Arkansas boy bounces to break Pogo Stick record
Mountain Home resident Jace Bickford had no thought of a world record when he saw a toy in a neighbor's garage. He just picked it up and started playing with it. He quickly got better and better at it, according to his parents Lindsay and Jake Bickford.
After less than three months with the toy, Jace set what appears to be a world record for a 7-year-old. They've sent off the video to www.recordsetter.com and are awaiting verification.
The number Jace had in his sights was 2,309 times. When he beat the record, he didn't just beat, he smashed it. Jace did 6,024 consecutive times. What did he do? Consecutive jumps on a Pogo stick, that's what Jace did.
One day earlier this year, Jace was playing at a neighbor's house playing with friends. He spotted a Pogo stick in their garage. He grabbed it and started to learn. Eventually, the neighbors encouraged Jace to take the Pogo stick home.
He, and that's when, Lindsay said, the adventure towards a record really took off.
"He brought it home, and he just gradually would say 'Oh mom I got five, I got 10, I got 30' and that's how it started," said Lindsay. "It just kind of progressed into the hundreds and we started wondering what the record was for a seven-year-old and that's how it all started."
Jace didn't really have to work at balance for the Pogo stick, his sense of balance is something Lindsay and Jake say he's always had.
"When he was four or five and he got his first bike he said he didn't want training wheels," said Jake, a firefighter for the city of Mountain Home who probably had flashes of all the bike injury calls he's responded to. "So we took them off, gave him a little push and he just took off. There was no learning how to ride the bike, the balance was always there."
As smooth as the bike went, the Pogo stick did have some rough patches. While Jake was at the firehouse, it fell to Lindsay to be the primary Pogo stick cheerleader, as well as disciplinarian.
"We had to enforce a 'no Pogo stick in the house' rule," Lindsay recalled, laughing. "Outside, it's loud enough, you can imagine what it sounds like on hardwood floors."
Jace progressed rapidly with the Pogo stick and soon enough he was ready for the record try. Mom, dad, his two brothers and a neighbor gathered to watch.
They were watching and it looked like Jace, at 1,700 jumps, was well on his way to the record. But, seeing his dad take a sip of water suddenly made Jace thirsty. When he tried to take a drink, he fell off.
"He said ok I'm going to try again," Lindsay recalled. "Not tonight you're not I told him. Wait until tomorrow."
The next day, as soon as school was out, Jace was ready to go. Lindsay grabbed her phone to record the second attempt. As fun as it was for Jace, there were some moments of the record ride that weren't so much fun for camerawoman Lindsay.
"I had to sit outside for 55 minutes listening to click-click-click," Lindsay recalled. "You not only have to film in and follow his movements, you have to count. It was exhausting."
But part of her exhaustion was her own fault.
"I told him if you're going to beat the record then beat the record, don't stop at 2,400. Oh God," Lindsay said of the advice. "I didn't know we were going to get to 6,000. He looked at me and said I think I want to get off. I said well then get off."
Dad Jake was at work when Jace broke the record. Jake got a phone call and saw it was from Lindsay. However, when he answered the phone, it was Jace.
"He was so excited. He said dad I broke the record," Jake recalls. "It was real exciting. You could just tell how proud and excited he was. It was a great moment."
Lindsay's phone was on speaker so both Jace and her could talk to and hear Jake.
"I asked her, did you record that whole thing once I learned how many he did," Jake said, laughing. "She said yep, 55 minutes and 53 seconds."
While Jake and Lindsay both joke a little about the the great Pogo adventure of 2020, they couldn't be prouder of Jace.
"He has always been real determined. When he sets his mind to do something, he does it," said Lindsay. "He's a great kid and I'm very impressed with what he's accomplished."
As for Jake, he says their two older boys have seen success in athletics and drawn accolades for their performances, so it was nice for Jace to have the limelight.
"He's very strong willed. If he wants to do something, he's going to do it," Jake said. "I'm glad he got this moment and I'm very proud of what he's accomplished."
As for Jace, you can tell he's excited to have broken the record. He said he was confident he could beat the record.
"I was thinking positive, I was thinking I could do it," Jace said. "Then, a few days ago, I beat it. It took me 55 minutes of Pogo sticking. The toughest part was my leg started itching. I jumped off on purpose."