For those of you who have never heard of the television show, American Ninja Warrior, it’s going to be ok. Before last weekend, I hadn’t heard of the series either, but I’m confident we’ll get through this initial obstacle together. First things first: breaking the ignorance barrier so you can start living a far more awesome life right here and now.
American Ninja Warrior is a show that recruits contestants from various regions of the U.S. and lets them showcase their athletic agility and abilities by competing through a sequence of courses that include obstacles such as the Salmon Ladder, Warped Wall, Rolling Escargot, Doorknob Grasper and many more with equally imaginative names. Much like Iron Chef America is for the Food Network, G4TV’s American Ninja Warrior is a spin-off from an earlier Japanese series called Sasuke. Yup, we Americans like to take, take, take – especially if there’s a monetary prize up for grabs!
At the end of each season, fifteen final contestants head to Japan (or in this year’s case – Las Vegas) to compete in the last obstacle course – the impressively challenging Mt. Midoriyama, where the winner receives – you guessed it – loads of money!
Maybe that’s why “Midoriyama” means “green mountain” in Japanese.
Contestants usually have a well-balanced athletic background including parkour, mixed martial arts, personal training and other professional sports. Me? I bring to the table the most reckless secret weapon of all: daring to dream. That asset mixed with a hint of sheer clumsiness make me the ultimate badass. Or wildcard. To further specify, shot in hell.
A woman of lists, I put together some reasons why I am or am not qualified to be the next American Ninja Warrior. As you will plainly see, the reasons I’m meant to win seemingly outweigh the reasons I’m not. Besides, being American means I already have a third of this thing in the bag.
The most important thing is that I dream big, always in stealth mode but only sometimes wearing black.
Why I’m meant to be the next American Ninja Warrior
1. I can pronounce “Midoriyama.”
Or, you know. Close enough. I’m not a linguist. But I do love linguini, and sometimes close is close enough (Although I’m not sure ANW careerist but four-season failure David Campbell would agree).
2. I’m sadly ok with Nebraska being lumped into the “Midsouth” region.
When you’re from the Midwest, you tend to set your expectations low that anyone knows where you geographically reside. Instead, Nebraskans are easily impressed if others simply know the state exists in the U.S., or that we have electricity.
3. My tumbling skills are sub-par.
I took tumbling as a kid and was mediocre the whole time; I could never nail the handstand without the help of a wall or person to stabilize me. As an adult, I’ve kept pace with my clumsiness as a child – and then some. This has honed my key talent: I’m not afraid to fall.
Now, falling into the water under the courses that producers somehow dyed cerulean nuclear radiation blue? That’s a whole other story.
4. Three attempts before I can call it a day? SOLD!
Contestants are allowed three attempts to conquer the 14-foot Warped Wall, and I’ve never been an overachiever. Three attempts quietly says, “Hey, I tried, but let’s go see what’s on television now, huh?”
In other words, I also have a lot of Breaking Bad to conquer, so let’s get both shows on the road.
5. I have an inspiring story that sets me apart from the rest.
One time I was peer pressured to steal a troll pencil topper in grade school. I’ve lived with the guilt for 20 years. It’s called adversity, folks.
6. I enjoy free money.
I’m 99 percent sure I’m the only one who possesses this wildly defining quality.
7. I look good in black.
If that’s not a credential, I don’t know what is.
8. I’ve been meaning to spice up my resume.
People take American Ninja Warriors seriously, probably. It’s a title that evokes fear and the promise of threats, but those are just the every day approaches of earning a job.
Why I’m not meant to be the next American Ninja Warrior
1. Seems like a pretty long plane ride to (and fro) Japan.
Who would water my plants while I’m gone? Mail doesn’t collect itself, and my friends will all be busy holding colorful, giant signs possessing my name at Mt. Midoriyama. Signs like “Tuck and Roll (the competition)!!!!”
2. I’m more of a lover.
Although the non-combative obstacle courses are to my liking, no one likes to be a team of one in the game of love.
3. Duh – I’m a girl.
I might break a nail. On the other hand, that would probably feel a lot better than how I’ll feel after receiving the angry hate emails I’m about to get from feminists everywhere.
4. I would collapse under the pressure. Or the Unstable Bridge.
As a lover, I prefer to have crushes, not be crushed.
5. I don’t like being the center of attention.
Well, except on this BLOG, of course…