Manitoba

Winnipegger lifts 5,900 kilograms in 1 hour for mental health

A Winnipeg man lifted the weight of an elephant on Saturday to bring attention to the elephant in the room — poor mental health.

Nolan De Leon raised $3,000 for Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba

Nolan De Leon lifted nearly 5,900 kilograms, a little bit more than the average weight of an African elephant, to raise money for the Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba. (Amanda Blanco/Submitted by Nolan De Leon)

A Winnipeg man lifted the weight of an elephant on Saturday to bring attention to the elephant in the room — poor mental health.

Over the course of a what he called a gruelling hour, Nolan De Leon did 184 Turkish get-ups, using a 70-pound (32 kilogram) kettle bell. In total, he lifted nearly 5,900 kilograms, a little bit more than the average weight of an African elephant. That's a hair over three Turkish get-ups every minute.

De Leon broke the Guinness world record for heaviest weight lifted by Turkish get-up (the previous record was 4,868 kg — 10,732.5 pounds), but he also raised just over $3,000 for Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba

He almost didn't make it, though.

"After the halfway point, I was kind of writing a speech in my head already saying, 'Sorry, I can't. I can't keep doing this.' I was really about to give up," De Leon said in an interview on CBC Manitoba's Weekend Morning Show on Sunday.

"But I was hearing the other people, my support team in the room cheering me on. I was hearing all the comments that everybody was saying on the YouTube Live and it really pushed me. It really resonated with me that so many people were watching, so many people were inspired and so many people were telling me that I can get back up. And I think that's almost symbolic of what I'm trying to do here with mental health."

A Turkish get-up requires the person to be lying down. The person grabs a kettle bell while they're on the ground, then push themselves up to a kneeling position and then rise to stand with the kettle bell over their head, without using their other arm.

De Leon is pictured with supporters after completing the feat on Saturday. (Amanda Blanco/Submitted by Nolan De Leon)

De Leon switched between his arms throughout.

The coach at Fukumoto Fitness has been training for a year, he said.

He broke the previous Guinness world record with a bullet, but now has to prove he did.

The weightlifter live streamed the hour-long ordeal and had a photographer present as well. He also had two judges there to count every get-up.

"I have a Guinness application, and once all of that stuff is in and they take a look, they will hopefully approve it," De Leon said.

Even more important, though, is the amount he raised to support the self-help organization dedicated to providing support, education and advocacy for those living with mental illnesses.

Doing the Turkish get-ups was symbolic of the difficulty of poor mental health, he said.

De Leon lifts a kettle bell in front of a whiteboard used to track his progress. (Amanda Blanco/Submitted by Nolan De Leon)

"You can't do this alone sometimes, and sometimes it takes your support group, your family, your friends — and that's not something to be ashamed of. If you're really struggling, reach out and have these people hold you up."

Was he sore the day after the event?

"Just a touch," De Leon said.

With files from Bruce Ladan

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