It seems perfectly normal for a guy devoted to working at NASA to spend as much of his down time as possible attempting to launch a jet ski into orbit. Jeremy Parr works as a Mechanical Engineer in the Prototype Development Branch at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. He was also the defending 2011 International Sports Jet Boating Association (ISJBA) Champion. Parr understands a thing or two about overcoming initial inertia. Newton's First Law of Motion states that a body at rest tends to stay at rest, so in his mind-boggling ISJBA season finale, Parr did everything but rest, unquestionably breaking several laws of physics in the process.
Jeremy Parr held nothing back in his season ending routine
I watched your video several times, that was one sick routine, you clearly let it all hang out, what was your mindset going into that performance?
"That routine is without a doubt one of the best I have ever pulled off. It was the end of the season and I was feeling really comfortable on my ski, and it was dialed in and running perfectly. I was in a heated battle for the national tour overall championship so I knew I was going to have to bring my ‘A' game to win the last round, and make my case for the title. I was so busy for those two minutes out on the water that I never heard my 15 second warning horn, or the final horn. I think I went for an extra 30 seconds or so before they got my attention. I was about to die from exhaustion. I gave every ounce of energy I had. After winning the last round I ended up tied for the championship, but after the IJSBA tie-breaker rule was invoked I settled for 2nd place overall."
You obviously need to be fit to pull off what you did, what does your fitness routine consist of?
"I am in better shape now than ever; I have been working out with conviction this year. My fitness routine involves much more than just practicing on my ski. I do High Intensity Interval Training 4-5 days per week, picking random workouts from a specific website that I follow. I also added in interval sprints several days a week, with a day or two of 2-3 mile runs. And then in preparation for the World Finals, I also added in some weight training. That all happens Monday through Friday, then the weekends were filled with practice time on the water. It was a busy season, but stepping up my fitness level helped tremendously. As of now, it's already ‘next year' and I've got some plans to get better yet." (He said with a wink, as though he had a secret weapon)
You mention wishing you had sorted out your ski earlier, what sorts of things do you dial in on a ski to make it fit right?
"Like any motorsport, when you're trying to compete with the best, there are countless things that must work together. To start with, I got a pretty late start this year building my new ski.
This hull and engine package was brand new to me, so it took a few rides to really get in sync with it and get the bugs worked out. I got a ton of help from Team X Scream (they built the hull and engine), Full Spectrum Racing carburetors, and Power Factor Products exhaust along the way. Now that everything is working with me, I can't wait to see where we end up."
Clearly some laws of physics were broken during Parr's last performance of 2012
How did the 2012 World Finals work out?
"I just got home from the World Finals. I'm pretty excited with my results. I finished 8th in the world. There were 17 of us in the Pro class, and I definitely held my own against the other big guns. I'm pretty sure I'll be able to make a few more guys nervous next year!"
How are things going at NASA?
"I'm still working at the Kennedy Space Center, and LOVING it! I really don't see myself ever leaving this place before retirement. Work is busy and exciting, and we are still doing great things in the US Space Program that make life better here on earth."
Will you be doing anything different next season?
"My plans for 2013 are to start pushing forward. I made huge strides this year, and hope to keep up the pace. I'll slow down a little through the winter on the water but keep charging in the gym, and sprinting across random parking lots. My wife has put her focus towards coming up with new trick combinations and having a good presence on the water, so I'll be working on that too. You know what they say, happy wife, happy life." (Big smile)
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