been hooked on this exercise before and even broke the record for the longest plank back in 2011. Five years later, he tried to break his record again but lost to a Chinese man who held the plank for 8 hours, 1 minute, and 1 second.

Last February, Hood set the current world record for the longest plank with a time of 8 hours, 15 minutes, and 15 seconds.

According to Hood, he wanted to reclaim his world record to raise mental health awareness. He said that having a mental illness is often stigmatized in the military and law enforcement, where he served. But with planking, he was able to work through personal issues and sort out his thoughts and emotions.

He set the world record at 515 Fitness, a gym where physical health and mental health go together. Licensed clinicians and trainers help gym-goers through physical and mental counseling and therapy. Hood could have broken the record right after the eight-hour and one-minute mark, but he kept going to have the numbers “515” in his record and dedicate it to the gym.

After breaking the record, Hood shared in an interview that he wants to enjoy some downtime and launch a fitness exercise video. He also wants to break the Guinness World Record for the most push-ups in an hour, which is currently at 2,806.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• If you were Hood, would you also try to take back the world record even at an older age? Why?
• Do you think setting a world record is the best way to raise mental health awareness? Why or why not?

Discussion B

• If you had the opportunity, what world record would you like to be known for? Why?
• How would you prepare or train for it? Explain.

Category : Human Interest