Archive for August, 2011

A Wannabe Ninja Turns 40

Monday, August 1st, 2011

I’ve often joked that competing in American Ninja Warrior, with aspirations to compete in Ninja Warrior in Japan, is my form of a midlife crisis. Some men chase women, some men buy a sports car or even a motorcycle, many men divorce their wives out of an ineffable angst about losing their youth, but my particular midlife vice is obstacle courses. I’ve earned quite a few quizzical looks over the last couple of years from people I know when I let them in on the big secret about what I’ve been doing in the little spare time I have, all for a shot at an obstacle course that comes once a year that may be over in one slippery second. It’s hard for some people to understand. I don’t quite understand it all the time myself, but I sure find it fun. I suppose I like it because it symbolizes that at least a part of the little kid in me is still there, irrationally happy to be jumping and swinging around obstacles like a monkey.

Just recently I passed that stereotypical midlife crisis threshold of 40. Even though I resisted it because I hate to be a cliche, I did find myself reflecting a lot about my life at this junction and how the expectations of a younger version of myself would match up with the current reality of my life as I enter my fifth decade. I’ll save you the psychobabble of my personal journey on this, but I realized that my Ninja Warrior pursuit and training generally made me feel a lot better about myself as I assessed the status of things as I turn 40. For me it represented a couple of big positive things – pursuing a passion and keeping my aging carcass from succumbing too fast to the accelerating ravages of Father Time. The absence of either would definitely have been a big negative in my midlife crisis assessment.

Who knows? Maybe without Ninja Warrior I’d be driving a sports car with a legion of cheerleaders in the back right now. Now that would have been horrible. Thanks a lot Ninja Warrior.