Three years ago, Travis Carr hit rock bottom. He was working a dead-end job, playing video games non-stop and was unhappily single. He saw his weight balloon to 350 pounds.
“I was unhealthy and depressed,” says Carr, the shipping and receiving supervisor for the Campus Bookstore. “I had liver disease, high blood pressure and was pre-diabetic. I knew I was going to die if I stayed on that path.”
He heard a podcast with Dakota Meyer, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, who talked about the poem, “The Dash.” The poem emphasized that the two dates on a gravestone are the most insignificant in one’s life. Instead, it’s the dash that matters, and are you proud about how you spent your dash?
Eschewing fad diets, Carr started eating healthier and exercising regularly. During COVID, he began training for half and full marathons. He lost more than 170 pounds and now maintains a steady weight of around 190 pounds.
To those who seek to make similar changes in their life, Carr’s advice is to “take it one step at a time. It is a long process. It may be two steps forward, one step back, but you are still going forward.”
He joined Union nearly two years ago and quickly became a familiar face, working in the bookstore and the mailroom, and making deliveries around campus.
A native of New Lebanon, N.Y., Carr lives in Schenectady with his fiancée, Michelle, an avid marathoner. The two are to be married May 26. They will spend part of their honeymoon in Sacramento competing with thousands of runners in the California International Marathon in December.
FIRST APP YOU LOOK AT IN THE MORNING:
YouTube. I always watch a video while I’m eating breakfast. It is usually an inspirational video.
ONE BOOK YOU HAVE READ MULTIPLE TIMES:
“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. I grew up reading all the books and watching the movies. I even met actor Rupert Grint, who plays Ron Weasley in the film series, while at Jiminy Peak. My mom works there and saw him and told me to come by. I had him sign one of my books!
BEST ADVICE YOU EVER RECEIVED:
"Smile and the world will smile with you." My mom used to say it to me all the time growing up, and I used to hate it. As I have gotten older, I've learned it is true. The more you put into your life, the more you get out of it.
FAVORITE SPOT ON CAMPUS:
The track at Frank Bailey Field. As a runner, it's very convenient to have it so close to my workspace. You can find me there on my lunch walks, getting some fresh air.
A bowl of plain Cheerios with almond milk, Greek yogurt and a black coffee.
Swindled, an American True Crime podcast exploring the world of white-collar crime, political corruption and corporate greed.
ONE SKILL YOU WISH YOU HAD:
Public speaking. I’ve never been able to talk in front of large group of people.
LITTLE KNOWN FACT ABOUT YOU:
The weight loss. Most of the weight was off before I started at Union, so no one here saw my full journey.
THREE DINNER PARTY GUESTS (living or deceased):
My grandparents. Family means the world to me, and I miss them. Unfortunately, I never met my dad’s parents. They passed before I was born so it would be nice to have a conversation with all of them.
Family Values tour when I was 14. The lineup was Korn, Evanescence, Atryeu and Flyleaf.