2021 has got off to a record-breaking start for Pete Thomspon, as he has added three more world record titles to his collection.
Pete, also known as Skip Beatz, already held two world record titles, having successfully regained one he’d lost to Indian skipper, Harbaksh Singh, last year.
Inspired to keep going – and with the Indian world champion chasing his rope – Pete used the continued lockdown to push for more world record titles, aiming for the most double crossovers in 30 seconds, 60 seconds and the most consecutive double crossovers.
“Skipping was a way for me to keep focussed and determined during the lockdown on what I could control,” said Pete. “And I used the situation to my advantage.”
Confined to his house, Pete rearranged his furniture and undertook his world-record training in his living room.
“The preparation for my most recent records has been very different to normal circumstances,” admitted Pete.
“Self-motivation was key to practising every day at home and keeping on track with nutrition without the additional support of training at the gym with colleagues or the inspiration of delivering my usual school workshops was hard.”
With Covid-19 (coronavirus) in mind, Guinness changed their guidelines, allowing attempts from non public locations and reducing the number of witnesses required. Providing slow motion video footage and other forms of evidence were gathered at the attempt, Guinness would accept the applications.
The world records Pete now holds are:
• Most crossovers in 30 seconds – 70
• Most crossovers in 60 seconds – 129
• Most double under crossovers in 30 seconds – 72
• Most double under crossovers in 60 seconds – 127
• Most consecutive double under crossovers – 285
The road to record breaking
Pete began skipping to battle depression and anxiety in 2012, discovering that turning the rope in time with music, and matching his skips to the beat, was extremely therapeutic.
“Attempting to land the cross in the same place each time, creating the same sized loop, and using a skipping rope that glows in the dark enhanced my awareness and understanding of the technique,” said Pete.
“Following the exercise I had more positive thoughts and emotions. Skip Beatz was born.”
To this day the skipping practice, and in particular crossovers, are Pete’s coping mechanisms, which have been vital through the pandemic.
Pete is extremely proud to hold five world record titles simultaneously, but says that titles are just a by-product of the wellbeing that skipping affords him.
He said: “It’s interesting preparing for these world records…although they are world records – and they are a big achievement – every session and even the actual attempts, do not feel like world records.
“Each attempt just feels like I’m skipping again, watching the rope, listening to the sounds, moving my body in time with those sounds, and I know I will get a positive feeling during and after, record or not.
“I forget it’s a world record, fully focussed on the rope and the enjoyment, rather than outcome. And that’s an important message for everyone.”
So what’s next for Pete?
As schools reopen in March he aims to spread his message of skipping for wellbeing around local schools, sharing his experiences and getting as many children skipping as possible.
As for the world records, he says there are a few within reach but he’s aiming to keep hold of the five current titles, fend of any challenges and be ready to increase the scores again if the Indian nationals come back at them.
And maybe aiming for the longest ever endurance skip of 35 hours…