Baltimore Ninjas, including me, on Deck Sunday and Monday Nights

With a great premiere of American Ninja Warrior 5 last weekend in the books covering the opening round of the region held in Venice, we turn our attention to the episodes on Sunday night on G4 and Monday night on NBC focused on the opening regional round held in Baltimore.  Baltimore was the second of four regional cities in this year’s American Ninja Warrior, was the region where your humble host competed, and was an epic experience and a ton of fun.  For me it was particularly special because I was raised in Maryland and my 71 year old mother and father, along with my oldest sister, were able to come and watch the competition in person and experience the scale and intensity of it live (the whole course is much bigger and grander in person).  I shared what I could about my experience in my fairly emotional Thank You Baltimore blog I wrote immediately upon my return from the competition (we are bound by non-disclosure concerning our performance until after the airing of the show).  I won’t cover the same sentiments and thoughts here, but if you are curious about the experience as a competitor, I’d encourage you to read that piece.

Who knows if they’ll show any or all of my run this season?  I got zero airtime when American Ninja Warrior 2 and 3 were shown.  I got a lot of airtime last season in American Ninja Warrior 4 when I was a featured competitor in the episodes that covered the opening round in Dallas, the regional finals in Dallas (where I was the oldest competitor to advance), and then the “Best of 2012” mini-series they ran earlier this year.  They seemed to dig my story of being a 40 year old father-of-three, and how I drove for several days with my whole family just to have a shot to compete as a walkon (I didn’t get a guaranteed invite last year).  But this year…who knows?  My family and friends seem to think I am a lock to be shown again, but I think they are being optimistic and naive, yesterday’s star is today’s old news.

In any case, whether I am shown or not, I was absolutely thrilled to get another shot to compete, particularly when they got around 10,000 submissions for what was only about 400 guaranteed invites this season.  I also think whether they show me or not, the viewers will get to see some amazing competitors with insane athleticism and great personal stories that are deserving of the shot and the airtime.  Thank you everyone for your support, and I hope you enjoy the episodes on Sunday night on G4 and Monday night on NBC.  Once the episode is aired, I’ll write a blog about my run, as you’d expect me to 😉

  • Rob Logan

    Thanks Matt! Great write up as always.
    I look forward to the episodes and your blog afterward.
    Perhaps I will share my experience as well. Baltimore was awesome!

  • Brandon Willis

    My region!! Let’s go

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Rob. Can’t wait for it to air!

  • Anonymous

    Hell yeah. Can’t wait to see how they edit it!

  • Rob Logan

    Bummer we didn’t get any air time Matt!

    Here is a bit about my Baltimore experience:

    Hey everyone,

    Well unfortunately they didn’t show my run or back story. If
    you looked close I was in the background a few times. I was sitting in the “Winners
    Circle” (just behind obstacle # 5 – the Circle Cross) for a while until they
    got enough people that made it through or went the furthest the fastest. You could
    see me icing my ankle at one point or even stuffing my face (as my wife
    Christine was telling people at our viewing party last night), but not
    running the course :(

    Now that it has been aired I can share how I did.

    I made it through the first 4 obstacles without any problem
    (other than spraining my ankle on the Prism Tilt), but got taken out by the
    dreaded Circle Cross. This was the same spot where Luis Moco, Chris
    Wilczewski & Matt Laessig (as well as many others) went out, due to the very slick nylon rope.

    At the starting line they gave me an opportunity to do a
    back flip, which probably would have gotten me some air time, but I wasn’t
    about to risk injuring myself before even getting out of the gate and losing my
    coveted chance to run the course. I got through the Quintuple Steps with a one
    footed approach and almost looked graceful. Although I can’t really tell you
    how I got from the first obstacle to the second, as automatic pilot mode kicked
    in, I am thankful that I was able to make myself slow down enough to take my
    time getting my feet set and my weight forward on the Downhill Jump. Having
    seen so many people’s feet go right out from underneath them, I knew this was
    crucial. Fortunately I ended up making this one look somewhat easy. On the
    Prism Tilt I rushed it a bit and ended up not letting the prism settle down
    once I got on it. The result was a faster downward tilt and me jumping off at
    almost a vertical position and spraining my ankle when I landed on the platform
    (but I made it!). The adrenaline pushed me forward to the Swing Jump where
    again I took my time. I got good swing momentum going and made the transfer to
    the cargo net, and traversed hand over hand underneath it, coming within inches
    of the water below, but not touching it! Next came the Circle Cross. I made the
    leap to the fist ring and reached out for the rope right away. The rope was
    very slick and my hand slipped right off and put me into a sideways swing,
    which was almost impossible to get out of. I hung on for a long time trying to
    get some forward momentum to be able to reach the rope again. When I finally
    did get some and reach the rope again I had spent all my energy and slipped off
    again and fell back to the platform. Although I never touched the water, they
    blew the whistle and I was “done”.

    Although I know I should be proud just to have been chosen,
    as only about 400 slots were awarded out of over 7000 applicants, it is
    extremely frustrating to go out knowing I could have gotten through this. If I
    had approached the Circle Cross slightly different I know I would have, and the
    Warped Wall was the only thing left (and I do know I could have gotten up
    that – had no problem at the Tough Mudder)!

    To answer the question many have asked – Yes I will be
    trying again next year! I will be building more obstacles and training even
    harder over the next year. If I am fortunate enough to get another chance to
    run the course, I vow to do better and improve my chances at getting some air
    time :)

  • Anonymous

    Great summary! You did fantastic on the course!

  • Rob Logan

    Thanks Matt, right back at you!