Michael Eckert, the U.S. Marine and former Ninja Warrior competitor, is known for his remarkable strength challenges, especially when it comes to pullups. Eckert formerly held the Guinness World Record for the most pullups in 1 minute with 58 reps. For his latest fitness feat, he teamed up with Ten Thousand to attempt to break the world record for most pull ups done in 24 hours to raise awareness about veteran suicide for the non-profit FITOPS. The mark to break was 7,715 reps, set by by Brandon Tucker in 2019.
The challenge proved to be more than Eckert expected, thanks in part to shifting temperatures surrounding his outdoor metal bar. He didn't anticipate the rise and fall of the bar's temperature, which caused his wrists to lock up. Even with attempts to alleviate the circumstances with blood pressure cuffs, massage, and heat, he was unable to get comfortable. And there were other challenges: spotty WiFi, which meant he was unable to get any virtual support for the planned live stream with his team.
Ultimately, he didn't accomplish the goal.
"Shit doesn’t always line up like you hope it would," he says in a video recap from the challenge. "I set out to do 7,800 pull ups in 24 hours. I failed. Why? I can give you a list of excuses but that will nor get me any closer to this goal. What are the lessons I learned from this failure? How to better prepare—myself, my team and the variables at play."
Eckert goes on to share that from his point of view, failure is a part of growth and about setting big goals and systematically working towards them daily to be fully committed and focused. And even though he trained well, ate well, and got his mind right (plus callused hands), he says it wasn't good enough... but that it's also okay. He can keep focused on accomplishing his goals down the road.
"Now I have the wisdom and humility to move forward and set myself up for the next attempt," he says. "I failed, and now I'm ready for Round 2."
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