It’s probably the most hated, most dreaded exercise in the book: burpees.
And that is exactly the reason why Sam Finn chose to do them — 1,010 in less than one hour, to be precise.
He is aiming to break the Guinness World Record.
“I wanted something that when I told everyone they would say, ‘Are you insane?’ and they would talk about it,” Sam said.
To prepare for the event, Sam does up to 1,800 of them every week.
He is putting himself through the gruesome process neither for vanity, nor glory, but to raise awareness about sarcoma, an extremely rare and aggressive form of cancer that can develop in the bones or soft tissues.
Sarcoma took the life of his older brother Cedric, a man described as full of love for life, bravery and determination.
He was Sam’s best friend and his inspiration.
“I keep telling myself, this is easy because it actually is easy when I compare it to what he had to go through,” Sam explained.
Cedric was only 27 years-old when he was diagnosed. In the span of a few months, he underwent an orthopedic surgery, two brain surgeries and multiple chemotherapy treatments.
“He was in great shape, he was enjoying life and ten months after, he passed away,” said Steven Finn, Sam and Cedric’s dad.
Throughout it all, his family says Cedric kept his spirits high, fighting courageously until the very end.
“It definitely inspires me to keep pushing through hard times,” Sam said.
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Because sarcoma only represents one per cent of all cancer diagnoses, experts say it’s underfunded and under-researched.
Sam’s help goes a long way.
“Research is the way to save more people from these cancers, minimize the burden of families and individuals and yes, we are surgeons — we do surgery for this — but maybe we hope that one day, a pill will be enough to cure your cancer,” says Dr. Robert Turcotte, an orthopedic surgeon at the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC).
Dr. Turcotte’s team has already benefitted from funds Sam has raised.
Because yes, he’s done this before.
Back in 2019, Sam beat the Guinness World Record for a marathon: the most burpees in 12 hours, completing 5,234.
He raised close to $70,000.
“The one-hour burpee record is going to be a lot harder. It’s a sprint. It’s going to be very hard to maintain such a high speed,” Sam said.
It will be undeniably hard, but as he learned from his brother Cedric, it’s worth the fight.
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