This month, Guinness World Record-holder Mama Lou toured schools around Austin. She had an amazing time, and so did we!
Mama Lou’s act includes rolling frying pans up into burritos, smashing apples between her biceps, and tearing phone books in half! She also took the time to answer a couple of questions from BookPeople about what her life is like!
How did you become involved in strength performance?
I became a Strong Woman by accident. I was working on becoming an aerialist, which built up a lot of muscle in my normally non-athletic frame. I could see that my body built muscle easily and my normal strength was impressive to other people. When I decided to develop a stunt show, the idea of doing feats of strength popped into my head. From there it grew into my life.
What is your favorite part of what you do?
My favorite stunts are the ones where I can see some faces change from disbelief to believers while they’re happening. Rolling up a frying pan is great for that and doing one-armed pull ups always creates some respect among the guys in the audience.
How does it feel to hold a Guinness world record?
Being in the Guinness Book of World Records is one of the most surreal and validating things in my life. The first time I found my record in the book I kept shaking my head in disbelief saying, “There’s no WAY I’m in here!!” and yet there it was! Now it’s strange to see my face on the bookshelves when I’m shopping at Target! I always think of myself as a normal person, but some days I have to remember that’s not actually the case!
Do you know any other record-holders?
One of the coolest things when I’m looking through the GWR book is realizing that I know so many of the record holders from my performances and experiences in the world! The Space Cowboy – multi-record holder and sword swallower, John Higby – yo-yo master, Marawa the Amazing – hula hoop record holder, Pogo Fred – extreme pogo sticking, and Aaron Greg a past record holder for chainsaw juggling! I have awesome friends!
What is your favorite thing to do in Austin? How long have you lived here?
I’ve lived in Austin for 5 years, which is the longest I’ve lived anywhere my whole adult life! There are so many things I love about Ausitn and I’m glad to call it my home. I love watching the winter sun sets, going to the Greenbelt, checking out new places for Happy Hour, and listening to bands at the grocery stores!
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? What advice would you give to young readers?
You can do ANYTHING but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. You have to be brave enough to try and be willing to fail; because everything worthwhile takes time. Most importantly, you never fail until you give up.
What are the similarities between being a Strong Woman and a strong reader?
Being a Strong Woman is like being a strong reader because both take quiet focus and bring you to so many wonderful places you wouldn’t get otherwise! It’s all an adventure!
Thanks, Mama Lou, for spending time with us! For more amazing stories of incredible feats of human accomplishment, check out the Guinness Book of World Records: Wacky and Wild. You can read Mama Lou’s story there, too!