Burnley builder goes above and beyond for social media press-up challenge

A Burnley construction worker built up quite a following after taking the "25 press-ups for 25 days" social media challenge to another level.

Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 7th July 2020, 4:07 pm

Scott Pickles (44) completed the challenge – to raise suicide awareness – the standard way when he was first nominated in May.

However, when he was nominated a second time he decided to "spice things up" in order to make more people sit up and take notice.

Scott completed his first set of 25 press-ups atop Ingleborough (723m) while carrying a 50lb backpack.

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More than a dozen friends joined Scott for the final day of his 25-day Pendle Hill challenge

For the next 24 days he continued waking up at 4am to venture up Pendle Hill, in all conditions, with an ever increasing load on his back, where he would complete his 25 press-ups next to the trig point.

The only day he didn't make it up Pendle was on Day 21 when he instead hiked 19.5 miles from Pen-y-ghent (694m) to Whernside (736m) carrying more than 70lb.

For his final early morning march up Pendle Hill he was joined by more than a dozen friends who cheered him on as he completed his last set of 25 press-ups, while being weighed down by 75lb.

"I was a bit sad when it was all over," said Scott, a former pupil at Edge End High School. "I woke up the next morning at 3am and was going to do it again, but I thought I'd better give myself a break.

Scott Pickles

"When I got nominated the second time I wanted to do something that would make more people take notice. I'd planned to go to Ingleborough anyway so I decided to do it with 50lb on my back and do the press-ups there.

"On my second day coming down Pendle I saw a guy who asked me how much I was carrying on my back. I saw him a couple of days later and he asked me again.

I said, 'Still 50lb'. He replied, 'Oh right, I thought you'd be upping it every day'. I walked back to my van and thought, 'Right then'. So I added a few pounds and then made sure I added one pound every day until I reached 75lb on my last day. It was tough but it added to the significance and made it a bit more of an achievement."

Raising awareness for suicide is a cause close to Scott's heart following his own battles with depression and drink. He gave up alcohol more than three years ago and said challenges such as this one helped keep him on a steady and fulfilling path.

"For the 50 days I got up and did these challenges I didn't once feel down or depressed. Setting goals like these help. They help keep your mind busy.

"The hill symbolised daily life, the ups and downs we face. The getting up at 4am was about motivation. This was a bit of a personal challenge for me, too; to get myself up. Once I started doing it it wasn't just about me, it was about the challenge and the significance of that.

"In October Scott is planning to embark on the Everest Base Camp and Island Peak hike; and next year is hoping to take on another Pendle Hill challenge – this time to raise money for a mental health charity.

"I want to see how many times I can do Pendle in 18 hours. I was hoping to do it in June but with everything that's been going on I'm looking to do it next year now."