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!