HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Growing up, Travis Hayward admits he wasn’t an active kid. 11 months ago, he started training at Gunny’s Boot Camp in Myrtle Beach, and in September, he decided to sign up for NBC’s show American Ninja Warrior.
He says it all changed when he met his wife.
“She became my lighthouse. She guided me and made me into the man I am today,” he said.
With the help of Ryan “Gunny” Small as his trainer, Hayward saw an instant improvement in his endurance.
“He struggled a little bit but Travis is the type of person that puts everything he’s got into it. You could just see him his performance getting better and better,” Small said.
Hayward said while training was rough at first, he wasn’t giving up.
“I was one of the most out of shape, and I just kept going with it because I wanted to be stronger, I wanted to be better. I’m not a quitter I don’t want to be a quitter I just want to keep pushing myself,” he said.
Obstacle course training provides it’s own set of challenges, but it’s a fun way to stay active. Small said he was inspired by military-style training when he started his boot camps.
“They hit these obstacles and they’re like ‘there’s no way I can do that.’ Sometimes when they first start, maybe they won’t get it the first time and they may not get it the second time. But it’s crazy because the people I’ve been training they want it, they fight for it. They want it so bad and eventually when they get it they’re like ‘okay this type of training is working for me and they love the achievement,'” Small said.
The pair started making the course a few weeks ago and still have some building to do. As for Hayward’s journey to American Ninja Warrior, registration closes in January. In April, he’ll find out if he’s been accepted to qualifying rounds in Los Angeles.
While the course was originally thought of to train Hayward for American Ninja Warrior, it’s evolved into something bigger. They’ve partnered with Toys For Tots to host a grand opening ceremony on December 16.
“We’ll do something good for the kids during Christmas that are in less fortunate situations and at the same time we’re going to do something really great for the community,” Small said.
You get to try out the course for free – all you need to do is bring an unwrapped toy for donation.
The event starts at 8:00 a.m. For more information on Gunny’s Boot Camp, click here.