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Champions of Character: Carroll College Student 'Flipping Out' to Break World Record

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The number: is 53

The goal: is to break that number

The reward: is a spot in the record book

Carroll College cheerleader Erika Vosbeck loves to perform back handsprings, and she's literally head over heels in trying to break the world record.

"When I first tried it I was like wow, this is actually way harder than I thought. And so it's just something that challenges me and I like that challenge," Erika recalls.

Erika first decided to go after the world record when she saw the video of a high school girl in Texas who performed 35 handsprings in a row to set the new record.

"I never really knew like how many I've ever done before, but when I saw that she only did like three quarters of a football field, I kind of wondered about and I was curious if I could do the same thing," Erika says.

Since then, that record has been broken multiple times. But that only adds fuel to Erika's competitive fire.

"I was like, "wow, I've got a lot of work to do," Erika remembers thinking.

"A lot of competition. I felt like I had a lot of work to do and it gave me more drive to go after it I guess."

The Guinness Book of World Records has three categories for handsprings, and Erika is going after all of them. There's the amount performed in a minute, the amount performed in 24 hours and the amount performed consecutively which currently stands at 53. And she might need more than the length of a football field to break it.

The training started in August and included daily tumbling outside and sessions at the gym, regardless of the bumps and bruises. Erika hurt her arm when she was tumbling, but still trained every day. That just shows how determined she is to break the record. Even with the injury.

Erika has battled arm troubles before. When she was 17 she broke the radius and ulna in her left forearm. At one point she needed 12 plates and screws to hold the two bones together. But her ambition has earned her the admiration and respect of those around her

"Just her determination. She was out there at the beginning of school every day. Even when she had homework she made time for tumbling because she's so determined to break the record. And I know she will,"says fellow cheerleader Haley Hansen.

There's an old saying that goes, records were meant to be broken. But for Erika, the end result is only a plus. She feels that the process is where her true intentions are revealed.

"I don't really care like "Oh I'm in the Guinness book of world records." That's not really my point I guess," Erika says.

"If I can go beyond my boundaries then I feel like others can too."

 

To push past one's own limitations, that is the message Erika wants to send. It's a realization that anyone can accomplish something if they take it one step at a time. Or in Erika's case, one handspring at time.

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