Stephen Crawford

stephen3Obstacles are weak walls without foundations; if you fear them, they will defeat you. But the fact is that they are even afraid of you. So why be frightened?”
My name is Stephen Crawford, also known as the Bowtied Spartan or just Bowtie to anyone who knows me in the obstacle course racing world. Born and raised in the Hudson Valley are of New York, sports and being active has always been a part of my life, although it wasn’t until only a few years ago I started living a healthier lifestyle. I was always a very large and in charge kid. I was a football player, weightlifter, and rower all throughout middle, high school, and college; and back then I weighed 315-325 pounds. Being that size as a kid caused me to be the subject of a lot of bullying and hard-times and caused me to pick up a very bad habit of emotionally eating and eating all the wrong things at that. It wasn’t until two to three years ago I took a very long and hard look at myself in the mirror and decided to make a change. It was my cousin who introduced me to my very first Spartan Race at Tuxedo, NY. The second I crossed that finish line I was addicted and knew what I wanted to do with my life. From that point I signed up for every Spartan Race, Mud Run, and Fun Run in my area. Then this year I decided I wanted more and searched out 5K’s, 10K’s, half marathons, and even attempted an Ultra Marathon. Being active with all these different kinds of races helped me focus on eating and training correctly. It also boosted my confidence and self esteem like no other along with giving me a family that I never would have imagined having.
stephen2That healthy, smart, and active lifestyle has given me is a drive to give back and help those who were like me or worse off. So I have become very active in my local running groups and community on the issues of anti-bullying and anti-suicide. We all have the tools and ability to help make a difference and direct someone on the right path, so why not step up and be a Strong Figure for someone who needs it?
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Twitter: @bowtiedspartanstephen