Kelsey Grubb has put her best foot forward and broken a record that not many can achieve.
The 32-year-old of Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA, has the largest foot rotation (female) and can turn her foot 171.4 degrees.
But how does one recognize they have such a unique talent?
“I work at a library and the newest world record book (2021) had just come out. A coworker was flipping through and randomly opened to the page with the largest foot rotation and said ‘ew! That's so gross,’” said Kelsey.
“Naturally I looked over her shoulder and said, ‘I think I can do that.’”
Kelsey tried rotating her foot while standing on a piece of paper and realised it was pretty obvious that she had a good chance at smashing the record.
“I didn’t know the details about how the measurement needed to happen,” said Kelsey.
“But I thought I could no matter the details.”
Although Kelsey didn’t necessarily practise or prepare for the record attempt, she figure skates as a hobby and is constantly stretching her flexibility.
“I always knew I was flexible there but had assumed most people could turn their foot farther than 90 degrees out,” she said.
“I honestly didn't realise how abnormal it was.”
Kelsey says her special talent doesn’t hurt, although she can sometimes feel it slightly in her knee and might need to rotate her foot a bit slower.
However, she insists that it feels completely natural.
Kelsey’s talent has proven to be particularly useful in her ice-skating career because she can turn around and look behind her without moving her feet, allowing her to be very aware of her surroundings.
“When I told everyone that I was trying [for the record] they immediately would ask to see,” said Kelsey.
“Once everyone saw, they were sure I could break the current record.”
However, not everyone’s reaction is immediately positive.
“Most people are grossed out and fascinated at the same time,” said Kelsey.
“The most common phrase I've heard about it is not that the movement itself is gross, just the ease at which I turn it.”
Kelsey never thought such an unusual talent would be useful or that she would ever hold a world record.
She applied to Guinness World Records on a whim, and is very honoured and appreciates the help and encouragement from friends along the way.
“It was surprising, as I applied on a whim, thinking ‘Hey here's this cool thing that I can do, that apparently could be record worthy, let's see how this goes,’” she said.
“I never really trained or anything. But how cool that these records that so fascinated me as a child (and I see so many other children fascinated by), that there's something I can actually do!”
Kelsey says she sometimes sees people in Albuquerque trying to organize a record attempt for the largest gathering of inflatable T-Rex costumes.
“I love the whimsy of that, I might be a part of that.”
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