For more than a year, Nate Carroll of Winnebago, Wisconsin, got up before dawn to squeeze in a few hundred push-ups before waking up his three children and getting them ready for school.
Nate has always been in good shape. He’s even participated in marathons and an Ironman, and he has always done about 50 push-ups a day. But in 2019, he upped the ante in a big way.
The single dad always strives to be a great example for his kids. He works as a social worker, providing mental health services to state prison inmates at the Wisconsin Resource Center. When he learned about the Tunnels to Towers 1.5 Million Push-Up Challenge, his interest was instantly piqued.
The Stephen Siller Tunnel To Towers Foundation is a nonprofit named after a firefighter who died during the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Their mission is to support the nation’s first responders and military heroes through donations, events, and other fundraising efforts.
Nate entered their push-up challenge and got to work. In order to meet his goal, he knew he had to do at least 2,740 push-ups every single day.
He documented his push-ups with time-lapse videos and photos, hoping to beat the existing Guinness World Record set by the “World’s Fittest Man,” Paddy O’Doyle, in 1989. Nate was confident he could do better while also raising money for a worthy cause!
“I try to weave my push-ups into my daily activity,” he said. “To set aside time to do 4,000 push-ups is impossible. You have to really make it a priority and be willing to commit to it and embrace the fact that you have to weave that into your day.”
“Trying to balance this amount of push-ups with being a father and working full-time sometimes creates obstacles that you sometimes have to overcome,” Nate said.
In June 2021, Nate met his goal! He decided to finish off the challenge at a very special and appropriate event, the 48th annual Fun City Bowl. This football game for New York City first responders is held at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, and Nate couldn’t wait to celebrate his victory among the same people he’d chosen to support.
During halftime, the dad dropped down onto the turf to complete his 1,500,231st push-up within a span of 12 months. Not only did he complete the final nine push-ups to finish the challenge, but he also threw in an extra 11 to break the world record and honor the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
“I’m grateful to have passed this record with my children watching and in the presence of the brave men and women of the NYPD and FDNY,” Nate wrote on Instagram. “I will continue doing push-ups until this challenge is officially over, June 13th. Please consider making a donation to The Tunnel to Towers Foundation. Thank you all for supporting me and the Push Through challenge.”
Guinness World Records still needs to verify and approve Nate’s record, but either way, we think he’s won! Nate is proof that with the right incentive, there’s really nothing we can’t do.
Share this story to congratulate Nate and thank him for supporting our first responders.
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