After completing so many feats of strength in the last year, Michael McCastle is hung up on the one he didn’t complete.
McCastle, who first attempted to break a Guinness world pullup record last year, will up the ante by wearing a 30-pound pack on his back Sept. 26 to raise awareness for soldiers with injuries.
“I feel good about it this time,” said McCastle who is a petty officer in the Navy stationed at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. “I didn’t succeed last time and I want to not only break the record but overcome my failure and come back stronger. It’s something that has been haunting me since the first time. It’s something I have to do for me as well as the cause.”
Wearing the pack, which McCastle said represents the burden of the wounded warrior, he will attempt to break the Guinness world record of 5,801 pullups in a 24-hour period which was achieved by John Bocek in Arlington, Va., in May.
This time, McCastle will attempt to raise $5,000 for Operation Enduring Warrior, a veteran-operated non-profit organization that assists wounded service members. He will begin his feat at around 6 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at North End Fitness in Oak Harbor.
The Las Vegas native raised more than $10,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project last year for his first attempt when he completed 3,202 pullups before having to be hospitalized. McCastle’s first attempt came after he severely injured his ACL which required physical therapy. Since his lower body was struggling, he decided a pullup challenge would help him feel strong through a difficult period.
“That’s why the pull-ups are so personal for me,” McCastle said. “I was at a really low point, and it’s what made me set the goal in the first place. It got me up training every morning and I stopped feeling sorry for myself. You can fail and still come back stronger to succeed. And the event aims to bring awareness to those who struggle with mental or physical injuries.”
In December, McCastle completed a world-record-setting 13-mile 250-pound tire flip, again for the Wounded Warrior Project. McCastle flipped the tire 137 spans along a 500-foot paved street over the course of 10 grueling hours and raised more than $700 for the Wounded Warrior Project. And in May, McCastle climbed a 20-foot rope a total of 29,029 feet – the height of Mount Everest. That fundraiser collected nearly $2,000 for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, a cause that hit close to home following the death of his father who suffered from the disease.
McCastle’s feats are performed under the umbrella of his “Twelve Labors Project,” an effort based on the mythology of Hercules with the intention of inspiring people to challenge themselves and give to others.
“The purpose of the Twelve Labors Project is to take events that people perceive as impossible and get it done for a good cause,” McCastle said. “I have to do something that will spark something within others that will inspire them to do something seemingly impossible.”