Dream chaser: Get to know ‘Bam Bam Runs Fast’ star Ben Jacoby
Ben Jacoby is here to make a statement. The adventurer has sought enlightenment since his 2012 trip to Asia, and has made a habit of testing his physical limits through activities like snowboarding and skydiving. Jacoby’s competitive nature has also translated to business success, as he operates Kardo Creative LLC, a Business Management and Marketing agency in Los Angeles.
In summer 2018, Jacoby became the fastest man to run the 100 meter sprint on stilts (he went on to break his own record a few months later). His path to glory was riddled with setbacks and injuries, many of which are detailed in the compelling new documentary Bam Bam Runs Fast. The documentary was made by Jacoby himself, and is available on his YouTube channel, The Ben Jacoby.
Film Daily had the good fortune of talking with Ben Jacoby about his career, his new documentary, and his record-breaking achievements. Here’s what he had to say:
Tell us about your history as an adventurer. How did you start your journey?
I have always considered myself as an Adventurer and even traveled solo growing up, but I can definitely say that at the age of 21 after I was discharged from the military is when I really set myself free.
You embarked on a backpacking trip through Southeast Asia in 2012. What was the inspiration behind the trip?
After growing up in an intense environment and serving my country (military) for almost 4 years, it was time to explore the world.
You lived in a Shaolin Temple for a brief time during the trip. Did anything about your stay change the way you looked at the world?
Being able to look at the world from another perspective that is so different from the one I had before has given me an advantage in life. It was a truly life-changing adventure.
You moved to L.A. following your trip. Did you find it difficult to maintain your enlightened perspective amidst things like work and family?
It was always about channeling my energy in one way or another, after experiencing life as a nomad I felt like it is time to balance it out and go full-on into my career in business.
The mini documentary Bam Bam Runs Fast details how you became the world’s fastest man on stilts. When did you decide you wanted to break the stilts record?
It was 2015 when I realized that I can run pretty fast on these stilts, but only in 2018, I made the decision to go for it.
What was the hardest logistical part of breaking the stilts record?
There were many obstacles, but the hardest was building the actual track at Burning Man. It needed to be light enough to get it there but also needed to withstand the elements which can get rough in the desert. It required a lot of planning and of course, a little bit of luck :)
You were in an accident a week prior to your first record-breaking attempt. How did your injuries complicate your training process?
I was experiencing some pain, but mostly mentally, it really lowered my confidence for a while.
Did you consider postponing your attempt in light of the accident?
No. I had too many things that needed to be coordinated, it had to happen exactly when it was scheduled.
You broke the record at Burning Man, and then set a new record in Colorado months later. What led you to break your own record so soon after?
Great question. I felt like I could do better, and I did :)
Are you going to attempt to break your record a third time?
No, it is time to move on to the next challenge, which is way bigger than this one–a Marathon on Stilts! I will be talking about this in my next YouTube video.
What is the main thing you want viewers to take away from Bam Bam Runs Fast?
Chase your dreams, not necessarily because you have to accomplish them, but because of what you will experience while you are trying.
Who are your current inspirations?
Waking up every day, knowing that I can do whatever I want whenever I want. Independence has always been my core value.
You participate in several activities, including skydiving, snowboarding, mountain-biking and scuba-diving. What is your favorite and why?
Currently, I see a lot of benefits in Skydiving, mostly mentally–aside from it being really fun. Mounting Biking is a phenomenal workout that has many other benefits. I gave up on Snowboarding for the next few years since it seemed too risky for my knees.
You operate several businesses, including your brand The Ben Jacoby. What would you say is the core value of The Ben Jacoby brand?
I think what has led me during the process of wrapping my head around this project is being myself. In many areas of life, I take the place of the CEO or producer, and in this case, I can just be ME. Would you consider that a value?
What has been your greatest success?
I have become a happy person that sees the positive side in life, which makes life a lot easier.
How about your biggest failure? What did you learn?
The outcome is not measured by succeeding, it is measured by what you have learned and gained from the experience.
Are there other world records you would like to attempt?
I will be attempting to be the first person to complete a full Marathon on Spring-Loaded Stilts in less than 4 hours, this attempt will take place at The London Virgin Marathon in less than 1 year.
Do you have any advice for aspiring adventurers/action enthusiasts?
It is ok to be relentless, but not reckless. Be a calculated risk-taker.
What is your favorite thing to do when you’re not testing your physical limits?
I like spending time with my friends and family. I feel very fortunate to have such amazing people in my life.