While some people started new hobbies like baking during the pandemic, a man from Moose Jaw set his eyes on breaking a world record instead.
Jared Dormer made it into the Guinness World Record list by playing his cajon drum for almost 26 hours.
The musician has been drumming since he was five years old. Breaking a world record was always in the back of his mind, he said, and COVID-19 gave him the time to check out what drumming world records were out there.
"I noticed on the website that this longest marathon playing cajon, it was available, but it was either never successful or no one actually ever attempted it," Dormer said.
"It was just there for the taking."
It took Dormer several months to put in the application and to get ready for the world record attempt on the cajon, also known as a box drum.
To make sure he had a chance at setting the record, the 31-year-old had to follow all official rules. Guinness World Records required him to play for at least 24 hours.
"The guidelines are insane," Dormer said. "Honestly, the guidelines [were] probably the hardest part, almost more than the playing. You have to have the correct type of witnesses, the correct venue."
The musician needed several witnesses to help with his project, with at least two witnesses present at all times, but no one taking shifts longer than four hours.
"Finding those poor people to do the 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. shift, I really owe them a lot," he said.
Another challenge was the time for eating and going to the bathroom. The drummer got five minutes of rest for every hour played, he said, being allowed to bank any unused break time.
"I tried to play 12 hours straight at the beginning, which would give me about an hour wiggle room," Dormer said. "Bathroom breaks were a mad sprint to try to avoid any lost time."
Overall, the musician was able to take two larger breaks for eating and stretching.
Mental challenges and music selection
In addition to the organizational preparation, the drummer also had to make sure he was physically and mentally ready. Dormer did a couple of practice runs prior to the event, drumming for up to 12 hours.
The mental challenge, however, was more difficult than he had anticipated.
"I didn't realize how hard that was going to be," he said. "I hit a few different mental walls but family and friends, the few that were able to be there in attendance, really got me through."
The event was live-streamed, so the drummer also received virtual support, pushing him to his end goal.
Just making noise on the box drum was also not enough to break the record. His playing had to sound musical the entire time.
Therefore, Dormer picked a variety of music for his playlist, from Celtic to gospel tunes, K-pop and top-40-hits.
"Anything to kind of keep me awake at three in the morning and keep me going," Dormer said. "A few times I kind of questioned myself why I put 10 crazy fast songs together, but it was too late at that point."
Dormer managed to play for 25 hours, 42 minutes and 34 seconds.
Then it took another three months to get the official Guinness World Records certificate in his mail.
While Dormer has been successful with his two bands, West of Mabou and the Scott Benson Band, breaking a world record was a new feeling of achievement for the Moose Javian.
"It just feels surreal, you know, to finally know that all that's been done," Dormer said. "If you put your mind to something like that, you can definitely achieve it. And you know, why not? Why not do something fun and kind of crazy?"
With files from Jessie Anton