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Archive for July, 2013
My Experience as an American Ninja Warrior 2013
I had the incredible opportunity to be chosen and compete on the NBC and G4 television obstacle course show American Ninja Warrior. The show will air July 1st with a two hour special and the first qualifying city. The show is so much more than the petty drama you see on other reality television. Other shows dramatize the drama between the contestants. The typical American audience appears to prefer that type of show based upon the success of the emotional drama and shock value. I want to tell you about a different kind of story… here is my experience as an American Ninja Warrior.
The Inside Scoop
American Ninja Warrior competitors are a completely different breed. We stood outside the course for between 4-6 hours a couple days before the run strategizing about how to beat the tried and true obstacles present at every qualifier. We then would study the new ones discussing past seasons and Sasuke the original show in Japan and how the competitors ran and effectively conquered the new challenges.
So I found myself backstage as it were our “warm up” area and assumed everyone would have their game face on. Everyone did and was intensely serious about their shot. Every competitor had their own personal story that created this burning desire to be the best on this course, the best against everyone else and the best against everyone else who had come before them in this season and in seasons past. The complete paradox of this athlete’s mentality is someone would run, struggle with an obstacle return to the warm up area after their 1-5 minute time in the spotlight and passionately tell the next competitor watch out for this. This obstacle you need to move your body this way, keep your legs up, throw your chest forward, leap from here, bend your knees and in and so on. Are you kidding me? What is happening here? Are you trying sabotage me? The answer to all of the above is no! First-timers like me and veterans alike after the months and for some years of training to beat the course and other competitors just willingly give up all their secrets to help someone perform better. It is true. Until I sequestered myself in this environment I could have never understood this mentality.
A new breed of athlete.
Sure I have always jumped to help someone in competition who needed me but it ultimately it never affected my outcome. Now that I have had the honor of sharing the “stage” course with my Ninja brothers and sisters I get it. The best of the best don’t want that honor unless they know you are at your best. If that means teaching you what they know then so be it. I then found myself doing the exact same thing with athletes who followed me. Strangely the same phenomenon occurred in the stands according to my wife Stephanie. I have found a lifestyle and camaraderie of individuals that I look forward to competing against and with for many years to come. Denver competitors Best of luck. We will all be rooting for you!
America’s Fittest Doctor