New DH calendar
Article updated: 7/19/2013 2:56 PM

Moving Picture: Grayslake man has record-breaking goals

text size: AAA

Every day Alex Rothacker wakes up he is reaching for a record.

"I always have goals," says Rothacker. "If you have goals, you're never bored."

The 51-year-old Grayslake resident competes with weights, with his dog, and even with food. Either way, he goes all out.

"My favorite thing is world records. I like Guinness World Records, feats of strength records. Not for the fame and glory of it, just for the satisfaction of doing it," Rothacker says.

His own feats of strength records: a forearm curl with 156 pounds and a one-arm press of 248 pounds with a 7-foot bar. The amount of weight he can move is impressive.

"The feeling you get when you do something that nobody else in the world can do is a great feeing," he says.

Rothacker doesn't understand the word "failure." His system for training involves small increases over a long period of time.

"Every time I work out I've broken an old record," Rothacker says.

Armed with a bag of raw broccoli and a gallon of distilled water, Rothacker hits the gym every day with a record under his belt.

Rothacker's main job is as the owner of TOPS Kennels and Veterinary Rehab in Grayslake. The kennel services more than 80 police departments in training German shepherds to work with police officers.

"Your dogs have to perform because it's the officer's life. I apply what I learn with people to the dogs, and I apply what I learn with the dogs to the people."

The man who is known for police dog training at TOPS also has a "sweet" side. The love of his life, his dog Swee' Pea, has appeared in dozens of television shows.

"Swee' Pea is definitely my best friend. She's with me 24/7," he says. "In all the shows she has never let me down. She doesn't do it for herself, she does it for me."

Rothacker says Swee' Pea holds nine Guinness World Records, including walking up and down a flight of stairs backward with a glass of water balanced on her nose.

At 18 years old, Swee' Pea, a border collie, is practically a record herself.

"My dog has taken me all over the world for the last 15 years of her life and it's my job, not only as a dog owner but as a friend, to make her life as good as it can be for as long as it can be," Rothacker says.

Helping a dog reach that longevity doesn't come without a lot of time and effort keeping her fit. Sweet Pea is put through a regiment every day -- including stretching and a stair workout -- that would tire out most people.

Rothacker takes his passion for breaking records to the dinner table as well. He recently tackled a four-pound burger at Bulldogs in Grayslake in 19 minutes. The mammoth burger came with cheese, 12 slices of bacon and one pound of chili-cheese fries.

"I've always liked eating a big abundance of food," he says. "It's a fun thing to see if you can do it."

Comments ()
We are now using Facebook comments to offer a more inclusive, social and constructive discussion. Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.

This article filed under

Latest Video

MostViewed

Today
Yesterday
Most Commented
Top Jobs

    View all Top Jobs Place a job ad

    MarketsReport

    DHExtras

       
    • Newspaper next section - Newspaper next section Report card checker - report card checker
    • Dh innovation award 2 - Dh innovation award 2 Zillow /real estate page
    • Discuss refer On Guard series
    • Newspaper archives -- Monday or anyday Mike North

    FacebookActivity

    BusinessDirectory

    Connect with a business or service in your area fast. First select a town, then enter a search term or choose one of the listed popular searches:

    Don't see your town listed? Visit our full directory to begin your search.