Name: David Carraway
Hometown: Liberty, MS
Hobbies: Obstacle Course Racing, Ninja Warrior, Trail Running, Writing, Anime, Video Games, Fishing, Kayaking, Hiking, anything that involves creating
Throughout many years of being a young man with no sense of direction who just went through the motions, I struggled to find what I considered to be “my thing.” I had plenty of intelligence, but no drive because to me everything around me just wasn’t worth it to me. Seeing the original Ninja Warrior on television, I dreamed of one day being able to run an obstacle course like that, but never had hopes of it coming to the US. I didn’t like playing football or baseball. They bored me. The only sport I did find fun to participate in was skateboarding which wasn’t at all prevalent in small time Mississippi where we barely had pavement much less a skate park within one hundred miles. Therefore, when it came time to go into college and out into the world, I had no idea what I wanted to do. All I knew was that I liked to write. I listened to what everyone who was concerned for my security and growth as an adult told me and kept the “make money” goal in mind. Though I could have certainly chosen better if money were my goal. I got an associate’s degree in journalism and then a bachelors in English with a teaching license. In spite of my lack of direction, I knew I wanted to stick close to writing.
During my few years teaching I grew even further away from who I was as I tried to do what my superiors wanted. I enjoyed guiding the kids to be better, but I needed a change of pace. During my last year or so I saw that there was a warrior dash that came close to my hometown right across the Louisiana line in St. Francisville. I took the plunge and signed up and I knew I had to start training if I wanted to be ready even though I had signed up a year ahead of time. I began focusing a lot more on running and functional fitness. I started doing prescribed Spartan Workouts from Spartan Race’s website. I quit smoking cigarettes. I slowly adjusted my diet and began to eat more healthy. The stronger I grew, I signed up for more races. My first Battle Race broke me. My two Spartan Races humbled me. I knew that this feeling of being humbled was what I needed and what I should continue to seek. The key to growth is to continue to do things that are difficult for you. It was then that I signed up for a Ninja Warrior competition at NOLA Muscle Park. I didn’t do well at all, but I learned so much and I found one of the best groups of motivating friends I have. I continue to go here as much as I can and now race alongside these great athletes and continue to allow their guidance and greatness to push me to improve.
I am only in my second year of Obstacle Course Racing, but every time there is a trail race or a course I can get to- I go. Unless I want to run and help others who I have tried to inspire and guide to try something they might think is impossible, I usually run elite. My goal is to continue to train hard and grow. Each time I am a bit closer to that podium, and each time I feel my body take a beating I hit training harder afterwards. Each time I make a mental mistake, I take note and learn from it. For me, that is what it’s all about. However, what I enjoy most is that hopefully my story can help inspire others. If I can become one of the best at what I once thought would be impossible to even complete- any one can do it. It just takes hard work, dedication, and being happy with small amounts of progress. The cliché of Rome wasn’t built in a day becomes ever more present in my mind. Small improvements may be all you see at first, but when you one day look back at the bigger picture you will see the growth. Fitness can help people grow physically, mentally, and spiritually. It certainly has for me, and I just want to see as many people as possible experience that growth and be happy, healthy human beings.