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Whidbey sailor hospitalized following world record pull-up attempt

NAS Whidbey sailor Mike McCastle is shown training for his world record pull-up attempt. He's currently hospitalized with injuries from the effort, but vows to try again. (Mike McCastle via Facebook)

An NAS Whidbey sailor remains hospitalized recovering from injuries he suffered trying to break a world pull-up record. But Mike McCastle tells the Ron and Don Show he’ll heal and try again.

McCastle’s world record attempt was an effort to raise money and awareness for wounded veterans in what can only be described as a Herculean task.

He had trained intensely for months, setting his sights on reaching 4,031 pull-ups within 24 hours.

He tells Ron and Don he went into the challenge with a basic but grueling strategy.

“I was pretty much playing the game of averages. I wanted to average 4-5 pull-ups per minute on the minute, every minute.”

McCastle figured if he could keep to his schedule, he could rest for a full minute each minute.

At first, he managed to stay on track. But then the video camera required for documenting the attempt had some problems, and McCastle had to take a break after 130 pull-ups.

“I went completely cold. I tried to stay warm, I tried to stretch out. But once we got the camera back up and running, it was kind of a game of catchup.”

When he resumed, McCastle sped up his attempts, banging out 6-8 reps every minute. And then his body started to give out.

“I got to 2300 pull-ups in the afternoon,” he says. “I essentially started feeling the muscles in my forearm start to rip, capillaries started to burst and started to surface on my skin.”

Still, he kept going. Blisters on his hand began to tear, and he could no longer wrap his fingers around the bar.

“At that point it was just about pain tolerance and how much longer I could go given the current condition I was in,” he says.

Amazingly, McCastle continued for 19-and-a-half hours, until he could not go on any longer. Despite his injuries, he managed to do 3,202 pull-ups – 828 short of the official record.

It’s hardly a failure. McCastle says he raised over $9,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project and brought national awareness to the plight of wounded servicemen and women, and he vows to try again after recovering.

“Many lessons learned from this failure like my many other failures in my life. I rarely get things on the first try but one thing is certain … I never give up,” he says in a follow-up email to our news partner KING 5.

If you’d like to help support McCastle, you can make a donation at the Wounded Warrior Project page

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