LIMASSOL - Most people aspiring to break world records will tell you that they do it out of personal ambition or for a noble cause. But how many will tell you that they want to break the world record because they are fighting for their life?
That is exactly the case of British-Cypriot Michael Georgiou – a 40-year-old unemployed man in Limassol who has been forced to dig up his childhood ambition of handstand push-ups just so he can be close to his estranged son.
“I’m fighting for my life and I’m fighting for my son”, he told The Cyprus Weekly. “My aim is to max out! I want to inspire him and, by smashing the world record, ensure that I stay close to him.”
People may very well question what handstand push-ups have to do with Georgiou’s desperation to be close to his five-year-old boy.
“I am doing everything I can to get people to notice me. I want to become the first Cypriot athlete to break a world record. If I do that, I could get some recognition and hopefully a job which would mean me being with my son who means everything to me.”
Handstand push-ups – or vertical push-ups - are the painstaking process of push-up exercises where the body is positioned in a handstand. They require significant strength, balance and control if performed free-standing.
Georgiou, known as Superbeefman Mike on YouTube and Recordsetter.com, has already broke three world records at Recordsetter.com and is considered the ultimate athlete in his category.
Achieving handstand push-ups is by no way an easy feat for any fitness freak, let alone a man of 40 who, only until recently, was a heavy smoker. His drive and determination started at an early age in North West London where he had a difficult upbringing.
“I had a troubled childhood growing up and spent some time in boarding school. By 14, I was beating kids older than me in school with handstand push-ups and was also a keen athlete later on in years. I may not have been a gifted track and field athlete, but I still loved it. It was always my dream to be the best at handstand push-ups since I was 12.”
A 19-year-old Georgiou began focusing more and more on his job as he took his first steps into manhood. A truck driver by trade, he returned to Cyprus eight years ago following the death of his father and, like thousands of others since, is currently out of work as the financial crisis continues to grip the island.
A return to England is also not an option, according to Georgiou, who wants to stay close to his five-year-old son.
“I had met the love of my life and we had a baby together but she later broke my heart. We are currently in a bitter court battle. Things are also not good on the money side of things. I was being supported by mother but that’s not possible anymore.”
Refusing to lie down despite the string of disappointments on the job side of things, Georgiou is more determined than ever to see himself smash the previous Guinness world record for the most handstand push-ups, currently standing at 41. He already has 36 but will be aiming to hit 50 and says he is close to begrudgingly dethroning the current holder.
“I want to smash their record because they didn’t accept my previous attempts”, he continued. “I don’t want to rub shoulders with them. I just want to beat them! I had a shoulder strain but I am now close to making a full recovery.”
Having proved a lot of dismissive sceptics wrong when he first exclaimed his outlandish theory of breaking the handstand push-up world record at 40-years-old, few will be betting against Georgiou this time around as he aims to top Guinness too.
“I suppose you can say that my life is bit like Rocky’s life but more serious”, he added. “I am a bit of a loser but I’m also determined to prove people wrong and to show what I am made of. When I told people that at 40 I wanted to break records in handstand push-ups, they all told me not to bother and that I didn’t have a chance. Their negative feedback has only spurred me on.”
Looking ahead, he said, “What I am really looking for is someone to sponsor me in a ‘Supreme Performance’ in which I will be looking to break the Guinness world record in front of a thousand people. It’s one thing to be trying to break the record in your flat and something else entirely to have around a thousand people cheering you on.” (John Leonidou)
To contact Michael Georgiou email email@example.com or telephone 97617023