Marine veteran who flatlined 3 times, survived gang attack, has goal to break 12-hour pushups record for charity


(FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) – Timothy Shane Johnson, better known as T-Shane, is a Marine veteran crushing world records for pushups. His last record was 3,050 pushups in one hour.

His next record attempt will take place on November 10, 2021, on the Marine Corps birthday.

T-Shane is pushing himself in order to lift others up. As a finalist for Mr. Health and Fitness, he would win $20,000 and donate it to a veteran’s non-profit.

His next goal is to set the record of most pushups in 12 hours. The current mark, a cool 19,325 pushups.

FOX 46’s Will Kunkel got to sit down with Johnson ahead of his goal.

“What’s it like doing that many pushups though?” Kunkel asked.

“You’re just in a zone,” Johnson said. “I am thinking about tomorrow. This will be over tomorrow. Just get through the next one. I never want to hear the number or count. When you start to hear the word ten thousand and you think about another nine thousand then your body says ‘I don’t know.’ I think I lost 12 pounds that day. I couldn’t eat anything. It was straight laser focus.”

During that first attempt, T-Shane wanted to break the one hour and 12 hour records together. Basically, he went for a sprint then tried to run a marathon and his body quit.

In November, it’s all about those 19,325 pushups in 12 hours. That’s it – and believe it or not – he says it’ll be no problem. In part because he’s a Marine.

 “We’re used to going to those levels. We’re used to getting in that mindset. I just went back to that training. Mission objective. That’s what we need to do. We need to get mission objective. Mission objective,” he said.

And then, there’s the aftermath.

“I could not feed myself. I could not take my shirt off. I could not shower. I couldn’t use the restroom. I couldn’t my – it’s crazy. It’s been a month and three weeks since and I still don’t have feeling in the tips of my fingers. In this hand (right) I have real bad nerve damage and I don’t have the use of these two fingers. It is worse now. I don’t feel half this arm most of the time and the mobility of it,” Johnson said.

But that nerve damage isn’t from the pushups, that’s from MS-13. Yes, the gang.

While stationed at Camp Pendleton in California, he headed on a bike ride when given some time off. At that time, MS-13 was targeting military members. They spotted T-Shane, ran home off the road where he flew off his bike at 45 mph, and slammed into the corner of a brick house where he was robbed and left to die.

But being a Marine, T-Shane dragged his body to a nearby fire station where he was medevacked to a hospital. But during the rescue process, T-Shane died, three times. Yet, here he is today.

“I’ve been touched by God. I basically broke every bone in the upper part of my body, lacerated every major organ, and had to learn to walk, talk and breathe again. I was beaten and left for dead,” he said.

During the third time he was pronounced dead he had a rather important conversation with God, he said.

 It’s more of a subconscious time. It’s a feeling like nothing else. In life, we have so much noise hitting us from so many directions, it’s just crushing us. Imagine the most perfect form of meditation and the feeling of knowing everything is going to be absolutely OK. I don’t think I even have the mental fortitude to put it in words to relate that type of experience. As I was on the third time of flat lining. I literally saw my body and I was looking down on it and I saw the nurses working on me. God said listen, ‘You have two choices, you can give up and it’s OK.’ It wasn’t guilt driven. It was, ‘I am here for you if this is the path you decide to take.’ ‘However, there is another path where you can continue to live but you will have to share your story but you won’t understand what that is right now.’”

In the 21 years since the attack, T-Shane’s story is being told. After starting his own mortgage company, he lost everything during the recession in 2008 and became homeless in Charlotte for two years.

The lone bill he could pay – his membership to planet fitness. Eventually, he hopped up off the gym mat and started piecing everything together.

Today, he uses his journey to help other veterans who are struggling.

“Doing a pushup is minimal compared to someone taking a bullet and not coming home or someone taking a bullet and having to live with that the rest of his life. So, I couldn’t eat for a couple of days. There are guys out there that have to go through tubes. It was the least of my worries whether I was sore or not what I was concerned about is if people paid attention to the main cause at hand and remember there are those who have done a lot worse than this. But yea. It sucked.”

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