PHOENIX — Jordan Acker continues to feel the loss of his father every day.
“I can remember where I was when I got the call, the exact day, the hour,” said Jordan. “The whole world stops for you in that moment.”
Growing up, Jordan says the bond with his father Robert was complicated; a strict upbringing that seemed to keep their relationship at a distance. Like many fathers and sons, time would heal those teenage wounds.
“When I got to be 18 there was this shift in our relationship where all of a sudden, he saw me as a man and we just became friends,” said Jordan.
It was a friendship that blossomed over their shared love for running and fitness. But even as they got closer, Jordan knew his father was struggling to beat a lifelong battle with depression.
The battle culminated on August 13, 2016, when Robert, just 46, took his own life in Minnesota.
“That’s something that obviously my dad struggled with and so many other people struggle with, is they feel like they’re in a straitjacket with their depression,” said Jordan. “He was a tough guy and like a lot of guys like that, he held a lot in.”
The loss of Robert left a major void in the hearts of Jordan, his mother, and his sister.
A journey of healing began soon after but it wasn't easy.
“You just have to find purpose and move on somehow,” said Jordan.
Now six years later, Jordan is attempting to honor his father's memory by completing 6,000 chin-ups in 24 hours inside the Self Made Training Facility in Phoenix.
“I would argue I’ve probably done more chin-ups than any person on earth this year,” said Jordan with a laugh. “I’m looking forward to never doing another.”
He estimates around 37,000 chin-ups in the last 12 months. Each training session lasts hours, each rep and rest timed out to the second. His diligence is for good reason as he hopes to use this moment to raise money for a nonprofit called Save, an organization focused on suicide prevention and grief support for families like his.
“You got to end that stigma and people need to be able to talk about it,” said Jordan.
But in just one week, he’ll leave the talk at the door and let his mind, heart, and muscles speak for all those gone too soon.
“I’ve been building myself for so long that there’s nothing that’s going to stop me,” said Jordan.
Jordan has set up a fundraiser and he will also stream his record-breaking attempt on his Instagram beginning at 10 a.m. on July 9.