Episode #126 — Xpogo Star Russ Kaus

First things first — there are always going to be times in life when a Hang in There Kitty Poster will help you through a rough patch. You can say you’re just moved by it ironically or you can say that kitten’s moxie truly is inspiring to you. Either way, it helps. In other words, we’re saying that the phlebotomy department at Heidi’s doctor really let her down at her last appointment when they removed the poster of kittens. The only thing that got her through her needle phobia was focusing on those darn cats. What is she supposed to do now? Close her eyes and think of England? Replay Oceans Eleven for the eight hundredth time in her head? Actually, that might work…

Heist comedies aside, what we’re really trying to say is let us be that inspirational kitten poster for you as we all navigate the waters of early 2021. Metaphorically, of course. We’re not actually going to come to your place of work — or home office — and dangle adorably off a tree branch for you. (Unless there’s the possibility of a fire fighter rescue. Then we can see the results of the Fitfighter in action.) But we will offer you our equivalent of a motivational poster: fun interviews with fascinating people who just might motivate you to pursue your own, out-of-the-box passions.

To mercilessly torture this blog’s metaphor, for this week’s episode we spoke with someone who not only hangs in there, he hangs in mid-air. Russ Kaus is an Xpogo stunt team member and daredevil athlete. What Russ is involved with isn’t your 1950s/1960s sitcom version of pogo, where the Beaver might get in trouble for jumping in the driveway when he’s supposed to be doing his homework. Russ is an extreme pogo star, doing stunts all over the world for exhibitions, before basketball games, on TV shows, and at Pogopalooza.

Russ filled us in on the evolution of Xpogo and how he got started in it. We also learned about different tricks, how involved his training is, and what the community around Xpogo is like. Russ has some major goals for 2021, including going for some world records, but he’s already hit some major milestones and executed a move no one has done before. Tune in to hear more about how he made it happen and whether anyone else has been able to replicate it.

If anyone reading this is thinking, “Big deal — I’ve been on a pogo stick before,” we highly suggest listening to the entire interview before rushing out give it a try. Truly, check yourself before you wreck yourself. Russ explained how he got into Xpogo in the first place and why attempting pogo tricks can be extremely dangerous. And we know it’s probably even more dangerous than he’s letting on, considering he was fairly casual in listing many of the injuries he’s sustained in the course of attempting pogo stunts, including rupturing his urethra. Yeah, you read that right. Please don’t make us type it again. We’ll let Russ tell you about it in his own words, including what the injury has in common with bull riding.

Lest you think we’re trying to keep you from trying this extreme sport, we promise we’re not. Just make sure you listen to what Russ has to say before purchasing your own souped-up stick. And for those of you who would rather leave the extreme flips and rotations to the professionals, check out Russ’s amazing tricks, along with those of his teammates, on Xpogo’s website. More information and mind-boggling Xpogo tricks can also be found on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Until next week, we’re off to brainstorm ideas for our own motivational posters. How about a kitten on a pogo stick, flipping over the tree branch instead of dangling from it? Don’t worry; we’d make sure it had a helmet on. And if that poster doesn’t take off, we’ve learned from Russ that executing something extraordinary takes a ton of practice. So we’ll eventually come up with something that sticks. (Cause of metaphor death? Extreme overuse.)

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