Travis Quirin prides himself on being a survivor in the ring and on Saturday, December 2 he will put that pride to the ultimate test. At the YWCA Carlisle, Quirin will attempt to spar for 112 consecutive kickboxing rounds in what he is calling Kickboxing for Compassion. The event raises money for the YWCA Carlise Trauma Therapy Program for Survivors of Sexual Abuse , but he is not at all phased by the Guinness World Record.
“It’s good that I love to work out, but as far as making sure I can break the record and last as long as I can, it’s very difficult,” Travis remarked.
While endurance-based record attempts are familiar to Quirin, this one is the most unique record he has ever tried to break.
In 2012, Travis bench pressed 321,019 lbs. in one hour. Two years later, he attempted a similar record for deadlifting, but fell short by deadlifting 117,475 lbs. in 60 minutes. His last record attempt came in 2015, when he swapped barbells for a 555-pound rubber tire, flipping the massive tire 269 times in one hour.
And although he has had complications in submitting those records, from the cost to technological woes, those are not the numbers Travis truly cares about.
Instead, he refocuses those conversations to his fundraising efforts as all three attempts have raised over $10,000 for sexual assault survivor groups like the PCAR (Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape) Vision of Hope Fund and the YWCA boys survivor group. Quirin uses his records to bring awareness to the reality of sexual abuse.
It is a reality that hits close to home.
“If I have to talk about it, so they will talk about it with their kids, that’s all I want. That’s why I do it,” he explained.
Travis knows sexual abuse all too well. On a Sunday in September 1988, Travis and his brother, ages six and nine, were playing outside near their grandmother’s home in Altoona.
According to court records, a man in his late twenties approached and accused the boys of damaging a stone wall and demanded they follow him. Travis and his brother were led to a basement storage room where they were sexually abused for 30 minutes before the abuser let them go.
While Travis does not remember every detail of the incident, he still has memories of those harrowing moments.
“The moment we went down the steps, you go from a moment of, ‘okay we could possibly get away from this guy’ to ‘you’re going to die,’” Travis recalled.
Despite a promise by the abuser to kill Travis and his family if they told anyone, the boys returned home and informed their parents. Their abuser, a repeat offender, was arrested and later convicted of the crime against the boys, but the damage to Travis impacted his childhood and adult life.
“Relationships with women was always difficult. I thought everybody was lying to me. My relationships with guys were worse as far as friends. I started sizing every guy up. I said, nobody is ever going to get me like that again.”
Qurin began honing his fighting skills to defend himself, which he is now using to fundraise so others can get the help they deserve.
His wife, MaryBeth, has been a witness to the impact it has had on the people who have been inspired by Quirin’s openness.
“The more that we go on, he’s gotten letters in the mail saying, ‘This has happened to me, thanks for what you are doing,’” MaryBeth noted.
Nightmares from the abuse still haunt travis, but now he is living his dream as the co-owner of Quirin Athletics with his wife.
On Saturday, if he begins to become exhausted, he will recall the exact reason he is pushing the limits with his own body.
“There’s somebody getting abused right now,” Travis says. “The abusers won’t quit, so I’m not going to quit.”
Kickboxing for Compassion
WHEN: Saturday, December 1 from 10am-6pm (Open House)
WHERE: YWCA Carlisle
COST: FREE event (donations welcome)
All donations go to the YWCA Carlise Trauma Therapy Program for Survivors of Sexual Abuse (men/women/adults/children)
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