True greatness is hard to come by. For starters, you have to be completely at the top. And I'm not talking about the "really good" where even 95% of us have trouble achieving. I'm talking about being the best at something. Whether it's being a genius like Edison, Mozart or Einstein, being the best baseball player like Babe Ruth or being the first man on the moon like Armstrong, being great leaves a lasting legacy. If we can't be immortal, at least being remembered leaves us some solace.
Last year a man named Joel Waul came to my company looking for assistance. (I'm not going to say my company's name as I don't wish it to be linked with my personal blog in google searches. For those who don't know- It's a family business and I am a part owner, we sell PT exercise equipment and latex products.) He had it in his head that he would create the world's largest rubber band ball. Strangely enough, he's been about the 5th person to approach us with such a quest. (I guess we're on a list?)
What was unique about Joel is that he didn't have a current ball started yet. He just had a dream, some gumption and luckily for us, some expendable cash too. My company had actually helped another man in Delaware create a previous record holder, but his record was shattered by someone who had corporate sponsorship from Staples. When Joel shared his vision with us we searched deep into our hearts and then into our inventory situation where we saw we had 5 pallets of defective bands to get rid of.
We sell a 40 inch rubber band loop that body builders use. You'd be surprised at how much tension a 40 inch rubber band loop can provide for muscle building. And since we are among only 2 companies who produce such a large rubber band, we were the perfect choice to provide Joel with the necessary materials to help him accomplish his goal. (someone remind me to post the story of the 40 inch band I had in college)
It didn't take Joel very long. I'm guessing he had alot of free time on his hands as it maybe took him 4 months to make a rubber band ball that weighed over 9,000 pounds!! Joel is now the current Guiness Book of World Record's record holder. While the onus and achievement rested squarely on Joel's shoulders, I feel that I was part of something great. For every great man there are often many people supporting him along the way.
If I can't be great, then at least I was part of greatness, not many people can say that.
Joel is selling his ball to the Ripley's Believe or Not museum, perhaps one day I can take my grandchildren there and tell them how their Pop-pop helped make it as they look upon the greatness of the ball. Until then, here is some video of Joel's ball-