Small Town Guy Wins Big Time Weight Lifting

Editor’s note: Rickey Carrow, 69, resides in Pinetown and attends Five Points Free Will Baptist Church, which is about a mile from his home. We think you will enjoy his story.

Thirty years ago (in 1993), I met up with a guy by the name of Tim Garriss, who is what I call “a work out guru” and I joined him on a regular basis. We knew after a couple years (looking up records) that we could compete at a high level.

Looking back, by all means get a friend to work out with! In the military, I had a 180 lb. set. I would work out at lunch and evenings. Fast forward to Sept. 10, 2001. Yeah, the day before 9-11 where I found myself as a D.O.D. employee at Womack Army Medical Center.

The hospital opened their rehab gym to hospital employees so I was able work out with state of the art equipment. By 2006, I had increased my bench press by 30 percent. In 2004, I got married for the first time to my beautiful wife Mary Joy, and a boy came to us in 2006. It was time to call Pinetown home again! Tim remarried in 05, and he has added two to his clan.

Our families are growing up, and we try to get together twice a week. In 2016 Tim’s cousin Eric Hobgood invited us to a charity weight lifting event at his church in Henderson, NC.(Freedom Life Church of God). There we met brothers Harry & Casey Orr. Both are Hall of Famers in Power Lifting!

Even then the competition was tough and deterred us from entering any sanctioned event. Tim and I just enjoyed the fellowship of Christian people doing good for others in need.
Then, earlier this year, we learned the Town of Henderson was to host a ‘RAW Federation Sanction Event.’ Harry and Casey encouraged us to enter. So, “WE’RE IN!”

Within two weeks of our decision, the Federation contacted Tim stating that we could enter the ‘American Challenge South East Regional’ where lifters from Ohio to Florida would be competing.

We entered, and both Tim and I won our weight class events.(Bench Press+Strict Curl). That qualified us to enter the World Championship competition (only first and second places can qualify).

November 16 thru 19, we find ourselves in Virginia Beach at The World Championships, and we’re competing! Everyone was so positive, rooting for each other – just being with  people from other countries (trying to win) but also cheering you on! The US Team, I’m guessing, 35 to 40 percent were Veterans! It was like a reunion: Army -Navy-Air Force- Marines were all represented. Even the Airborne and Specials Ops from Fort Bragg. Some really great guys.

Only down side was I had to out-score a Navy Doctor Vet of 36 years in the ‘Strict Curl’ but he won in the Dead Lift. The highest privilege of all was when I was asked to lead festivities in Prayer on Saturday morning, immediately after our National Anthem. Lows? Absolutely none.

Okay. Next year is almost here. I’d like join a health club or two in Washington, NC. My goal is to get a team of men (and women) to compete with me and with Tim’s Team MMG (Mediocre Muscle Gym) in The State Championships set for February 2 and 3, 2024. It’s already that time to start training. I hope to see you in the GYM !! Soon!!

The web site for info is (rules and details). They are also on Facebook. Stay Strong.

Editor’s note: Readers may contact Rickey Carrow at (252) 341-1125. For the record, Mr. Carrow is 69 and weighs 212 lbs. He competed in the 65-69 Age Class, and the 198 to 220 lbs Weight Class. He won the ‘Strict Curl’ and finished second in ‘Bench Press.’