Just call me Cassie “Tuck and Roll” Behle

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.

This guy, although nimble and fierce, would never succeed at American Ninja Warrior because he’s too top-heavy. In other words, he is the chesty woman of ninjas. (Photo Credit: freeimagesarchive.com)

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).

Sure, it could be better, but we’re ok with “good.” Once a settler, always a settler. (Ba-dum-tum-dsssh) (Photo Credit: kfor1240.com)

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.

Is looking at this picture as awkward for you as it was for me? (Photo caption: irishnostalgia.blogspot.com)

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…

14 responses to “Just call me Cassie “Tuck and Roll” Behle

  1. Ever since this show aired on G4TV and NBC, there has never been any female contestants on the show nor a women’s competition. You can say that it’s sexist and gender unequal. It’s all male, considering American people can’t seem to grasp the idea of strong, athletic women, unlike Japanese people can since they have both men’s and women’s competitions in their own version. But the contestants are racially diverse though.

    I hope they air real international versions (not dubbed and subtitled original Japanese and American versions) of this show featuring contestants in their own country, especially in England, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. It would be fun to see people from other countries going through those courses. Fewer countries like will have men’s and women’s competitions while most countries will only have men’s.

    • On most of those obstacles, height is definitely a factor and so it’s incredibly hard for women to even have a chance at competing, no matter how trained or in shape they are. I’ve seen quite a few women on ANW that I thought might be able to get through at least a few obstacles, but most just aren’t able to deal with the distances and strength that the obstacles demand.

      I agree that an international version of the show would be wonderful to watch, and it would be great if the show had a solely woman’s competition! Watching people go through the courses definitely makes me want to try it to see how far I could get! 🙂

  2. I’m about to apologize on my parents’ behalf for not actually making a stop in Nebraska on my childhood cross-country vacations.
    I’m sorry.
    There. I said it. It’s done. We cool?
    (Glad I stumbled upon your blog. No ninja puns intended.)

    • It’s going to take way more than an apology to make up for that fact! Say, a dozen chocolate chip cookies and we’ll call it a day? Feel free to drop by anytime! 😉

  3. Tuck and roll,,,,hummm sounds like a senior health class on avoiding a broken hip from a fall. Senior ninjas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ROCK ON.

    • Add in taking a healthy dose of calcium daily and I think you’re onto something! They don’t get a senior discount on the class though, because they should just be grateful they’re becoming more AWESOME! Let’s rage! 🙂

  4. Oh, I’ve heard of this show, my son is obsessed with it. (along with Wipeout)
    But what is this place called Nebraska you speak of? This is where ‘the good life’ is? I am so there!

    I think you’d do very well in this competition. Me, I am also great at falling, just not landing. But I do look good in black, that’s the only plus I can bring to the table.

    • I can’t lie – I enjoy living in this state. The people are so friendly, the open spaces are beautiful and the atmosphere is just incredibly relaxed. It takes me five minutes to get anywhere in my town. 😉

      So you’re saying you were never a cat in a past life?

  5. Ha ha, CB! You don’t actually have to handle a sharp samurai sword, do you? If yes, then I think you should add that to the reasons you’re not meant to be the next warrior. 😉 We share a fondness for klutziness, so by God, I would hate for you to accidentally cut a toe off with that thing. If not, and you don’t have to handle any sharp objects directly, then I think you’ll be a perfect contestant!

    • I’m more of a Chinese star type-o-gal. That way, I can just wing ’em at people and not have to deal with sharp objects constantly near my phalanges and other valuable body parts. 🙂

      They should really create a support group for clumsy girls like us…

  6. I am drawn to this show as well…. my favorite is that thing called the “salmon ladder” – you have got to be kidding me, how do they do that !!!!!! Too bad there’s not a “call in & vote ” element llike american idol – y’know I’d vote for you !

    • I saw this football player who weighed more than 250 pounds skip over two entire rungs on the Salmon Ladder yesterday – it was nuts! Motivated me and made me feel like I could do anything, so I decided to get off my butt and grab an oreo blizzard from Dairy Queen. Hey, I’m building my calcium – stronger bones equal a stronger competitor!

      Thanks for your vote…of confidence! 😀

  7. 5, 6, and 7 are all classics! You’re a shoo-in! If you’re worried about clumsiness, try watching more “The Empire Strikes Back”, and listen closely to all of the advice Yoda gives Luke. (Even if it doesn’t help you slay the competition, it will help you learn how to confuse the competition through scrambled words.)

    • Confuse competitors scrambled words do? Heart I must follow, yes! “After course, tacos we should grab.” -me to a competitor (tacos – breaking concentration one Doritos shell at a time!)

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