MIDDLETON, NS - Danny Frame first tried Scottish heavy events on a Wednesday. He was competing in Halifax that Saturday. That was about a dozen years ago and he’s thrown a few hammers, tossed a few cabers, and travelled the globe since then.
He’s one of the best in the world and now he’s gearing up for a Guinness Book of World Records attempt on July 20 during Middleton’s Heart of the Valley Festival.
“My goal is to break the Guinness Book of World Records record for most caber tosses successfully flipped in three minutes,” said Frame. “The current record’s 14 held by a gentleman by the name of Kevin Fast of Ontario. So the goal is to get over 14 – hopefully 15, 16, maybe more.”
Fast’s record was set in 2013.
“It is quite a task because it works out that to get 15 you have to flip one every 12 seconds,” said Frame July 4 as he finished working with youth in the field at Fitness Experience gym in Middleton. “It’s going to take a lot of coordination with the people helping out, standing the cabers and holding the cabers for us, and to be as safe as we can be.”
The cabers in question have to be 16 feet, four inches long and weigh 88 pounds. Frame said that isn’t that large of a caber normally for a professional caber thrower.
“But it’s the cardio aspect of it,” Frame said. “It’s over three minutes. It’s not just one rep.”
In order to be a successful flip, the caber has to climb through the air through 90 degrees and then land in an imaginary clock face between 9 and 3.
“So if it doesn’t get up to 90 degrees, if it falls back towards you, it doesn’t count,” he said. “You can’t take any one attempt lightly because if you miss one that could be the make or break of breaking the record.”
“I’ve been competing for about a dozen years. I got into the highland games heavy events through Jamie Peppard,” he said. “He introduced me to the strongman scene and then about 12 years ago he introduced me to highland games. I asked him what it was all about and he said ‘Let’s go outside and practice the events.’ It was on a Wednesday. We did all eight. He asked me how it went and I said ‘I kind of like it.’ He said ‘Perfect. Grab a kilt, you’re gonna compete on Saturday in Halifax.’”
Ever since then he’s been hooked.
“I’ve been able to travel all through the Maritimes, all across Canada, through the US, and even into Europe,” he said. “It’s been a cool way to venture around, meet some great people, see some great sites all while throwing heavy things and wearing a kilt.”
Frame is a teacher at Lawrencetown Education Centre where they focus a lot on academics, but a lot on experiential learning and goal-setting and adventure-based education.
“I thought something like this to challenge myself lives up to our motto as a school ‘Challenge for Growth,’ directly showing students that if you set goals, strive to do big things, that anything is possible no matter where you’re from. You know a lot of people think you’re from a small town that there’s not a lot of opportunity but if you look for it, it can be there.”
Frame works with at-risk youth and draws inspiration from his students who often overcome numerous obstacles to finish their high school educations. School’s over for the year but he’s been out here with youth for close to three hours – and it’s hot. “We did a little trial with the cabers, then we did other events,” he said. There are eight events altogether.
“They’re pretty behind me and most of them plan to be there,” Frame said of the students and his caber record attempt. “It’s kind of a win-win, you know – chasing something and hopefully motivating others.”
In a career that included five years playing football with the Acadia Axemen, three years in the CFL, a workout with the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, two Atlantic Canada Strongest Man titles, and numerous Highland Games titles, Frame himself is the epitome of conquering challenges.
“I think it’s exciting that it’s come to this point,” said Peppard who owns Fitness Experience and is also principal at Frame’s school. “When you think of the importance of rewarding hard work this is a testament to that, because when he stopped playing professional football and became involved in Scottish heavy events and Strongman he really put his genuine heart and soul into that and you can see the result.”
Frame noted that Fitness Experience has produced unbelievable throwers, but more importantly world class caber throwers.
“Jim Nickerson, he’s one of the best Masters caber throwers in Canada by far,” Frame said. “Danny Steele is easily the best light weight caber thrower in Canada. Derek Smith and Taggart Rhoddy are two of the best caber throwers for juniors that Canada has ever seen. I was Canadian champ, Jamie Peppard was Canadian champion numerous times in the caber and I believe was second in the world one year.”
Peppard agrees Middleton has produced some worldclass heavy events competitors, and reiterates that Frame reaching the point of attempting to beat Fast’s record is a testament to hard work.
“It’s no freak of nature. It’s no luck. It’s good, old-fashioned putting the time in on sticks and if there’s one thing we’re known for in Middleton it’s being able to flip cabers, so he’s going to put a cherry on top of the sundae in that regard,” said Peppard.
“His profession is working with youth at risk down at Lawrencetown Education Centre, and when you can take that desire to create positive change in others, and apply it to your own personal interests which is Scottish heavy events, it works fantastic because the youth are engaged, they want to learn, and what’s more important they’re getting to learn from someone who is at the peak of their game,” he said.
Frame hopes to see a lot of people out for his record attempt July 20 during Highland Games events from 7 to 10 p.m. at Rotary Park.
“The Heart of the Valley Festival – it’s a great festival,” he said. “It’s a great family weekend for the Town of Middleton to showcase all the beauty of area. I’m just happy the festival is having me be part of it. I’m hoping a lot of people come in to watch the record attempt, but also just take in what a wonderful place Middleton and Annapolis County is.