How many pull-ups could you do in 24 hours? For Air Traffic Controller 2nd Class Mike McCastle, the answer is an incredible 5,804 pull-ups, beating the previous world record of 5,801. He had previously attempted to break the record and failed, but this time he was determined to succeed — and he made it even harder on himself by wearing a 30 pound pack the entire time, too.
McCastle wore the extra weight for a reason: in addition to trying to break the world record, he was also raising money for Operation Enduring Warrior, which hosts adaptive sports competitions for wounded vets. “I wanted to add the extra pack to represent their burden that they carry,” he said. “They don’t take that pack off. They carry it with them for the rest of their lives.” In the past, he’s raised money for Wounded Warrior Project and other veterans organizations.
Last year when McCastle attempted the challenge, he had to quit after 19 hours. So this time, he trained hard to get ready. Before he only trained for eight weeks; for his second attempt, he trained for four months. He conquered a 29,029 foot rope climb, which is the elevation of Mount Everest. He also scaled a 20-foot rope over one thousand times, and did a 13-mile 250-pound tire flip, which raised money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
While McCastle’s accomplishment is being praised, in a post on his Facebook page, he insists that records are not the most important thing.
Records will be made, broken and even forgotten.. but there are men and women who have given life, limb and so much more for their country and those they love. To me, that is immortal and should always be remembered,” he wrote. “This event was a small gesture to the ones who suffer in silence and refuse to be defined, held down or limited by their setbacks. The ones who find a way to win no matter what. My body hurts and I may be broken…but I will recover. I only ask that you please remember the brave souls who have fought and returned home, still carrying that heavy pack–the burden of the enduring warrior–but still face their daily challenges with a smile and with no regrets because they now have an intimate understanding of the price of freedom.