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I was mentally ready, but my body failed after 50 hours of giving massages —Joy Ijeoma, GWR massage-a-thon attempter



Joy Ijeoma was in the news recently after attempting a Guinness Book of World Records for the longest massage of 72 hours. She, however, collapsed due to fatigue after 50 hours of continuous massaging. In this interview with ROTIMI IGE, she spoke about her attempt and future plans. Excerpts

Outside your role as a massage therapist, can you tell us about your background?

I had my early education in Lagos and attended Adonai University in the Republic of Benin. I studied International Relations.

Why did you choose to be a massage therapist, and did you get any training before this?

Speaking on my choice to become a massage therapist, I just like it when people feel good. I did get training before I started the business.


When exactly did you start your massaging business, and was it for this purpose?

No. I started my when I was in the university. That was in 2018. But in terms of setting a record, I just wanted to do something different, not necessarily GWR. I also have other businesses that I do, I run Hair By GoldenTouch.


When did you decide that you wanted to compete for a Guinness World Record as a massage artiste?

The truth is that I always wanted to set a record since I was a teenager, I always wanted to do something special.


The person who currently holds the record for the longest full-body massage is Alastair Galpin in South Kalimantan, Indonesia, and his record is 25 hours and four minutes. You planned to set a record for 72 hours but only made it to 50 hours. Why did you set that high a record for yourself?

When you are doing something you try to do your best. I felt I could do that. When you try to set a record, you will consider something that won’t be so easy for other people to break it. I had plans to go more than 72 hours.


As a massage therapist, one would think you would know exactly the limits of your body based on experience. How did you feel at the time you went out of commission after 50 hours?

My body was exhausted, but my mind was okay.


Did you not plan for the exhaustion or did you not get rest or short breaks in between the time?

Just as I said, I had been planning this for the past eight months with my team. Before I started, I also registered for training two months ago. I have been training hard and working out.


In your opinion, what do you think contributed to your exhaustion two days into the record attempt?

I really can’t say, it just happened. I got my rest time normally, but you can never tell what would happen eventually.


Can you walk me through your rest time?

I get five minutes of rest every hour. I accumulated everything though. At the end of the day, I rested for one hour and then another 20 minutes later. I can’t remember the exact time, but I took a one-hour rest, and then another 20 minutes later.

Since you came out of the record attempt, have you been on social media?

No, not yet. I have been resting. I do feel better now, I am resting at home and medical personnel have been around. They were also on ground during the 50 hours of the record attempt.


Some people on social media believe that you collapsed after 50 hours to trend and that your exhaustion was not genuine. What do you say to this?

Why would I want to intentionally do something like that after planning for almost a year? That does not make sense. You know people can say things and it is normal for them to. Sometimes, people cook up all sorts of stories.


Another majority on social media believe that you did not plan your record attempt properly, hence the collapse.

You know that you can plan, but planning can never be enough. Anything can happen even after you have planned well.