What an experience I’ve had this year with BOTH pull up events this year!
Raising all of this awareness and money I never thought it could get to this level! I first wanted to give my deepest sympathies to the Nols family, the Hanna family, and all of the other families that have gone through and are going through this terrible ordeal. I truly hope this cause is making a difference!
Over this year, I have developed a huge support system that has really helped dearly to the cause.
I came to the manager at Retro Fitness in Piscataway, Lou Falzarano in April about the event and his first response was “What do you need?” Right away, he called the owner, Louis Falzarano and got the go ahead and he ordered a Rogue power rack which is an expensive piece of equipment that I needed in ordered to do Guinness official pull ups. The whole staff was so accommodating to both events, working late hours in full support.
Coach Be, Bryndan Moore, from Eating For Abs came to me before the first event and volunteered his time during my record breaking shift. Since then he has had a HUGE part in making TeamGurk what it is today. He’s done so much from creating this beautiful website, to running the fundraising for the shirts, writing my nutrition plan, setting up meetings with people that are amazing in their fields (Kate Cleveland, PT, DPT, Dr. Rhadi Ferguson, and Tracey Wilson, CSCS) and being there to guide me mentally for this latest event. I’m happy to have the support of TEAM E4A, and look forward to working with them on my future challenges.
Training for the first event, my hands got pretty torn up through the practice sessions with the equipment I was using. I did some research and found out what the previous record holder, David Goggins, was using. He was using Power Pads by New Grip. I immediately ordered several pairs and realized after a practice session that these were going to be what I was using. After the first successful event I ordered a bunch more for round two. Ryan Sollee, the owner of the company personally emailed me asking why I ordered so many. I told him what I had done and he immediately became so accommodating supporting me in any way I needed sending me as many as I needed. He even flew out to the event last week all the way from Oregon to support me. Thank you!
Immediately after the first event I went to Somerset Family Physical Therapy and Eileen Kurtz worked her magic and helped my right arm get back into great shape! I’ve been going to her ever since for therapy. She even came out to this last event and helped me for several hours with my injuries.
About a month ago, I injured my left forearm and bicep in the gym, so much so that I couldn’t do one pull up without pain. Coach Be gave me some suggestions, he put the idea of dry needling in my head and I immediately got in contact with Anne W. Kim, L.Ac. at Integrative Health Acupuncture & Herbal Medicine and I began going to her several days a week leading up to the event. I never tried acupuncture before, but now after these sessions I know it works and was a big part in my recovery.
There were about two weeks left before November 15th and I was improving health wise going to Somerset Family Physical Therapy and Intergrative Health Acupuncture, but I needed something else. A college swimming buddy of mine and his wife got me in contact with Edison Comprehensive Medical Care, they immediately booked an appointment for me and Anthony Ciccotelli, P.T., D.P.T., began laser therapy on my arm and other types of therapy. I immediately felt the results in a positive manner. I’ve been going to them ever since as well.
Going to all three of these places pretty much every day for a month drastically improved my arm through my injury the previous month. Without them I wouldn’t have been ready to go through with the event.
I had such great support leading up to and on the day. Friends, Family, students, and people I never met before came out to cheer me on through the day and night. I wouldn’t have been able to get through the last couple hundred pull ups without them. The injuries had caught up to me and no matter what I would do to compensate for them another injury would pop up. The last several hundred pull ups I experienced the most horrific pain I’ve ever felt in my life. I think my body needs more than five months between events! Luckily, I had Eileen Kurtz there to help me out for several hours and when she left, Elizabeth Anastasio PT, came to be a witness, who witnessed and helped me last time. She helped me tremendously for the last 8 hours, which were a great struggle for me both physically and mentally.
Another special thanks to all of the sponsors to make all the t-shirt sales go directly to Sloan-Kettering. (Eating For Abs, Retro Fitness, Lightbridge Academy, Hart’s Auto Body, Scarlet Aquatics, New Grip, Nutrition Zone, and Somerset Family Physical Therapy). Last but not least thank you to everyone who purchased a shirt or donating directly to the site. After the shirt sales get put in, we will have reached about 12,000 for the year!
I love doing this event for this cause. I’m not done with the pull ups (or going for other records) and plan on doing them again sometime in 2016, but until then I’ll continue working with the awesome support I have gained to make TeamGurk continue to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer. Thank you all!