A day after his 48th birthday, Marine veteran and purple belt Damian “Obi” Todd began his Guinness World Record attempt to roll for 24 hours straight to raise money for mental health awareness and suicide prevention through the R U OK? Foundation. And just one hour ago, he completed his final roll.
Needless to say, the endeavor wasn’t easy. About an hour in, Obi was sporting a cut on his face and a black eye. By ten hours in, participants were being warned that he’d suffered a rib or sternum injury and to be conscious of that when rolling with him. This, of course, is in addition to the “normal” struggles that come with participating in any kind of physical activity for 24 consecutive hours.
At no point, though, was Obi alone. His academy, Chau Kaizen, was constantly filled with his many supporters. Many of them, including his wife, coaches, and sponsors, stayed awake and active the entire time. Local massage therapist Ashlee Rijnbeek was also actively working the entire time through Massage Fit, donating fifteen-minute massages for $5 donations.
Shockingly, too, was that although most of the rolls were “light” by normal jiu-jitsu standards, Obi was still rolling strong throughout the entire event. His “old man strength” grips were still unbreakable, and he was submitting people past the 20-hour mark.
While donations are still coming in through raffles, on-site fundraising efforts, and charity item sales, Obi’s efforts had raised $24,184 at the time of this post’s publication. After his last roll (which he took with his wife), he gave an emotional speech expressing his gratitude for the worldwide support he’d received. Surprisingly, he was able to stand for most of it. Unsurprisingly, there were tears from many in attendance.
We didn’t want to pounce on Obi for an interview right after such a superhuman feat, but we’ll be interviewing him once he’s gotten ample time to rest and recharge. In the meantime, donations are still accepted and encouraged. Please show your support by donating to the cause here.