Striking each obstacle with sweat running down her face, Cara Mack works her way up the ranks as one of American Ninja Warrior’s national women finalists.
It’s a place she didn’t see herself in, even a couple of years ago. “I was one of those kids who did not feel popular at all…”, she shares. Today, we see a different story. Her skill and achievement is something that has been long worked for and inspired by various people and places throughout her life.
Earning a spot in EC’s graduating class of 2007, Cara’s passion for God and inspiring experiences allow for her to serve as one of the school's most memorable alumni.
Mack tells a story that is hard to forget. Although she is a prominent figure within the school’s alumni community, she did not attend EC her entire life. Joining in just the sixth grade, Cara faced ups and downs that any person would encounter in a new school. She describes being a transfer at EC difficult because it was toward the middle of the year and everyone was mostly set in their groups. High school, however, was a fresh start.
“High school was a better experience because there were more opportunities to meet new friends,” Mack reminisces. An involved student like Cara developed many hobbies throughout her high school years. From volleyball each fall to selected seasons of track and field, Mack’s stamina and relationships grew over the duration of her teen years. “I kind of just did sports for fun … I did not expect to go into some sort of professional sport at all.” As she looks back on her school career, she would’ve never guessed the level of accomplishment she’d be reaching in the Ninja occupation, or the family she’d be making. In fact, her initial passion was to become a sign language interpreter, a main focus throughout her primary years.
Cara’s way of being introduced to Ninja cannot be deemed anything more than God’s intention. The young woman found herself in a sturdy relationship with a guy who invited her to a local gym. From this moment, her life took a turn. Cara found something in the Ninja practice that hadn’t been seen before, even after the two faced an foreseen breakup. When interviewed, she describes the sport as being “addictive” because “you realize how every time you do an obstacle or every time you have success, it’s giving you so much confidence and it’s helping you get over a fear." A sense of strength and integrity was discovered in Cara that past experiences may not have been able to bring out.
But even amidst these strengths, Mack, like any human, encountered challenges throughout her life that may have seemed as if God was limiting her abilities. One core memory was during a competition for sign language in which she was not permitted to continue, although it was something very close to her heart. Denise Jonas, her pastor’s wife and a prominent model in her childhood, reminded Cara that God had bigger things in store for her. And Denise was right. Another incident surrounds the time she dislocated her shoulder between Seasons 11-12, a heartbreaking but awakening moment for her. “It was like a blessing in disguise… I learned so much from the injury. It changed my life for the better”, shares Mack. Her faith in Christ and passion for Ninja were able to grow tremendously over this period.
Despite prejudice she encountered regarding her faith, Cara never lost that spark for Christ, even as fame followed. Throughout her life, she was mocked and bullied for expressing the love of Christ that she had. “Being made fun of for being a Christian taught me that my relationship with God is personal”, Mack explains. And that faith sticks with her to this day. God swerved the path of her life completely and provided her with doors that opened up opportunities she would have never expected.
Mack goes on to advocate that, “You never know what God has in store for you. You may try to plan out your own life, but ultimately, it’s all in His control.” God placed Cara in EC and carried her all the way through to national television, exemplifying His idea of perfect timing.