Sooke resident Kris Winther broke the world record for squats Dec. 20, squatting 5,200 times consecutively to raise money for B.C. Children’s Hospital.
The fundraiser, called Vets for a Cure, took place outside the Delta Hotel in Victoria beginning at noon, and ran for 4.5 hours.
“It went well, I’m really happy I was able to fight through,” said Winther.
Winther explained that he tried out new knee sleeves to protect his knees, but they cut off the circulation in his legs and caused his muscles to seize up around the 3,000 mark.
“The last 2,200 I was in the most pain I’ve ever been in in my entire life. I was coming in and out of consciousness and my friend had to stand behind me and keep catching me,” he said.
Winther said he hopes the event showed people that no matter how tough the situation, if you just put one foot in front of the other you can achieve your goal. He was also glad that it got people thinking about the children in the hospital during the holidays.
“I think it sent a powerful message so I am very happy,” said Winther.
Leading up to the event Winther underwent intense training for months, and near the end was able to do 4,800 consecutive squats once a week, but he saved the last 400 for the day of.
Winther is a previous military member and said since he came from home from his deployment six years ago, he has struggled with something called “survivors guilt”, so starting a fundraiser was a way for him to give back and make his life count.
“I felt like I should have passed away over there and had been wasting my life here, so it’s been a big goal for me to prove to myself that I survived for a reason,” said Winther.
He explained that his daughter is what inspired him to fundraise for the children’s hospital, but he wanted to take the concept of sacrificing his body, which the military often uses for fundraising, and apply it to the civilian world to raise money.
“I’ve been given a second chance and I want to utilize it properly,” he said. “I don’t want to feel like I wasted my life.”
This is the first time Winther has done a fundraiser like this, and so far he has raised more than $2,500 for B.C. Children’s Hospital.
Next year, he hopes to get more military members and wounded warriors involved.
“This year was just to catch people’s attention,” said Winther.
To donate, visit secure.bcchf.ca.