Archive for March, 2012

Mission Accomplished! Got to Run American Ninja Warrior 4!

Thursday, March 15th, 2012

Mission accomplished! After a few metaphorical obstacles getting an opportunity to participate, as enumerated in my recent posts, I got to attack literal obstacles yesterday as I competed in the Midwest region in American Ninja Warrior 4 in Dallas (I went to the University of Wisconsin and lived in Madison for a number of years…Go Badgers!). I was lunatic #1 lined up in the walkon queue when I arrived about 4:30 am and used a jedi mind trick to get past one of the security guards who had turned away a few earlier arrivals who wanted into the Cotton Bowl complex to line up themselves.

These are not the droids you are looking for.

In the end most walkons got to compete, but being the first guy in line no doubt increased my chances. A couple of the production folks seemed to expect me, almost certainly due to the efforts by many of my ninja brothers to help me out by mentioning my plight to folks they knew in casting and production, and just a short half hour after I finally realized that I was going to get a chance to actually compete I stood at the starting line as just the fifth guy to attack the course in Dallas. I could scarcely believe that it was happening as they counted down 5-4-3-2-1 to start my run!

I can’t share how I did…understandably production wants total secrecy to create more suspense for the show this summer (they did say that I could share that I in fact competed), but it was an honor as always to step onto the course and compete with (not against, with) so many amazing athletes and people. I had a blast seeing my fellow ninja brothers and sisters…I love running the course, but the camaraderie of the competitors is the most amazing element of the experience. Many people wished me luck in getting to compete, and that fortified my will to make it happen, but I wanted to extend heartfelt special thanks to certain people who worked hard to make it happen by spreading the word and talking to people on my behalf like Brian Corcoran, Arsenette, David Gabel, Chris Okruhlik, Thomas “Texas Ninja”, Jaret Salas, and Ryoga Vee (forgive me if I forgot anybody who took specific actions on my behalf…I still have love for you!). Thank you everybody for helping me make this happen, it was an emotional few days traveling to Dallas with my family not knowing if I would get a chance to compete, but the love and support of many readers, fans and fellow competitors made me more determined to make it happen and sweetened the feeling when I humbly stepped on the course to give it my best!

Without an Invite, Gonna Try for a Walkon

Monday, March 12th, 2012

After a bit of false hope yesterday, I found out definitively today that I do NOT have an invite. Major bummer…having gotten through all the rounds of the application process except obviously the last one, and seeing pretty much all my ninjas buddies get invitations, I’m at a loss for why I didn’t earn a spot. As one of the true superfans who foresaw American Ninja Warrior before it even was created, and has written a blog about my pursuit that has been read by literally tens of thousands of people, it hurts to not get invited.

But after about an hour of feeling sorry for myself, mostly as I continued my drive south for the third straight day towards Dallas with our car stuffed to the gills with my wife, my three little boys, and all our luggage as we headed there for our spring break (so my kids could watch me compete, instead of going to Disneyland), I pulled up my mental britches and resolved to try for one of the few elusive walkon spots in the competition. All I can do is try, and at every step of this quest to compete I’ve thought about what lessons I can teach my boys, and I guess the lessons here are that (1) sometimes things don’t go your way despite your best efforts, and (2) even when things don’t go your way you give your best and exhaust all options if it’s important to you. So despite the long odds, I’ll be doing my best until the horn sounds, whether it is on the course or standing in line hoping for a miracle.

In Need of a Miracle…

Sunday, March 11th, 2012

With the event just a few short days away, I’m still waiting on an invite to go run regionals in Dallas that go down Wednesday and Thursday of this upcoming week. It seems like most of the invites, if not all, have already been handed out, and pretty much every ninja I know that applied has already secured their invite. I’m wondering if there is something they don’t like about me :-( I’d think that a 40 year old middle-aged dad who is competitive would be more interesting to the viewers than another twenty-something year old parkour instructor of which they already have a few hundred (no offense to my many twenty-something year old parkour instructor friends who I love!).

I don’t really know, but I am very disheartened that I haven’t gotten an invite and I’m halfway to Dallas with the entire family in tow on the Roadtrip-from-Hell so I can have my adorable three little boys sit in the stands and watch their dad compete in their favorite TV show. Gonna feel like a big fool if I spend a few thousand dollars and a week-and-a-half on this family trip centered around my kids watching me compete in Dallas and I don’t get in.

I think at this point I need a miracle to get a spot.

Just Waiting by the Phone…

Friday, March 2nd, 2012

Just waiting by the phone, all alone, hoping for a call. With less than 2 weeks before the regional competitions in Dallas, the excitement and anticipation is getting pretty extreme. Not just for me, but for all aspiring competitors. And with the first day of regionals in Los Angeles today, and some of my ninja brethren running on the course at this very moment, it suddenly feels tangible and on the horizon, yet still far from my reach. All I can be is patient, and politely and promptly provide the hard-working casting folks whatever information and forms they need. And cross my fingers. And ask for good karma from anybody who will send it my way.

The release forms for ANW4 are some serious business, and my desire to stay on the “right side” of compliance in disclosing information means that I’ll be providing pretty much no specific information from here on out about my, or anybody else’s, experience in the competition until it airs and is public information. While I enjoy blogging about my obsession to compete in American Ninja Warrior, the actual competing in American Ninja Warrior is much more important than blogging about it! So forgive me if my posts from here on out are few-and-far-between, and stick to public information like the dates of the show airing and publicity around the event. Man…I don’t even know if I can tell you if I’ve even gotten in to compete!

Click LIKE if you are a fellow ninja waiting to hear if you’ve gotten into ANW4!