Student’s Goal: One Back Flip A Day

Mar 8, 2011 1:06pm

ABC News on Campus reporter Marlei Martinez blogs: 

For many people, New Year’s resolutions are the same failed promises to lose weight, quit smoking or get organized. But Sam Morrison, a sophomore at Syracuse University, vowed to do something very different. 

“The idea is that I have to do one back flip a day,” Morrison, 20, said. “Any kind of back flip — a gainer, a wall flip, a double back flip, if that’s possible.”

This back-flip-a-day idea was sparked by Morrison’s father.

“I was trying to get my dad to do a back flip, which is highly improbable, and he was saying how he doesn’t want to hurt himself. He was chickening out,” Morrison explained. “So I bet him when I’m his age, when I’m 53, that I’ll be able to do a back flip. And then from there it kind of morphed into: ‘You should do one every day.’”

Mitch Morrison, Sam’s father, bet him $100 that he couldn’t do one back flip each day for the entire year. And that was a challenge his son accepted. So everyday Morrison posts a video of his back flip on his blog to prove that he’s keeping up his end of the bet.

Although his YouTube videos have received more than 8,000 views, Morrison said becoming a viral sensation isn’t the goal.

“It’s just to test my mental willpower, see if I can remember to do it every day first of all, and just have the charisma to actually follow through with this,” he said.

While this New Year’s resolution may be unique for most people, this is nothing unusual for the Morrison family.

“This feat compared to some of the stuff [my father has] done is no big deal,” Morrison said. “He’s bicycled across the country I think it’s four times now. He flew out to California with his bicycle in a box and just rode back.”

Mitch Morrison, Sam’s father, is 53-years-old. His most recent bike trip was two years ago, and his most recent cross-country ride lasted just 24 days. An SU grad himself, Mitch Morrison said the bicycling started as a motivator during his job search.

“I had lots of interviews but nothing was sticking,” Morrison said. “So I said, ‘You know what? I’m outta here. I’m going to bicycling.’ So that’s what I did.”

And much like his father, Sam Morrison says his daily back flip challenge is more of a mental game than anything else.

“If I get hurt, if I break my leg or something, I’ll be doing one-legged back flips for a year, which I think is pretty cool because it’s getting pretty easy,” he said.

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